It’s not as if I don’t have anything new to read. My stack of to-be-read books is no longer a stack, it’s more like a large pile that continues to grow at an alarming rate. Something akin to dirty socks, only heavier. If one corner of my bedroom begins to sag into my basement, I’ll have no one to blame but myself.
Yet, still, with limited time to read and many books to choose from, I find myself gravitating towards books that I’ve read before. This past weekend was no exception. I reread Janet Evanovich’s Lean Mean Thirteen and a couple of Suzanne Brockmann’s romantic suspense novels—written back when we were just learning about the world of Navy Seals.
Why do we do this? Is it laziness? Is it an effort to experience the joy of reading without any of the responsibility of paying attention to the fine details of a complex plot? I know that at the end of a long day when I’m reading a few chapters before bed, I find myself more inclined to pick up one of my “favorites”, rather than tackling something new.
Is it that we’re lonely? Are we missing the friends we made or the world we encountered when we first stumbled upon a particular book? As a teenager, I remember reading and rereading the entire series of Trixie Beldon mysteries. Trixie and her best friend Honey and all the rest of the gang had become my friends and every once in a while, I simply needed to revisit all the experiences I’d had with them over the years.
Are we trying to relive the past? Does a particular book remind us of a particular event? Does rereading a book that we read twenty years earlier help us remember what our life was like twenty years ago? Do we suddenly feel twenty years younger? I’m not sure about that but I recently reread Little Women and I could remember very vividly being ten years old, curled up in the big chair in my parent’s living room, with that thick book in my lap.
Or is it as simple as we just fell in love with the writing? My copy of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is looking really worn from the number of times I’ve read it.
What about you? What books do you reread? Why?
I’d love to hear your stories.
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