Thursday, December 27, 2012

Discussion: Re-Reading & Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About It

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Re-reading is something I’ve struggled with ever since I started blogging.  At first, when I barely had any books on my shelf, I had no problem re-reading my favorites whenever I wanted.  Now, when I have hundreds of unread books on my shelf, it’s harder to justify re-reading.

I can’t tell you how many bloggers I have talked to who say that they would love to re-read some books but can’t because they have too many review books.  In the past I’ve been one of those bloggers.  However, recently I’ve realized the error of my ways.  No matter how much I love review books, those can’t be all I read.  If I force myself to read one book when I want to be reading another, I’m not going to enjoy the book.  I’ve done this to myself too many times and it’s times like those when I have to think about giving up blogging.  I mean, if I lose my love of reading, there’s no point to this blog.  I think it’s safe to say that’s true for all bloggers.

When I think about re-reading a book, I ask myself one thing: will reading this book make me happy?  Sometimes when life gets tough and I get cranky I just have to stop what I’m doing and pick up an old favorite of mine.  Going back into the world of Harry Potter or Ella Enchanted or Anna and the French Kiss always picks me right up.  Sometimes it takes more than one re-read (such as my recent re-read of the first 4 Harry Potter books) to get me back in the reading mood and back on track with the blog.  I find that after a good re-read I enjoy reading new books so much more and blogging feels fun to me again.

I put a lot of pressure on myself to get ALL the books read and reviewed.  It’s pretty much impossible but I can’t help but try.  However, now that I’ve finally realized that I can’t do it, I’m much happier.  I still try and review at least 3 books a week and read just as many but I’m also willing to set aside the reviews books and read whatever the heck I want every now and then.  Sometimes those books are re-reads, sometimes they’re not but who cares?  Blogging is a hobby, not a job.  I just have to remind myself of that every now and then.  And you know what, if re-reading a book is going to make you happy, do it!

How do you feel about re-reading?  If you could choose one book to re-read, right now, what would it be?

27 Comments

  1. Rebekah Campbell

    Such a good point! I completely agree with you, sometimes you just need to step back and re-charge your brain with some old favourites :)
    I’d probably go with the Kate Daniel series but then again I always want to re-read that series :P

  2. Stormy

    I’m a happy re-reader. I do like reading new books, so sometimes when I re-read I have this thought about “There’s so many other good books in the universe I haven’t read yet!”, but I just silence that voice quickly. Rereading a good book is like eating comfort food, and often it reminds me just how much I love getting sucked in to a new world.

  3. Kami

    I love re-reading books. I love revisiting characters and their stories. It is like seeing a friend after you haven’t seen them in a while. I’m actually going to try and re-read more this year. Great post!

  4. Alexia561

    Great post! Funny how we put so much pressure on ourselves and risk losing our love of reading. I used to reread my favorite book every year, but haven’t since I started blogging. Need to scale back so I can read what I want, when I want, and stop feeling guilty.

  5. @HarleyBearBooks

    I like to retread books when I have a day off where I can just finish it in one day that way it doesn’t interfere with blogging but I know the guilt your talking about. And it shouldn’t be that way. This is a hobby not a job. If I could reread something it would be hunger games I think

    • @HarleyBearBooks

      Also retreading books at different times in your life is important. Something you might not have seen when you were younger might affect you differently now based on life experiences youve had since last time you read it

  6. Angie F

    I don’t typically reread because I like to read new books. It has nothing to do with having review books to get to. I just don’t like reading something I’ve already read when there’s a new book to discover.

    I did just finish my reread of the Twilight series, and I found that I enjoyed the books much more the second time around. But it’s been years since I first read them, so it’s not a usual thing. There are a few books that I do want to reread in the new year though, and I’m not going to feel guilty about it, since I’ll probably review them this time around anyway.

  7. Jess Day

    My mother and I had this conversation the other day! She was getting on my case about my TBR pile while I was rereading one of the Percy Jackson books. I LOVE rereading and I don’t do it often now that I blog, but every once and a while you need to revisit the old and take a break.

  8. susbogblog

    I have a book blog in danish. It’s mine, i run it for me, but still i get hit by the i-must-read-the-unread-books-first-feelin sometimes. But i always end up reading whatever i feel like at the time, because reading makes me happy in the end – if i read what i like to read that is. So i think of that and pick up Harry Potter or Twilight or The Hobbit for the 136th time if i want to. I read whatever i want to read, end of story.
    And well, if people who read my blog have issues with that, they can just stop reading it. I blog for me, not for everybody else. And now i feel like reading Harry Potter, haha :D

  9. Karen

    I used to re-read my favorites dozens of times but like you that all stopped when I started blogging. There just isn’t time!

    But I stopped thinking like that. Reading and blogging is a hobby and I had to get back to that this year. Re-reading my favorites is part of that. Most are from before I started reviewing which makes them even more special to me. I never broke them down or analyzed them. I just love them!

