Are you a re-reader?
I rarely am. I definitely have my favourite books – in this age of digital publishing if a hard copy book makes it to my limited bookshelf space, then it’s a keeper.
But I rarely pick up a book and read it again. Recently I was prompted to think about why this is the case.
I was chatting to a girlfriend and fellow book lover and she mentioned that a friend of hers is re-reading The Fifty Shades series. My jaw dropped. Yes, I’ve read them. Would I want to re-read them? Hardly.
So many books, so little time
For me it’s a case of there are so many books to be read, and so little time in which to do so. To pick up a book I’ve already read feels like a waste of time. It feels vaguely disrespectful to all the books out there just waiting to be read.
After all, if I pick up an old book and read it again, then I know exactly what’s going to happen second time around. All the shock value and twists and turns are expected.
In saying that, I realised there are a few good books that I would gladly pick up and read again (time permitting). But why?
Like a pair of well worn, comfortable slippers
In examining my motivations for wanting to read a book again, I came up with the following reasons for doing so:
- The characters are just that good: they are few and far between, but occasionally we simply fall in love with characters on the page. We love getting to know them, all their good and bad qualities and feel like they are an old friend. We might be able to relate to them or admire them. Whatever it is, just like in real life, our lives feel that much richer for having known them. I guess some people out there just feel that strongly about Mr Grey 🙂
- Reliving moments: sometimes certain books have key moments that are so brilliant we want to relive them. Or maybe we want to re-read it so we fully appreciate the plot or a specific event better the second time around. Perhaps that steamy scene where the two main characters are falling for each other is worth reliving.
- Comfort: with each book a reader takes a risk. They risk their time and head space on an unknown story and/or author for what they are hoping in return will be an entertaining read. Occasionally, as readers, we are not in the mood to take risks. Sometimes we just want to curl up and enjoy a good book and an old favourite can always deliver on this.
A genre I have no desire to write, but love reading intensely, is that of historical romance. My picks are:
- Julia Quinn. Her recent title, On a Night Like This, had me devouring it in less than 24 hours. Romantic, but oh so funny. Entertainment at its best.
- Deanna Raybourn. Her titles have a mystery component. As a romantic suspense girl from way back, this is like heaven to me. Historical Romance meets Sherlock Holmes. Her first book, Silent in the Grave, was a winner and I intend to go back and re-quaint myself with Mr Nicholas Brisbane at his most mysterious…
- Nora Roberts. Her straight romance titles I can take or leave, but I do love a good romantic suspense novel from this icon. The Search is my favourite by far and it had to do with the fantastic characters and the impressive suspense plot – her best to date in my opinion.
Now if I could just find the time to re-read them again…
So how about you? Are you a re-reader? And if so, what books do you turn to for comfort or a guaranteed good read?