Recently a friend and I got into a conversation about re-reading books. She is adamant that, with so many new and exciting books in the world, there is no point in revisiting an old one when you can check out something new and exciting.
My own opinion, however, is pretty much the exact opposite. Whilst I love reading new books and discovering something completely unexpected, I feel there is definitely some to be said about re-reading books you particularly like or ones you don’t think you fully understood or appreciated on the first go.
After all, you can pick up nuances in the text which you didn’t notice the first time. Also, I personally can’t remember books I read years ago in great detail, so re-reading is a great way to reconnect with books whose beauty and majesty I’ve forgotten.
For those who struggle to finish books they don’t like or simply can’t connect with for whatever reason, re-reading can be great as you know you’re going to definitely make it through and enjoy the book. I often get the same way with films; on some weekends when I’m busy and I only have a couple of hours to watch some TV before going out I tend to re-watch something rather than check out something new as I know I’ll love the film I’ve already seen, whereas I might not like my new choice. I know I’ll be able to check the new film out when I have more time, but when I’ve only got a set number of hours I tend to focus on making sure I definitely enjoy myself. Sometimes it’s the same with books, and that’s OK.
Personally I try to revisit certain books, such as Pride and Prejudice and Colin Dexter’s best novel The Way Through The Woods at least once a year if I have chance, whilst at the same time making sure that I read new books afterwards and before so that I get a good mix of new surprises and old favourites. There’s nothing wrong with re-reading books and frankly, as long as you’re reading anything then you’re doing great in my book.