Rereading: My TBR’s Worst Nightmare?

I know how important, fun, and interesting it is to reread a book. I truly do. I used to reread Harry Potter all the time, always finding new little details or seeing things differently after a while. It showed how I’d grown or how my perspective had changed. But… I don’t feel like I can do it anymore.

The last time I reread a novel was last year and it was for a challenge I participated in. I reread a book from childhood, Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne, and it was fascinating to compare how differently I saw the whole story and the characters. Other than that and a few poetry collections I’ve reread this year, I just don’t feel up to it any longer. But, before you say how bad I am for not giving it a chance, let me explain my reasons!


1. My TBR’s worst nightmare

My TBR keeps getting longer and longer, so I feel like it will never diminish if I reread a book and that freaks me out. If I reread, I’m choosing a story I already know over ones that I haven’t read yet. That makes me think of all the books and stories I’m missing out on and I get nervous. Too many books, too little time!

2. My brain is saying “no”

I already read it, so there’s no surprise element. Because of that, I can’t concentrate enough to finish the book and my brain keeps telling me to do or read something else. I can reread certain passages or look for a part that I liked, but the whole book? I can’t do it! I mean, if there’s a plot twist, I already know it so maybe I can try to see what clues the author gave. But other than that, I don’t see how I’d focus on it and be able to finish it.

3. Tarnish a good memory

Imagine raving about a book constantly and, after years go by, you decide it’s time to reread it. Imagine now that you don’t like that book anymore. The horror! Some books I know I might not like the same as when I first read them, and honestly, I prefer to keep the good memory than to make sure.


Despite these three reasons, I’ve felt compelled to read a few books again. I blame (or thank, depending on where you stand) the online book community. I keep seeing people rereading favorite books and enjoying them as if it were the first time they read it. I admit it, I get jealous. I wish I could do it!

The main reason I don’t reread is because I’m afraid of not liking the book any longer, but I am well aware that the benefits of rereading definitely outnumber my reasons against it. What do you think?

Do you reread often or are you afraid of it like me? Tell me which are your favorite books to reread!

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50 thoughts on “Rereading: My TBR’s Worst Nightmare?

  1. Sometimes I feel the same just like you. I’m afraid for so many reasons. But the most frustrating reason is time. Time is running at a blistering pace and we usually don’t have time to manage everything. It’s crazy.
    I haven’t reread a lot of books, just a couple (but I really want to..), but by far my favorite reread is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It’s a short books and it’s so easy to read. And this book stole my heart for forever. I’ll never get tired of it.
    by the way, amazing post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It’s scary how time flies. The Little Prince is definitely a classic for a reason. I read it a couple of times when I was a kid, then a few years back I gave it another go and it was very different for me. Short books are okay to reread, but the bigger ones frighten me!
      Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been thinking about that lately because the older I get the less rereading I tend to do. One of my reasons is similar to yours in that I’m craving something new, a new author or some refreshing stories and ideas. That being said, I’m thinking of rereading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings because I haven’t read those since I was a teenager. I think they’ll stand the test of time, though.

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    1. Same thing happened to me. I reread a lot as a kid. I didn’t mind going to the same books over and over, but as I grew up, I wanted to expand my reading and get new stories, new authors.
      I think that some books stand the test of time for nostalgia’s sake, so I’m sure you’ll like Tolkien’s tales again for sure 😉

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  3. I have read Tolkien many times, and Neal Stevenspns ‘Baroque Cycle’ {A Trilogy} a couple of times. i will probably read it again sometime. Other than that, no, not so much of a re-reader.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Esther!
        ‘Quicksilver’, ‘The Confusion’, and ‘The System of the World’, {The Baroque Cycle} are as complex they are fun! I am a huge fan of Neal Stevenson, {except ‘Reamde’} and recomend him whole-heartedly!
        Happy Reading!
        ~Icky. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely agree with this. I’m not really one to re read books, mainly because I have so many books that I want to read that I haven’t yet. But maybe one day, when my TBR pile isn’t so sky high, I’ll do some re reads. But then again, will my TBR pile ever be low enough for that? *sigh*

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  5. I used to be more of a re-reader than I am now, but I still do it pretty frequently. Diana Wynne Jones really repays reading many times, and some of my favorite non-fiction needs re-reading. I’m currently re-reading two things! I forget things easily….

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  6. Great post Esther! I have waaaaay too many books on my TBR to reread all the ones I’d like to and I also get a little worried that I may not like the book anymore, which would be awful! There’s one Trilogy though that I actually reread quite often and just can’t get enough of, the Penryn and the End of Days Trilogy, I’ve reread all three books around three times in the last year probably? I love them more every time I read them and even though there’s no surprise element, as I’m reading I remember my favourite parts in the books and can’t wait until I reach them!

