To re-read or not to re-read

“The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from re-reading the old ones.”

Joseph Joubert

I keep getting notifications online about the best new releases in fiction, and there are millions of them. I’ve had to stop looking – the TBR pile is already far too long. There are so many books released each month, it seems less and less likely that I’ll pick up a classic novel, or something published even 20 or 30 years ago. Of the 23 books I read in 2016, all except two were published within the last 7 years (The Handmaid’s Tale, 1985 and The Man in the High Castle, 1962).

But books that are new (new to you that is, not necessarily newly published), also stop you from re-reading ones previously read. Is it a waste of time to re-read books? I don’t think it is. There are some books that I have read more than once that get better each time. If a book is rich enough in content, it is easy to miss things that first time round.

I haven’t re-read a book for ages. Years, probably. And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve read very many recently that I would pick up again, with the exception of The Handmaid’s Tale, which deserves to be read twice at the very least. Books that are that good don’t appear very often.

Not all books are worthy of a re-read, but some certainly are. How do you know which is which? Somehow, you just know.

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there’s no use in reading it at all.”

Oscar Wilde

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One Comment Add yours

  1. I have only re-read one book in my bookish life so far, it’s The Secret Journey. But there are a lot of books that, for me, is worthy of a re-read.

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