Despite my wishful thinking, I am not a big rereader. My mindset is usually somewhere along the lines of: there are too many books out there for me to keep reading the same ones. But, like most readers, I do have my favorites and I like returning to them occasionally. Lately, I’ve also felt inclined to revisit some of the books I read when I was younger, because I’m sure there are several I was too young to fully appreciate.
These aren’t all the books I’ve revisited over the years – up until about halfway through college, I was a big rereader, and when I didn’t know what to read, I’d pick up a book I had already read and loved. The books below just so happen to be ones I’ve picked up again in the past few years, after I grew out of my comfort-zone reading phase. They are also some of my favorite books.
- The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I didn’t start reading them until the fourth book was out, but after that, I reread all the books I had before each book and movie release. Plus every time I was supposed to be studying for finals in high school. And probably about once a year since then. I’ve lost count, but I’ve read them more times than any other book.
- The Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. The only book in this series I haven’t reread is Morning Star, and that’s just because it just came out a few months ago. I love this series, and I fully intend on rereading them before the first book in the sequel trilogy, Iron Gold, comes out next year. And I’m sure I will continue to reread them long after Brown has moved on to other projects. I love the story, but what I really adore is how inspiring Brown’s writing is.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This is one of my all-time favorite classics. I’ve read it at least three times. For me, P&P is a comfort novel; I know I can always return to it, and it will always make me feel good.
- Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot. I’ve read almost all of Meg Cabot’s adult and ya books, and, of those, I’ve reread a good majority. This book is probably the one I’ve read most often, because it’s just so fun! This is the book I read when I’m in the mood for something light that doesn’t involve a lot of brain power. It’s like reading a chick flick.
- The Martian by Andy Weir. I reread this before the movie came out last year, and it was just as good as the first time! I’m sure I will return to this book again, because I really love it.
- The Hunger Games trilogy. I reread the trilogy just before seeing the last film, and I’m really glad I did. Mostly because I forgot a few things. I read these at the height of the YA dystopian craze, and I think these are the only books in that category that I still really like.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. This is a bit of a cheat, since I’m currently rereading it (more specifically, I’m listening to the audiobook of it), but I thought I’d throw it in, since it’s a book I will have reread by the end of this month. I first read it my senior year in high school, and I have a feeling I will appreciate it much more this time around.
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I think I read this twice in high school (once for class, and then again when I helped build the sets for a stage production of it), and I just listened to the audiobook (read by Tim Robbins) a few weeks ago and loved it. This is definitely a book I will return to.
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. This was one of my favorite books as a child, and, last year, I reread it for one of my reading challenges. This is the only book on the list I wish I hadn’t read again. Because, while it was still a great book, it lost some of the magic it had when I read it as a child and was actually learning the things mentioned in the book. Luckily, I did remember that feeling, so I enjoyed it, but I think that was due in large part to nostalgia.
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I’m sure I will reread all of Gaiman’s books at some point, but this happens to be the only one I’ve reread so far. To be fair, that’s just because I used it for a project for my publishing class, so it wasn’t just for fun (though I did enjoy it both times). I am looking forward to rereading Neverwhere, soon, though, because it’s my favorite.
An unliterary man may be defined as one who reads books once only…
The re-reader is looking not for actual surprises (which can come only once) but for a certain surprisingness… It is the quality of unexpectedness, not the fact that delights us. It is even better the second time…in literature. we do not enjoy a story fully at the first reading. Not till the curiosity, the sheer narrative lust, has been given its sop and laid asleep, are we at leisure to savour the real beauties. Til then, it is like wasting great wine on a ravenous natural thirst which merely wants cold wetness.
– C. S. Lewis
What book(s) do you love picking up again and again? Are there any that you’re planning on rereading soon?
P.S. I just realized this can kind of count for my Top Ten Tuesday post, since I didn’t do one this week (I just wasn’t feeling the topic).