  10. Alexa

    This year I picked the Twilight series as my re-read and I greatly enjoyed going back to a world I thought I had fallen out of love with. The re-read really helped me fall in love all over again with an old series.

    Since I enjoyed doing that so much this year I have already decided that in 2013 I would re-read all of Harry Potter.

    I also agree with you that review books are fun but sometimes they can take over your life and ruin what you are reading. My big goal of 2013 is to read what I want and not accept so many review books.

    Thanks for the great post. I hope you continue to love reading and blogging. Always remember your blog is yours to do with as you wish and sometimes that includes reading what you want, not what you think you should read from publishers or what people are expecting.

  11. Aneeqah

    Katie, I totally agree with you! Even though I don’t have many review books, I always feel the need to read more books so I can review them. But sometimes, we all just need to go back into the world of a book we’ve already read. I just did this with Under the Never Sky, actually. I just really wanted to be back with those characters, and even though I should have been catching up with the books I really needed to read. And it was SO refreshing. I definitely need to do it more often.

    I’m so glad that you plan on rereading more, Katie! It’s important that you blog because you want to, and read what you really want to. =)

  12. DoingDewey

    Great discussion! I’ve been having a bit of an internal debate about this recently, since I typically re-read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series when new ones come out. In high school, that was maybe 2-3 days a book. Now that I’m busier, it’s more like 2-3 weeks. That’s way too long to not review anything else on my blog and I am not a happy multi-tasker. So I’m not sure what I’ll do about that yet, but I definitely agree with you that enjoyment should always be the prime directive of book selection :)

  13. Emily

    I completely agree with this. Forcing yourself to read something will only make you burned out and unwilling to blog anymore. I personally don’t really like re-reading and almost never do it, but I understand and encourage those who do!

  14. Bookworm1858

    I’m making it a goal of 2013 to incorporate some rereads into my schedule; at the top of the pile so far? The Hunger Games trilogy and Code Name Verity. I want to continue to love reading!

  15. Sunsmile073

    I constantly re-read. If a new book is released in a series, I re-read the entire series before the release to refresh my memory and love of the book. Unfortunately, the more series I become involved with the harder it’s been to keep up with all of the re-reads for realease dates, but I also am an audio book junkie (only with previously read books), so I can re-listen to one series and re-read or start another at the same time.

  16. Critica

    “Blogging is a hobby, not a job.”

    It’s about time someone said that! It’s also about time someone discussed the reread situation book bloggers find ourselves in. There are so many books I want to reread, but there are also so many new books on my shelf I want to read…

    Usually, when I reread, it’s because I’m about to read a sequal in a series I remember absolutely nothing from, or the book is a favorite of mine that I loved the first time. Unfortunately, I don’t reread enough. I get too distracted with all of my new books, not only for the sake of blogging, but also because I really do want to read them. However, I do try to consider if I’m really in the mood for a particular book or not, or if I just want to pick up a novel of a different genere.

  17. Bonnie R

    This post is fantastic, I’ve thought this exact same thing several times (and have also contemplating closing my blog to be able to truly focus on only reading). Blogging IS a hobby and it should always be fun, not full of deadlines and statements like, “I HAVE to read this next” and not because you’re super stoked for it but because your review is due and you have to get it done. Blogging can very easily be a full time job but it’s important to remember it doesn’t have to be. Love this post, someone had to say it! :)

  18. Mare/TommyGirl

    I love to re-read certain books. Since I was eleven years old, I re-read both the outsiders and pride & prejudice once a year and sometimes I just like to read a good series of books over (especially before a new installment)

  19. Candace

    I rarely reread books but there are some I would really like to but like you said I feel I have too many review books to read I just don’t have the time. I do go through periods where I just don’t care so much and so read whatever I want. But even then its usually just books I haven’t read yet and have been wanting to read. I really want to reread The Mists of Avalon but just haven’t yet. I need to start thinking like you though and just not stress it too much.

  20. Bookluvr Mindy

    I’m not a reader that really EVER re-reads books. The only books I’ve EVER re-read was the first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy. And I re-read them almost immediately after I read them the first time. And then I’ve listened to the audio multiple times. I did listen to the Twilight series on audio when I was driving in a road trip. So I think that if I ever re-read books now, I’ll probably listen to the audio.

  21. Ashley Bodette

    I am a HUGE fan of re-reading! In fact, I’ve been thinking about taking a week to re-visit all of my favorite book boyfriends. :) Sometimes, re-reading an old book is like spending time with an old friend. It’s no different than watching our favorite movies over and over again. Besides, if we never wanted to re-read, we’d all stick to borrowing books from the library instead of supporting fantastic authors by buying their books!

  22. Christina Kit.

    You should all reread the books you want! There’s no point in feeling pressured into only getting ahead with review books.

    Why not do a reread challenge?

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