Kelly and I have spent a lot of time discussing our love of re-reading - it's the reason she suggested we team up to host The Re-Read Challenge! I'm already so in love with this challenge. Almost half of the books I've read this year have been re-reads... and I'm remembering why I used to spend so much time re-reading. While I know there are so many unread books I could be reading, there's just something about revisiting a favorite.
But here's the tricky thing about re-reading: every single reading experience is different. Re-reading often cements my love for a book, but sometimes the opposite happens and I won't be as fond as of a book the second time around. On other occasions, re-reading might help me find reasons to love a book I'd originally just liked (or even disliked). Alexa and I were discussing this aspect of re-reading, and it led to an interesting conversation. So, here are the three most common re-reading scenarios I've experienced.
What happens when I re-read?
Scenario #1: I Liked You Better When
Before Into the Still Blue came out, I re-read Under the Never Sky and Through the Ever Night. The first time I read them, I was hooked. I loved the environment, the characters and the conflict. But after re-reading, I found like I didn't enjoy them quite as much. I felt myself growing impatient with the plot, and I realized that I had no desire to read the books again. I'd still recommend the series, but it didn't remain a favorite.
Scenario #2: I Enjoyed You More Than Before
I enjoyed For Darkness Shows the Stars when I first read it two years ago, but I didn't consider it a favorite. But when I re-read it recently, I felt myself falling more in love with it. I wasn't as confused by the world, and I didn't get hung up on the unfamiliar terminology. Without those things slowing me down, I was able to better appreciate the creativity, the writing and the romance. This became a favorite!
Scenario #3: I Love You THIS Much
I absolutely adored Saving Francesca the first time I read it, and re-reading just reminded me of all the reasons I'd loved it the first time around. From Marchetta's incredible writing to the unforgettable characters, I knew this book would have a spot on my shelf forever after I re-read it. I suspect it will just keep getting better and better! In this case, re-reading solidified this book as one of my all-time favorites.
Why do my thoughts change after re-reading?
After we talked about how re-reading impacts our reading experience, Alexa and I realized we each had our own three reasons why our feelings for a book might have changed. So, we decided we'd each share our perspective! Check out Alexa's post for her three reasons, and here are mine:
Reason #1: What Other People Said
I don't avoid reviews before I read a book, but I don't seek them out either. And once I finish a book, I typically try to hold off on reading reviews until I've written my own. After my review is written, however, I'll start looking at what other people have said about the book in question. Sometimes other reviewers will point out flaws that I missed, which become even more obvious after re-reading. Other times, a reviewer's love for a book may help me see it with new eyes. Then, re-reading may solidify that change in my feelings.
Reason #2: What Else I've Read
Now, this can go either way! The more that I read, the more books I have for comparison. For example, a dystopian read can seem less creative the more I read from that genre. I read one popular dystopian novel soon after I started blogging and really enjoyed it. But when I re-read a few years later (and after I'd read a lot more dystopian), I noticed that it really wasn't that creative and relied too heavily on tropes. In other cases, I might realize that a book exemplifies the best aspects of a certain genre the more I read from it.
Reason #3: What I Liked Originally
When I was thinking about the books I've re-read, I noticed a pattern. The reasons that I liked a book originally are often a good prediction of whether or not my feelings for a book would change. If I love the writing or characters, then chances are good that I'll still adore the book the second time around. I may not relate to the characters the same way, but I usually enjoy getting to spend more time with them. But if I just liked the plot? It may not hold up when I re-read, and that's typically when I like a book less.
Have you experienced any of these scenarios?
Why do your feelings for a book change after re-reading?