Kernels of Nonsense, #2: Rereading Books

Kernels of Nonsense (2)Kernel of Nonsense is a weekly feature on my blog in which I ramble about random book-related topics.

I love to read, obviously. I love discovering new worlds and losing myself between the pages of books. There’s something magical about the book experience that you can’t quite get from watching a movie or a theater production. Discovering new favorite books and authors is a real delight, and sharing these new finds is even better. But I think there is something even more special.

Rereading old favorites is a different kind of special.

Rereading a favorite book is like listening to an old song, and all those feelings of nostalgia wash over you and it’s like you’ve traveled back in time. Vanessa Carlton’s Be Not Nobody album has a profound effect on my insides, disarming me completely and making me feel like a kid again. A love-sick, vulnerable, silly kid. And I’m not the same person I was all those years ago, but for a few minutes I remember what it was like and it’s a strange kind of magic.

I get a very similar feeling when I reread favorite books. I’m walking in a world I’ve been to before and I may have already experienced the pain and happiness, but it doesn’t feel old. It feels present and I realize this may not be as articulate as I may have hoped, but it’s the only way I can express how rereading makes me feel.

There’s a degree of intimacy present while rereading that isn’t there when you read a new book. The characters and the story are familiar, but the feelings are the same. In many cases you make new discoveries, seeing something in these books you never noticed before. And usually, these characters become even more important to you, the stories even more your own, and reawakens all those past sensations you first felt when reading for the first time.

I know for many of us Harry Potter is the epitome of bookish nostalgia. Blogging makes it a little difficult to reread all the books I want to and my own personal reading goal on Goodreads limits the amount of books I can reread. But I have a date with Harry Potter. I’m going to spend a month rereading all the books and relive all those wonderful moments when Harry Potter became more than just a book series, it became a part of me.

10 thoughts on “Kernels of Nonsense, #2: Rereading Books

  1. I think that I will not enter the Goodreads Reading Challenge next year, as the focus is on reading new books…and I also want to be able to reread. I have a stack of favorites from my younger years that I want to reread, like GWTW, Rebecca, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

    Beth Gutcheon’s books also beg to be reread…for some reason, her book Domestic Pleasures feels like revisiting home and favorite places.



    1. My Goodreads challenge for next year will definitely be minimized from this year. I’m finding that the more books I read, the more I long to revisit others.


  2. Yes. To everything you said.

    The one thing I have to add is that for a book to enter the realm where rereading it is possible requires something special. Just because I enjoyed the book — or even claimed to totally love it — even if I have the time, I may not always have the inclination. There has to be something about the book that I feel I am missing, that I may have glanced over in my first course through it. With most books I read and love, I feel satisfied that all my questions have been answered. But with a small, precious few, I still have a curiosity about it that drives me to pick it up again.

    Harry Potter, of course! I hope you let everybody know when the month comes that you’ll reread the Harry Potter series because I would love to do the same. I’ve reread all of them, of course, but I haven’t read them in order. That would be a great hop! Or a challenge you could host! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Great post! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Amelia | The Authoress


    1. I’ve been thinking about hosting a Harry Potter read-a-thon. I just have to figure out the perfect dates because I’d like to read the series straight through and there are a few books coming out this fall that I can’t possible put off reading.


  3. I wish I was a re-reader. I have started buying all of my favorite books in paperback with the goal of re-reading them in the near future. I want to stop taking on so many reviews and just read what I want. My problem is all of the new releases I’m trying to keep up with. Re-reading a favorite series sounds like a great idea and I hope to do that soon. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. I love rereading a book! I have several that I reread pretty regularly and then sometimes if I read a book where I didn’t like how an issue or plot element was handled I find myself wanting to go back and reread a book that I think handled whatever the issue is really well. Blogging does throw a wrench in rereading though! It’s hard to justify rereading when I have so many review books to read!


    1. It is very difficult to spend a good amount of time rereading. Pride and Prejudice is my go-to reread. It really is like visiting an old friend and I swear it just keeps getting better and better.


  5. I don’t reread as much now as I did before I was a blogger, because I have so many books I want to read that rereading would just take away time from doing that but I do love it. I love how you can pick up things you missed when you are rereading books and remind yourself why you loved an old favourite so much. Me and my friend have this argument a lot, she never rereads because she knows how the story will end, whereas I love it, I just don’t have time to do it anymore!

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