It’s hard enough to get over a book hangover without having to think about your next reading selection, but eventually, every reader needs to move on. No matter how many new releases we add to our TBR piles, though, there will always be plenty of reasons people like to reread books instead of trying something different.
Whether it’s a movie from your childhood, a TV series you’ve seen a hundred times, or even an old flame you can’t help but rekindling over and over again, there’s nothing like the comfort of returning to something you know well, including books. When it comes to books, rereading a story you know feels safe and familiar, like a warm hug from a loved one after a long day, or the first taste of your mother’s famous casserole dish after a trip away from home. You crave that feeling of safety and reassurance, the guarantee that you know exactly what’s going to happen, good or bad, and that no matter what, nothing is going to change. Stability feels good, intimacy comforting, and familiarity soothing. Forget the anxiety over a new adventure you can’t control, because rereading books is a completely different kind of satisfied feeling.
If you're constantly reaching for your favorite Harry Potter installment or your copy of Pride and Prejudice is falling apart from over use, then you understand these 10 reasons people like to reread books. Some stories never get old.
1. It makes you feel safe and comforted.
Rereading something familiar, revisiting settings you know, stories you enjoy, and characters you love, is like returning home after a long trip. It fills you with a safe and comforting feeling, a sense of familiarity and ease. There's nothing quite like rereading your favorite childhood book to help you relax and reconnect.
2. Rereading has a calming effect.
When you crack open a new book, a million thoughts race through your mind. Is this book going to be good? Will it live up to the hype? Will I be bored/excited/scared/etc. as I read it? Even though reading new books is fun and exciting, it can also cause some anxiety and stress, like all new experiences can. But rereading a book? Settling in with a novel you've read before couldn't be any different. Rereading gives your brain and your heart a little break from the anxiety over the unknown. You know the story, you know the characters, and you know exactly how things will end, making it a simple, easy, and it's stress-free way to read.
3. It's a cure when you're lonely or homesick.
People handle feeling alone or missing home in all different ways, but one of the best ways is to reread a familiar book. When people are traveling, away from their loved ones, or just feeling lonely, reaching for a favorite book to reread can be just as comforting as calling home. Turning the pages of a book you nearly know by heart is like visiting with old friends. When you're in the middle of your favorite part, things don't feel so lonely anymore.
4. It's a brand new experience, now that you're older.
One of the best reasons to reread a book is time and age. You may have loved a book as a teen, but now, rereading it can give you a brand new perspective on not only the story, but yourself. You may pick up on different aspects of the book you missed before, find your favorite character is someone different this time around, or learn that you're feelings about the story have changed entirely. Rereading a book, especially years later, is like reading it for the first time again, because even though the words haven't changed, the person reading them has.
5. The next book in the series is coming out, so you have to reread them all.
Dedicated fans love to reread book series with each expansion. If the fourth book is coming our, perpetual rereaders will go back and look at books 1-3. It helps prepare them for the new story, and reminds them why they love the series to begin with. Speaking of series, have you started A Game of Thrones over again yet, because someday, The Winds of Winter will be here... someday.
6. There's going to be a movie adaptation.
Every year, more and more book-to-movie adaptations are coming out, which means every year, readers finds themselves rereading a book as a way to prepare themselves for the big screen version. Every true book lover knows there's no better way to see a movie based on a book than to reread the it right before hitting the theaters. It makes it that much easier to call out all of the ways the two are different, which is a book nerds favorite pastime (next to reading, of course.)
7. It can help get you out of a reading slump.
It happens to every reader. There are just certain points in your life that you hit a reading slump, a period of time where you just can't get into a new book, no matter how hard you try. It's tragic, true, but there is a solution: rereading a favorite book. There's nothing like diving into a story you know and enjoy to help you fall in love with reading all over again.
8. The author isn't writing anymore.
Whether it was a favorite author who has died or a writer who decided to stop writing, its frustrating when you've exhausted an author's entire library. How are you going to get your fix now? The answer is, of course, by rereading. Just because Jane Austen won't be releasing any new books doesn't mean you can't enjoy her old ones over and over again.
9. You can always find something new in an old story.
No matter how many times you've read your favorite book, no matter how well you can quote passages from it, when you get around to rereading it, you're bound to find something new. Maybe it's foreshadowing you missed the first time around, beautiful imagery you didn't appreciate before, or an innuendo you didn't pick up on earlier — no matter what it is, there will always be something new and exciting you experience with each reread.
10. The series is over.
There's no lower reading-related feeling that getting to the end of your favorite book series. At one time, you have pages and pages of unread material laid out in front of you, but when you get to the last chapter of the last book in the series? It's a devastating blow, which is why so many readers choose to start the whole series over again when they're reached the end. Like those people (read: everyone) who has seen each season of Friends about a million times, rereading something you love never, ever gets old.
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