Kernels of Nonsense: Where Does Rereading Fit into a Blogger’s Life?

Kernels of Nonsense is a discussion feature here on the blog where I like to discuss book and blogging related topics. I know I’ve been terrible at discussion posts this year, but I am attempting to do better. This week I’m discussing rereading and its place in a busy bookworm’s life.

Way back when I first started this discussion post feature, I wrote about how much I loved rereading. I love the idea of visiting old favorites and reliving that magic. If the characters had a strong impact on me, it sometimes feels like I’m visiting old friends and catching up. And there is the added benefit of hindsight when it comes to rereading. Sometimes you find little breadcrumbs the author left behind that you never noticed before or you discover new things about these books that you didn’t see the first time around.

In 2015, I joined the Re-Read Challenge because I really wanted to find time to reread some of my favorite books, and sometimes I find it necessary to reread a novel if I’m picking up the sequel because I literally will forget everything if enough time passes. That year I managed to reread ten books, but since then, I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the number of rereads I do each year. This year for example, I’ve only reread two books and have no immediate plans to pick up any others.

One of the reasons I’ve picked up very little rereads is the sheer amount of books on my TBR. There is literally always a new book in the wings waiting to be picked up. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the number of books I need to get to that I can accidentally send myself into a reading slump. Although I managed to delete 100 books from my TBR as part of my Spring Cleaning goals this year, I still have over 300 books it. And every week I’m adding something because although I’d like to keep this number low, who can really resist a good recommendation from the blogging community?

Rereading feels like a luxury that I don’t always have. There are tons of books on my shelf that I have yet to get to and whose number seems to be increasing every month. My TBR, though not an outrages number, still demands my attention if I have any hope of getting to all these books that have caught my attention. Blogging itself zaps a lot of time and energy out of you, and although I enjoy it immensely, I sometimes feel like I spend more time blogging than I do reading. Then there’s life itself outside of blogging that you need to contend with and at the end of the day, you sometimes need to reach for your laptop for a little Netfix binging instead of the book on your nightstand in order to unwind.

So where does rereading fit in? I’ve considered holding myself accountable with a reread every month, but as a mood reader, I’m not always comfortable making myself pick up a certain kind of book every month. I’m afraid that added pressure will make me enjoy the rereading experience less. And if I’m honest, there is that little voice in the back of my mind telling me that readers are less interested in a review of a book from years ago than a review of a nice, shiny new release.

Where does that leave this blogger? I’m not sure. I still have a special place in my heart for rereads and in some cases, I do find it necessary to pick up a previous book before diving into a sequel. I want to find more time to reread, but I’m just not sure that’s possible as of right now.

Do you reread old favorites? How do you make time to do so? How do you feel about rereading in general? If you had more time to read, would you reread more than you do? When is the last time you reread a book? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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30 thoughts on “Kernels of Nonsense: Where Does Rereading Fit into a Blogger’s Life?

  1. I typically reread my favorites to get out of a book slump–my go-tos to get out of a funk are The Lunar Chronicles, The Jewel (which isn’t that fabulous of a series but it’s quick to get through), or any of my favorite standalone contemporaries.

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  2. I do not re-read. I am all about having a new experience, and there are so many books I want to read. I also do not re-watch movies or TV shows, and I don’t like vacating in the same spot every year. I like to try new restaurants too. So, it’s just part of my personality.

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    • There are so many books out there, it’s hard to justify taking the time to reread. I find it super interesting that you don’t even watch reruns of T.V. shows. That’s probably the number one thing I do while blogging. I just find your entire philosophy utterly fascinating.

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      • I can definitely related to kozbisa on some level. One of the reasons I don’t get into TV series or book series is because I will have to re-read or re-watch to catch up with the newest installment. I quite watching both The Walking Dead and Orange is the New Black because I couldn’t stand the thought of re-visiting them. A book, now, I will re-read if it had a big impact on my life. For instance, I love books that I refer to as the “girls gone wild” genre, which by my definition is girls who become nearly feral. I love these books because I relate to this feeling of having to do it on your own, not trusting too many people, and not fitting in as a girl. Some titles I would include are The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson, The Bogeywoman by Jaimy Gordon, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins, and One Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell.

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  3. I re-read so much this year. I didn’t count but I suppose almost half of the books I read so far were Re-Reads! And you know what? I enjoy reading sooo much at the moment! I pick up whatever I like and don’t really think about it too much. It helps, that my TBR is around 5 most of the times so I won’t feel bad not picking up any of my new books. They are getting read soon anyways.

    I know what you mean though… A couple of years ago when my TBR was still super high, I couldn’t justify re-reading even though I wanted to. And that didn’t help, as it resulted in reading slumps more often than not.

    I don’t function very well with too many unread books at home, that;’s why I keep my TBR small now 🙂

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    • Half of your reads this year? I think that’s amazing! It definitely helps to not have a huge TBR weighing on the back of your mind. My TBR shelf at home is far too large. I used to keep it under a certain number, but I’ve spent so much time checking out books from the library that my own books have to take a back seat.

