Posted July 14, 2010 by Holly in Discussions, Reviews | 14 Comments

I’m a huge re-reader. Sometimes I re-read books cover to cover, sometimes I just pick out my favorite passages and read those again and again. I even used to re-read books I didn’t particularly care for. I’ve found many times that a book I didn’t like the first time improves greatly upon a second read. That’s why my personal library is so large. I don’t get rid of books, even the ones I don’t like, because I know I’ll re-read them someday.

Or I didn’t. Lately I’ve noticed that I don’t do as much re-reading as I used to. Oh sure, I still re-read A LOT, I just don’t re-read a lot of variety. I tend to stick to my long standing favorites. As a result, I’ve managed to – finally – cull down my ginormous personal library to a slightly less ginormous degree. Even so, I’d say I re-read at least 5 books a month – whether from cover to cover or just skimming.

I was thinking the other day about what makes a book re-readable. I’m not sure I can honestly say. My two most re-read books of 2009 were Fall Into Me by Linda Winfree (I have So much <3 for Troy Lee) and Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James. The dialogue in both grabs me, but so does the personalities of the main characters. I love how sassy and smart Taylor is in JTSMA, and how sweet and tender Troy Lee is in FIM.

So far this year, my most re-read novels are Lord of Scoundrels and Pride and Prejudice. That isn’t to say there haven’t been some great books published this year..I’m just stuck on those two books.

Are you a re-reader? About how many books do you re-read a month? Do you re-read from cover to cover, or do you just skim your favorite parts? What are your most re-read novels so far this year?

I asked on Twitter awhile back about whether people skimmed during re-reads, or read cover to cover. The majority seemed to just skim, or not re-read at all. I was surprised, because I thought everyone re-read as much as I do.

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14 responses to “Re-Reading

  1. Luci

    I amn’t a re-reader. I have re-read a few books along the way – like the first five Julia Quinns and some of Julie Garwood’s medievals when i was in a terrible slump. But that’s it. Each time i think i might enjoy a re-read i find myself putting the book back after one chapter.

    These days after i finish a book i generally just start another one immediately. It has happened in two cases a few years ago though where i kept picking a book up to re-read and re-read the same parts. The books were Jennifer Donnelly’s The Tea Rose – the part where Fiona and Joe are reunited; and Paullina Simons’ The Girls in Times Square – i kept revisiting various bits of that book – just loved it. The fact that I remember the names of the main characters just goes to show how much i loved these books.

  2. I’m a big re-reader–I’m like you, some I’ll read cover to cover, some I’ll pick out favorite passages (which usually ends up with me reading the whole book from there on in). Lately I’ve been re-reading Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series. Can’t get enough of it. As for how many I re-read a month, usually at least 2 to 4.

  3. First time commenter here. Your post really strikes a chord.

    Re-reading is a necessity for me and I do it from cover to cover. If I don’t deem a book worthy of re-reading, it goes into a storage box or is given away. (Even so, my bookshelves are overflowing into my closets…)

    One of the biggest surprises regarding reading habits was when a favourite author said she never, ever re-reads. I was taken aback. If you love a book, how can you not revisit it? I understand about time constraint and the endless supply of new books, but never? It had never occured to me that people like this existed. Perhaps their memory is a lot better than mine!

    The novel I’ve kept nearest at hand this year is probably The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis. It is the first in Davis’s Falco series (set in ancient Rome) and reads more like a romance than a mystery after the first half. It is a comfort read that combines my two favourite genres.

    And now that you mention a Loretta Chase, I think I need to re-read Mr. Impossible.

  4. I re-read alot but rarely cover-to-cover. I look for specific scenes that I love. I think I spend about 2-3 hours a week just re-reading.

  5. I really like to re-read those books that I just love. I’m like you in the fact that sometimes it’s cover to cover and sometimes it’s just parts and pieces.

    My favs:
    The first 3 Black Dagger Brotherhood books – love Wrath, Rhage and Z!
    Winterbourne by Susan Carroll
    Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
    Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston
    Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger.

    Ok, now I want to go re-read them all!

  6. goddessani

    I’m a huge re-reader. I probably reread at least one book per week. I start out just reading snippets but that leads me to another place in the book and, well, I eventually just start at the beginning and work my way through.

    Favourite re-reads include:

    Rising Tides – Nora Roberts

    Northern Lights – Nora Roberts (I’m not sure if this one counts because I have it on audio but I’ve listened to it at least 3 times a year since it was released in 03-04?)

    Night Rhythms – Elda Minger

    Anyone but You – Jennifer Crusie

    Anything for Love – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (I know this just came out in 09, but I’ve read it 4 times already!)

    Love Song for a Raven – Elizabeth Lowell

    The Virgin River Series – Robyn Carr (especially the first three)

    The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series – JR Ward

  7. I re-read a LOT. I’ll usually re-read a series prior to the next books release – at least for my favorite series. Right now I’m re-reading (for the 2nd time in a row) the Psy/Changeling books.

    I sometimes pick up a book to re-read a favorite scene, but then I usually end up re-reading from that point forward.

    I have an entire bookshelf full of favorites that end up getting re-read fairly frequently. I have been trying this year to read more ‘new’ (to me) books than re-reads….that TBR pile’s getting a bit big.

  8. Amy Kathryn

    I am definitely a re-reader. The reasons vary…a new book in a series that I have to go back to the beginning, a reading slump, something reminds me of a favorite scene and I have to go read it again.

    Early Christine Feehan, Julie Garwood, early Linda Howard, the Cynster boys, I have 2 bookshelves of favorites.

  9. Lori

    I’m a big re-reader. Sometimes I skim, and sometimes I do a full re-read.

    I think I reread Worth Any Price and England’s Perfect Hero at least once a year (sometimes more). My most reread books of all time, interestingly, are 3 Harlequins (Oh, how I loved the first 3 Men-to-Do books):
    A Dash of Temptation – Jo Leigh (prob my most reread ever)
    The Sweetest Taboo – Alison Kent
    Behind Enemy Lines – Cindy Dees

  10. i used to re-read quite a lot but nowadays there’s just no time. i have a huge tbr i have to get through. once in a while though, i do pick up an old favorite and re-read my favorite parts.

  11. I find I can hardly get the new books I want to read in let alone re-read something. Although sometimes I feel like re-reading something.

    Someone else was just having this convo and it occurred to me I could just re-read favorite parts instead of cover to cover…might try that.

  12. Lorraine

    There’s many books that I read the first time and think, hm, I should have loved that, but for some reason I didn’t. Then I’ll reread it and and it will spark the love the second time around.

    I generally love to reread, but my TBR is overflowing, so these days I move on to a new book, just to put a dent in the ever-growing TBR.

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