Is Rereading The Same Book A Crime?

by Lexi Cooper, Editor

There are a few books and series that I love to reread. Every few years, I’ll pick them up and fall in love with them again. I love revisiting the characters, world, and magic of those books, and while the experience isn’t the same as reading them for the first time, I still have a lot of fun rereading the same book and pick up on new things I didn’t notice the first time around.

rereading my favorite books

Whenever I tell my mom I’m reading a book I’ve already read, she gets an odd look on her face and says something like, “Haven’t you read that already?” or “You’re reading that again?” While I don’t blame her for saying that, it does make me wonder if I should be rereading the same books over and over.

My mom loves to read, but she doesn’t have the time or energy to read as much as I do. So I can see why reading something she’s already read (especially over and over again as I do with my most beloved books) would seem like a waste of time. If you only have so much time to read and there are millions of books out there, why would you read something again? You’ll never read all the books you want to that way.

Choosing My Next Read

The problem is that I’ll never read all the books I want to regardless. There just isn’t enough time, even if I spent every moment of the rest of my life reading. I’m a mood reader, so when I want to read a book, I go for it. I don’t plan out my “To Be Read” (TBR) months in advance like some people do. If I finish a book, go to my shelf, and feel the urge to read my favorite book for the hundredth time (don’t worry, that’s an exaggeration), I’m going to do it.

rereading the same book

On the other hand, there are people who never or hardly ever read new books. They know what they like, and they are going to read what they like and nothing else. This confuses me a bit. I understand wanting to read what you know you love, but I also know that there are many new loves out there waiting. If you never pick them up, you might be missing out on another favorite book.

Rereading the Same Book Versus Something New

I’m often torn between the urge to reread an old book and the desire to read something new. So how do we who love to read decide? Should we choose to only read new books, books we’ve never read before? Or should we stick with what we already know and love?

I think the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. There are many benefits to rereading a book, including understanding the book and its complexities better. Rereading also helps us become better readers as we learn what details to pay attention to and what things are important. Not to mention, rereading is often just fun. Check out Washington Magazine’s article about rereading the same book.

Rereading the same book

The Downfalls of Rereading the Same Book

However, there is only so much we can gain by rereading. If you’ve read a book ten times, chances are you aren’t going to get a shocking revelation on the eleventh. You already know who the murderer is or when the big plot twist is coming. When you are that familiar with something, it’s likely not going to give you anything new because you are too acquainted with it.

Finding a New Favorite

finding a new favorite read

I think that everyone should reread a moderate amount. If you are the kind of person whose read a book ten times, maybe try something new. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy different. You can pick up a book by the same author or in the same genre. There are plenty of blogs and videos out there with similar recommendations for your favorite novel. If after reading something new, you still want to reread that favorite book, I would urge you to still try something new.

Check out our previous blog that discusses the benefits of reading outside your favorite genre. It may take a while to find your new favorite. But if the urge is too strong, by all means give your favorite a reread.

If you’re in the group of those who never reread books, give it a try. Pick a book that you really enjoyed but want to understand more. Or pick a favorite (though how you know a book is your favorite without having reread it is a mystery to me). You’ll likely love the reread and comprehend the book much more. You’ll see how the author carefully foreshadowed your favorite part or you’ll pick up on the imagery that relates to the theme that was sprinkled throughout the story.

Need some recommendations for a new read instead of a reread? Check out of Summer Reading Recommendations of 2022.

Is Rereading the same book a crime?

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