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  7. I love rereading a favorite novel every once in a while. Especially if it had a big impact on my life. It’s really cool to notice so many hints in the writing to how the ending happened and so many connections to themes I didn’t make the first time that it makes rereading a whole different kind of experience.

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      1. Gosh that’s such a difficult question for me, but I’d have to choose The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and any Ellen Hopkins books I’ve read like Crank and Impulse. They all have such an important significance in my life, but sometimes I also like to reread a good fun read because I want to relax to a book I know made me feel good inside. For example, Storm & Silence by Robert Their or To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Great choices! I can see how The Giver might be a totally different experience as a reread. I’m sure I missed a lot of details the first time around. I never finished reading The Book Thief, but everyone keeps saying how good it is, so I must give it another go soon!

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  8. I understand these concerns, especially the TBR one. I like the concept of rereading books, but it’s hard when there are so many new books to check out! I tend to just re-read books I’ve already re-read lots, because I know they’re tried and true 😛

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  9. I like a reread every once in a while, but usually it’s when I’m craving a certain type of story and NOTHING on my TBR seems to fit the bill (even though it basically fills my room and is starting to leak out into the hall). But I also read multiple books at the same time, so I’m still reading new stuff alongside it so it’s not quite as scary because of that…. does that even make sense? lol.

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  10. I tend to worry about re-reading encase I don’t feel the same but next year I’m taking a dive and I’m going to try and re-read 12 books (one per month) because I think it’s nice because you pick up on little things you miss the first time around.

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  11. I like to reread but not all the time. I have a habit of picking up Harry Potter and going right to my favourite chapter and reading it. It makes me feel good and I have completely reread all 7 books at least 5 times. But it is true I no longer do that. I think it’s probably because I’ve started to blog. After I started blogging, I feel the weight of my TBR even more. But since I read so many great books before I joined GR or started blogging I’ve planned to reread those books so I can review them. I actually came up with a plan for 2017. Every month I’ll reread a maximum of two books. when I’m feeling overwhelmed due to reading too many books and having so many lots and twists crammed in my head, I’ll reread something so that It’ll calm my mind a bit. I know what to expect so I won’t feel too overwhelmed 🙂

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    1. That sounds like a nice plan! Ashley, from Inside My Minds is hosting a yearly challenge that’s something like that! The rules are to reread 1 book each month and then on December there’s a Harry Potter rereadathon. So, many people will be doing something like you described 🙂 Maybe you can join them at her blog and share the experience with the other bloggers.

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  12. Ahh, brilliant post Esther. I feel the exact same way. There is a lot of books I’d love to reread, but I just keep thinking about how insane my TBR is. I used to reread Harry Potter ALL THE TIME back in the day, but haven’t in years and I really want to but my brain is like “you have these new releases and review copies and backlist”. I also don’t want to ruin any good memories I have with a book. I’m definitely going to try and reread Harry Potter next year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lauren! I’m glad you relate to this! I’ve also been wanting to reread Harry Potter to see how much of it feels differently for me, but it’s obviously scary because these are the books that got me into reading and I know there are going to be things I’m going to dislike or view in a different light. Despite this, I know the series will always have a place in my heart. The only difference is that now I’ll view it more critically. Maybe I’ll join you next year and reread it, too 😀

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  13. Re-reading? What is re-reading?
    It’s been… what, years since I last re-read a book?

    I’m definitely a scaredy-cat on this matter as well ‘^^
    I’m too scared to re-reading. And although I want to do it sometimes, I back down and end up not doing it.

    I also find myself completely in agreement with all your reasons.
    I never tried to analyze why I’m so afraid of re-reading, but now I feel like you’ve done it for me (:

    Hey, by the way!
    It’s been a while.
    I kind of went MIA this month. Wasn’t feeling all that well ‘^^

    I just had to jump back in and write (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you relate, Zoey! I also plan to reread and then back down at the last minute haha. I guess joining readathons or doing challenges might help to actually make me reread, but I have yet to try.
      Yes, I guessed you weren’t feeling the best, so I gave you some space. I’m happy to hear from you again, though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I barely reread a book (especially the ones with 82625738383 pages) because life’s too short to read the same plot twice (although as we grew up our point of view altered, but still…). However, these books are exception: Flowers for Algernon & And Then There Were None.

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    1. Your comment got on my spam folder for some reason and thankfully I caught it just now.
      Haha, long books feel like a big commitment for re-reads, but sometimes they are the ones we enjoy to read time and time again because they hold more details than shorter books, so we want to rediscover them, you know?
      I have Flowers for Algernon on my TBR and it sounds so interesting. I read And Then There Were None a long time ago and, although I remember the ending, I can’t remember the rest of the book that well and would like to re-read it.

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