On Saturday Jesse blogged about watching movies over and over. It made me think about books I loved to read over and over (and over). With so many new books released each month and so little reading time, I sometimes feel guilty about re-reading books I’ve already read several times. But then I read an article titled “Re-Reading: The Ultimate Guilty Pleasure,” and I thought, yes, exactly!
The article looked at why readers re-read. One of the reasons that really struck home to me was the “security blanket” reason. There are some books I come back to over and over again because they make me feel happy or lift my spirits when I’m in a bad mood. My daughter has a blankie, and when she is naughty and gets in trouble, she often runs to her room for a few minutes of quality time with blankie. It soothes her and helps her to feel ready to face the world again. I’d have to say a lot of my Julie Garwood historicals fall into this category.
Another reason we re-read, which the article calls “heart of the matter” but which I’m calling time warp, is to remember who we were at the time we first read the book. Whenever I pick up one of the Earth’s Children books from Jean Auel, I remember being in college, because that’s when I first read that series. When I re-read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, I remember my first years of teaching and my trip to Scotland and Culloden. It’s fun to go back and “relive” a previous time in our lives but also bring those books into our present reality too.
Finally, I re-read because I want a “refresher.” A lot of non-fiction books fall into this category. I read them for research but have forgotten details over the passage of time and need to refresh my memory. But I like to refresh fiction too. I re-read my Jane Austen books often just because every time I read Sense and Sensibility or Persuasion, I pick up new details I’ve either forgotten or didn’t catch the first time.
Do you ever re-read books? Which are your go-to books?