Do you re-read books?

Me Reading/AdS

I saw someone raising this question today on social media: do you re-read books?

My answer: yes, and frequently.

Why I pick up a book for the first time is almost always related to book reviews. But the reasons why I re-read that same book are not. Here’s why:

  1. I may not have been ready for the book in the first place and have placed it aside. This sometimes happens when the theme comes too close for comfort.
  2. The author may have introduced too many characters within the first three chapters and I felt I needed a spreadsheet to follow along. This mindset can change over time.
  3. The author’s writing style might be on my mind more now that the story has sank in and I am still wondering how they put everything together so seamlessly.
  4. The characters may have evolved in a manner that I did not foresee in the beginning so looking back by re-reading, I discover elements or character traits that I missed before.
  5. If a movie has been made about the book, I often re-read to compare. I get it that with movies we are talking about different media. Perfect example, I re-read Tolkien after the movies came out. I was much better able to voice what I did and did not like, why, and how the Tolkien descriptions sometimes worked better than the CGI.
  6. After a few years, your outlook on life may have changed. Interests change too so a book that held your attention at age 20 may not work at age 45.
  7. Breaking news, an author’s death, a discovery in anthropology, etc., can all cause renewed interest.

So, do you ever re-read a book?