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  4. I’ve only reread a few books and those are my very favorites. Fortunately or unfortunately sometimes I have reread a book to discover that book no longer holds the mystic I though it carried for me. One book I have reread probably five times, A Town Like Alice, completely turned me off the last time I read it. I had to touch it fondly and say goodbye as I closed it the last time, since I know that was the last time. My daughter wants me to reread Harry Potter series. But what if I don’t like them as much as the first time? I want to hold the precious memory I had as I read these favorite books and I fear that memory will suffer. Does that make sense?

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    • I have seen many people say they don’t like to reread books because they are afraid the books no longer meet their standards, but I think it’s a sign of growth as a reader and shouldn’t you be conscious of your changing tastes? That’s so sad to hear A Town Like Alice no longer appealed to you. Do you think you might try it again later in life? I’ve reread the first few books in the HP series and still loved them. I appreciated them in a different way because of everything the series has meant to me and because I now recognized all the foreshadowing, etc.

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  5. I love rereading! Sometimes it’s even better than starting a new book. Making room for them is definitely a struggle though. For some books I just make it a point to reread them before their sequel comes out (for example, I’ve already begun my TOG series reread in lead up to TOD) and that’s the easiest way for me to get them in. Otherwise it’s nearly impossible to find time to reread, especially now that I’ve slowed down as a reader. I’m trying to find a way to balance them with TBR books but it has yet to pan out.

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    • I completely agree. I think rereading can be an even more rewarding experience that picking up a new book. I reread Truthwitch earlier this year in anticipation for Windwitch. Rereading books in a series because harder though the more books there are. Yeah, it’s hard to find the right balance between rereading and new books.

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  6. I get what you’re saying about re reading. I used to do it all the time, but after I started blogging there just isn’t any time to! But I do want to start again. Fingers crossed, I’ll be able to make time for it.

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  7. I used to re-read books more than I picked up new ones- but I quickly understood the joy in learning about new characters. I’m glad Goodreads allows you to count re-reads as part of the challenge now, but unfortunately that does mean less content for the blog.

    I’m quite torn about the whole topic- but I still enjoy re-reading Harry Potter and Malory Towers (Two very different series I know)!

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  8. As a reasonably new blogger (only a bit over a year) I find justify my rereading by only rereading books I haven’t read since I started my blog in order to review them with a clearer knowledge of the book which is usually enough to stop me from feeling guilty about not reading newer additions to my tbr.

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  9. Oh man, rereading is so hard for me! I always want to, but it’s exactly what you say–I just have too many new books to read! Typically I only reread a book when I’m in a reading slump. I’ll pick up a Sarah Dessen book or something and then I’m back. I always INTEND to reread previous books in a series when a new book comes out, but then I don’t get to it and that makes it so I just don’t read new books in a series. It’s such a struggle!

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    • It’s so hard to find the time to reread! And then I end up signing up for more challenges than I intended to and I have to worry about getting to all those books on top of everything. You’re the second person to say your reread during a slump. I’ve only tried that a couple of times and it really hasn’t worked for me, but maybe I’ll give it another go.

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  10. I’m not re-reading as much at the moment as I have so many new books in my TBR pile, mostly to review, I kind of feel guilty reading a book of my own choosing where I don’t have to review it afterwards… but I love it, too! I buy new books, when I don’t need to as I’ve already got heaps to read sitting on my shelves or virtually, so that’s not really any different. I am tempted by Harry Potter again…

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  11. I’ve only re-read one book in my life and that was Daughter of Smoke and Bone by: Laini Taylor (which I enjoyed 10000 times more when I re-read it). I wish there was more time in a day, but there’s not, so I usually don’t re-read. :/
    I love this discussion!

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    • I love that the one book you reread was so enjoyable. I’ve found several reread to be so much more enjoyable the second time around. Yep, we just need a way to freeze time so we can reread all the books (and the new books while we’re at it). Thank you for commenting!

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  12. I re-read quite a lot. My favorite romances, LOTR, Pride & Prejudice, Fangirl, books in a series I’ve forgotten about and need to refresh my memory before continuing… It’s like coming home to old friends and the feeling is SO comforting I’m never giving it up for the sake of reading more new books, I think.
    Sometimes, I don’t even re-read the entire novel, just the parts that I love.
    And like reading a mixture of old and new releases, so my blog usually has both. I never get to all the new releases on time anyway… 🙂

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  13. Okay, I have three ways that I re-read novels, and I have to say that I do NOT review these re-reads on Grab the Lapels UNLESS I had not reviewed them on GTL before. 1) I read to my spouse before bed every night. Thus, it’s a great chance to pick a re-read for me that he hasn’t read before. 2) I re-read in the tub/bathroom. Again, I’m not reviewing these books, so I don’t need to take notes or highlight, etc. 3) I listen to an audio book version of the novel. My library has Hoopla, so it’s easy to get these audio books without leaving the house. If you take off the pressure of reviewing, you can read a lot. On the side, you can read more studiously a book for KoN. If it’s hard for you to do two books at once, I recommend one paperback and one audio. It helps separate the reads in your brain. I, too, forget everything after I read it.

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  14. The short answer – it doesn’t. Lol. I used to reread so much as a kid, but I literally have 400 unread books. Rereading will likely only happen when I’m retired!! R xx

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