Last Updated on January 23, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
Oh, loves. If you saw my post discussing my desire to actually finish reading the series I start, you’re not surprised by this post. There is just no way around it. If I want to finish series and enjoy doing it, I must switch my reading style. That means I need to (re)learn to embrace the reread.
This is going to be a (sorta) new experience for me, so let’s explore it!
How Did We Get Here?
So, first, I want to explore my reading habits a bit. Especially in how they have evolved, especially since becoming a book blogger. I have always been an avid reader. No one in my family knows where the desire came from. All they knew was, by middle school, I was inhaling books like I needed them to breathe. I read what my library carried, because we couldn’t afford to buy every book I wanted.
As I grew older, my time for reading shrunk, as other commitments grew and other interests entered the chat. But, after I became a book blogger, my relationship with reading inevitably changed. Suddenly, because I’m a privledged American reader, I had access to (some) ARCs. I started to learn about publishing cycles, hype and gained awareness of current titles and new releases. This was drastically different from middle school me. The girl who found a book she liked, discovered it was a five book series that was published ten years ago and binged them all in a week.
Now? Well, considering I’ve read two sequels in the past two years? Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha. I’ve fallen firmly in the, “read a fantastic first book,” then forced to wait for the sequel to release. But, by the time the sequel comes out, I’m distracted by current shiny new book and forget to read it. And…forgot the plot of book one. Rinse and repeat.
So, we can see now why I gotta embrace the reread. Otherwise, I’m just going to continue the trend of reading only book ones.
And it’s not like I absolutely hate the idea. In fact, I did actually reread a little these past two years. Most namely, Brent Weeks’ Lightbringer novels (four of them!). All so I could prepare for the fifth book after it published. And it was completely worth it. I am 100% certain my experience reading The Burning White wouldn’t have compared, had the series not been fresh in my mind.
So, yes, obviously there are plenty of positives for rereading! Things like:
- Having all of the little details fresh in your mind. For me, it’s not just even the small details. It’s some major ones, too. My memory is so bad, friends. 💀
- Picking up on things you might have missed. It’s amazing what we don’t notice the first time that can feel so glaring the second.
- Gaining a new perspective. Let me tell you, I will never not be amazed that I character I HATED the first time I read Lightbringer (coughLivcough), I actually really respected when I reread it. Something that never would have happened, if I hadn’t reread the series.
- Easter eggs you couldn’t have noticed as a fresh reader. A truly unique experience to rereading.
Yet, choosing to embrace the reread, even with all of those perks, isn’t without some pitfalls. And it’s these pitfalls that, honestly, have made me not a regular rereader to begin with. Things like:
- My daunting TBR. Friends, I have so many books I want to read. Which is hilarious, by how little I actually read. Or how I’ll choose playing video games over reading every time. 💀💀 Yet it doesn’t change that I do love reading. My TBR reflects that.
- Lack of reading time. Because I’m no longer the youth who read over 200 books a year (who was she), I’m lucky if I can read 30. (If you look at the average since the pandemic started). 😭 So the idea of rereading a book (or sometimes multiple, if the need arises) feels both daunting and “wasteful”. That’s bullshit, but hello! Welcome to my brain.
- The pressure to stay “current”. This one might be a more unconscious one. I don’t think about it as much as I did when I was first started book blogging. But, rereading means backlist, even if you’re doing so to prepare to read an ARC or new release. Backlist isn’t always as friendly to bloggers, stats and traffic wise, compared to a new release the algorithm is loving right now. It’s tempting to want to always stay “current” and have your stats reflect that popularity.
And yet, despite it all, I’m choosing to embrace the reread this year. Why?
Honestly? Because I need to break away from the pressure of stats. Of reading feeling like a third job, thanks to being a book blogger. Of feeling guilt when I’m not reading. Or, in this case, feeling guilt when I’m rereading, even though I know it’s going to improve my experience later in the series tenfold. I’m tired of ignoring series I want to finish, simply because I know I need to reread a book to do it justice.
Frankly, I want to read for me again.
What about you, friends? What are you opinions about rereading? Do you enjoy it? Hate it? Avoid it or subscribe? (I also love that Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books also wrote about this topic last week! And we didn’t even plan that!) If you’re a book blogger, how has your reading habits changed or affect your relationship with rereading? I’d love to know!
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Davida Chazan says
I almost never reread books. Maybe because I read slowly, and retain a whole lot from most books I’ve read, I don’t feel the need.
I am definitely jealous of your ability to retain a lot!
Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies says
Great prompt! I’m a fan of rereading, especially when series are involved. I do love when I can read a series straight through, but for most that are going, there’s going to be at least a year or two (or more) between installments. And for some big, detailed books, there’s just no way to really enjoy the sequels without out at a least a skim, if not an entire reread.
I sometimes grumble about taking the time to re-read before a sequel comes out, but when I choose to do it, I’m always glad that I did!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Lisa! And I’m right there with you. I’d prefer to just read straight through if I can, because you’re right: sometimes, without the skim or reread, you’re missing so much!
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction says
Yeah, pretty much the only time I reread is when I need to finish a series and it’s been a while since I read the earlier books. I am just like you where it feels like rereading is a “waste” of reading time – so hard to do! But I often compromise by “rereading” via audiobook, which somehow feels like a freebie to me.
Yeah, I think that’s totally fair! And I could totally see how reading in a different format could help!
Ritu Bindra says
I do reread but not as often as I would like to. More so as a book bogger. Completely agree with you on reading for ourselves.
Sumedha @ the wordy habitat says
“Frankly, I want to read for me again.” I FEEL this statement! When I started reading and inhaling books in middle school, I also read anything and everything. Whatever caught my fancy. I didn’t plan or create a TBR. In the last few years, most of my reads are through the internet and I am constantly reminding myself that it’s okay not to stay current. I do think I’m doing better at reading what I want to but it’s not like how I used to be. All the best with your rereading goals!
YES, exactly! Here’s to both of us reading books *we* want in 2023!