So I saw a tweet the other day from agent Bridget Smith (who I highly suggest you follow, because she’s awesome) about re-reading books that got me thinking.
I totally agree with her. Last year I didn’t read nearly as many books as I usually do. And at least half of the ones I did read were books I’d already read before. In some ways that’s a bad thing – I have hundreds of new books on my Kindle I was dying to read, books I’d been looking forward to and haven’t got around to yet.
But I realized something after reading Bridget’s tweets. I’m ok with that.
Last year was rough for me both at work and in writing. And when that happens, I tend to dig in, to nest, to want familiar and comfort around me. And re-reading books I know I love helps with that.
I’ll tell you a secret. Sometimes reading new books stresses me out. What if I hate it? What if something bad happens to these characters I’ve spent time with? What if the ending sucks or someone dies? (I have a book I was so excited to read but I haven’t, because I heard a character I fell in love with died. Yeah, I couldn’t handle it.) Or it’s just meh? Sometimes I just get overwhelmed with the thought of getting involved in these stranger’s lives, even if it’s only for 300 pages – feeling their angst and pain and worry. Sometimes I don’t want to go through the stress of will they make it?
And sometimes, I just want to catch up with people I’ve already met. I already know their story is a good one, one that makes me sigh with happiness or cry with cathartic tears. I already know what’s going to happen, so I don’t need to worry that I’m going to hate the book or waste my time.
There’s a comfort for me in re-reading. And like Bridget says, it’s like meeting old friends, it might be a little less exciting, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. Some of my favorites to re-read are Watership Down, The Chronicles of Narnia books, The Lord of the Rings books, any Julia Quinn regency romance, M.M. Kaye or Mary Stewart romantic suspense. And of course my favorite children’s books – Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time, The Westing Game and so on. I have a lot of favorites 🙂
How about you guys? How do you feel about re-reading? And what are some of your faves?