Re-Reading Books

Recently, for the first time in years, I re-read a book. Actually…I re-read two books. I decided that, in preparation for reading Allegiant, I was going to read Divergent and Insurgent again. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the experience.

Mostly I’ve avoided re-reading books in the past because I felt like: (a) it would suck up valuable reading time that I could be using for all of the awesome books that I haven’t read yet, and (b) wouldn’t I just get bored with reading something I’ve already read before?

Divergent Series

But I had a blast re-reading the Divergent series, and I’m so glad that I decided to do it. I chose this series specifically because I absolutely loved both books the first time that I read them, so I knew that I would probably like them the second time around as well, and also because I really wanted to be able to enjoy Allegiant, and I was worried that I wouldn’t like it as much if I didn’t remember everything from the other two books perfectly.

I have a huge problem with forgetting what happened in books after I’ve read them. I barely rememberedย anything about the Divergent series besides the main plot points and two of the character names. So I knew that I wouldn’t get as much out of readingย Allegiant if I went into it without having refreshed myself with a re-read of the previous books.

Even though I hate the fact that I have book memory problems, it was almost kind of a positive thing when it came to re-reading this series. Because I barely remembered anything, it was almost like I was reading it for the first time all over again. That element definitely added to how much I liked the experience of re-reading, so I’m interested to hear from you guys who’ve re-read books and don’t have the same memory problems that I have.

Discussion questions:

  • Do you re-read books? How often?
  • Do you re-read books in a series before catching up with the latest installment?
  • How much does your memory of a book affect whether you decide to re-read it/enjoy re-reading it?

17 responses to “Re-Reading Books

  1. I rarely reread books. And when I do, I almost always feel a little anxious to just get on with another, new and unread, book. It’s a bit like all the books I have are all one book and I just want to the next chapter.

    I don’t ever really need to reread books in a series. I have an amazing book memory, you see. Which might be what make me not want to reread books >_<

    • You’re lucky that you have a good book memory! That’s definitely my least favorite thing about reading for me…I hate that I can’t remember more stuff. I totally get what you’re saying about not wanting to re-read books because you want to go onto the next new one. That’s why it took me so long to re-read one in the first place, because that’s always been my opinion about it. But I’m really glad that I did it. I’ll probably start doing it more now, since I enjoyed re-reading this series so much, but it’ll still be a very rare occasion when I do.

  2. I don’t re-read books for those exact 2 reasons you mentioned. I’ve been wanting to reread Harry Potter for a while now, but I’m afraid it will suck up too much of my time when there are SO many new books I want to get to. I wish I could take a blogging vaca and just do it… We’ll see

    • I want to re-read the Harry Potter series as well! I just recently bought the box set of the new illustrated covers and I really want to read them. For me, though, I feel like that would barely count as a re-read, since it’s been so many years since I’ve read them.

  3. I used to re-read books ALL THE TIME before I started book blogging. But now, I barely have time to read books that I want to read for ME, let alone books that I want to experience again.
    In all reality, there are only a handful of books that I can tolerate reading more than one. Most of the time I don’t enjoy books enough to dedicate another reading to them.
    I also have a terrible book memory, and usually end up scouring spoiler-y reviews just so I can remember what happened in the previous instalment, haha. Or, if it’s a series I ardently ADORE, then I will re-read the previous books, because I don’t want to impede upon my enjoyment of the most recent books.
    In some cases, to avoid this, I have taken to waiting until an entire series is released before diving head-first into what seems like an endless book of over 1000 pages. Which is awesome, because there’s no forgetting, or waiting, and the story just flows really nicely.
    Anyway, this is a total essay, sorry! ๐Ÿ˜€
    But this is a great discussion topic, Miranda! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for your long comment!

      I definitely want to try that…waiting until a whole series is released and then just reading the whole thing all at once. I’ve never done that before, and sounds like it might help fix my memory problems.

      • No problem ๐Ÿ™‚

        It’s actually really awesome. I waited until all Snyder’s Study books were out, and pretty much read them in one sitting. She’s writing more now, but originally it was a trilogy!
        And I’m waiting until all of the Mara Dyer books are out because HEAPS of people are telling me how painful the wait is!

      • Me, too! Everyone ADORES them, and I can just tell I will, too. So I want to wait ๐Ÿ˜€
        Glad to have introduced you to this technique, haha.
        If you don’t mind my asking, how did your surgery go? I’m not lying when I say my thoughts were with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Aww thanks for checking up on me ๐Ÿ™‚ It went really well! It’s been a week now, and I’m doing pretty good.

        I have to wear this stupid air cast for four weeks, so the worst part is dealing with that, haha. I’m having a tough time finding pants that fit over it! And it’s really uncomfortable obviously. But the swelling has mostly gone down, and the pain is minimal; the only thing that’s really left over from it is a fever that I’m hoping will go away soon.

        I won’t be able to tell for a long time whether or not the surgery has actually fixed the problem…but I’m doing everything the doctors are telling me and hoping that I will be living like a normal person in no time!

      • That’s okay ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad to hear it went well!

        Ugh, the cast sounds like a pain D: You could try wearing those really loose harem pants? They’re light fabric and really loose, and comfy, too!

        It’s good that the pain has gone down, but bad about the fever D: Just rest up in bed, I say.

        I really hope that it all works out! You shall have to keep me updated. I am still sending good vibes your way! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I used to re-read, but that was before I was a reviewer. Now I just don’t have the time! Like you said, it just sucks up valuable time that could be spent reading something else. Which is sad, because there’s a few books I read pre-blog that I’d love to read again and review on the blog. *sigh* Too many books, so little time!
    I don’t re-read series books anymore, either, for the same reason. I usually check the Recaptains blog to see if it’s on there, and if not, I just settle for reading my review and hoping that there will be a recap in the sequel. Usually it works out.
    I suck at remembering things, too! Very few books leave such a lasting impression that I’ll remember them for more than a month after reading.
    “Because I barely remembered anything, it was almost like I was reading it for the first time all over again.”
    That’s why I like to re-read stuff I loved but don’t remember ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great discussion!

    • Thanks for your awesome comment!

      I really want to do what you said…re-read books that I read before I started reviewing and write a review for my blog. But there are always so many books that need to be read and reviewed! I wish I had infinite amounts of time to spend on reading!

      I haven’t used the Recaptains blog yet, but I’ve heard a lot of people say how good of a resource it is, so I might use it in the future. And, you’re right, usually reading my review of the previous book in a sequel will help spark my memory some.

    • Haha, exactly! I’m definitely interested in doing more re-reading in the future, because of how much it felt like I was reading the series for the first time again.

  5. I re-read books but I do feel guilty about it because of my already enormous book backlog to get through. I re-read the ones that I really loved after it’s been a long while because I don’t really remember it and if it’s a series.
    I have a terrible memory too and if it’s a long time between installments I forget who some characters are and all but the general details of the plot. Sometimes I’ll only re-read the last one or two in the series if it’s a longer series though. And sometimes I’ll look and see if there’s a Wikipedia entry that can summarize things for me so I don’t have to.

  6. Pingback: Do You Get Scared of Re-Reading Books? |·

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