Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Guest Post: Why Wren Doesn't Reread

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my experiences rereading Harry Potter. I ADORE rereading for the variety of reasons I outlined in that post. Well, Wren  staunchly insists on not rereading. "Why?" I wondered, and invited Wren over to write about it. Enjoy!

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I refuse to re-read. It's like the fact I hate book romances with a fiery passion. I also don't like eating pizza with my hands. And I take apart my sandwiches. I'm a queer person. Queer being weird. What were you thinking? Geez.
People keep squealing over books they've re-read, and I'm thinking, 'Never gonna re-read.' Even if I forget a book entirely and am reading the sequel. (Which I address in this post.)

And now...onto the main event. This is why I don't re-read.

1) I could be reading different books.
To me, re-reading slows my progress with reading. I could be reading that backlist book or this new release. I have better things to do than drudge up old memories about a book I've already read. It won't improve my looming TBR. So what's the point? Sure, you could relive your experience, but what if that changes? (Which is the next question!)

2) What if I can't recreate my first feelings?
This sorta relates to Reason 4. But it's a little different.
If I love a book, I'll be excited. I'll want to share it with people. I might love the characters or setting. If I re-read it, especially after reading negative reviews, I will think more negatively about it. If I just don't re-read, I won't have this threat.
And, yes, that is a threat.

3) If I'm reading the new book in the series and I forgot everything that had happened in earlier books.
This happened a while ago. Which book exactly? I completely forget. Forgetting happens to me sometimes.
I walked into the book 'blind' as I put it. Completely and utterly clueless.
But it was great to be reintroduced to characters and the setting and plot. It was like reading the series all over again. But not.

4) What if I discover things that I actually end up hating? I don't want to ruin my old opinions.
If I adored a book and re-read it, I'd be worried about ruining my mental image of it. If I like something, I hold it up on a pedestal. I'd rather not tarnish that image of the book. I don't want to discover something I missed on my first go.

And this explains why I don't own many books. If I did, they would just collect dust on my shelf and never do anything. My bookshelf is reserved for those books I adore.

If you're wondering, I've only re-read maybe once or twice. And that's mostly when I'm out of library books or something and have only books I've read before to read. I've probably re-read 'The Wanderer' many times. Mostly because I need something to read.

Hi, I'm Wren. I'm this probably-insane book blogger. I love dessert and anime and manga. I adore jackets, I want to travel the world, and I do so through books. It's nice to meet you, dude.Displaying IMG-20150808-WA0004_1439035652527.jpg Visit me at
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  1. This is why I'm wary of reading books I loved as a kid - I'm scared my opinion now (since I'm a lot more critical of the books I read) will change. That said, I do a lot of rereading - mostly Harry Potter, if I'm honest lol :)

    1. Me too. I don't want things to change. I don't want my favorite book to become my least favorite. I'm very wary of this. I honestly don't even rewatch shows or anything. I'm a one time person really.

  2. I am a huge re reader, mostly when I have nothing else to read. interesting to hear from the prospective of someone who isn't.

    1. I used to reread passages when I was in between books. Not that I did it often. I always have a new book to read. Whether I like it or not.

  3. I love this post! I agree with you - though I HAVE reread some of my favorite books. I usually find, however, that I enjoy the book more the first time through. At the same time, I always end up picking little things up that I never noticed before when I reread, like cool symbolism or connections. I am a big fan of symbolism! I also agree with previous comments - I am also wary of rereading my favorite childhood books as I'm afraid that now that I look at books more critically I won't enjoy them so much!
    Anyways! I should get back to my homework. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it.

  4. Hmmm. I could again pick up this discussion, because I oh-so-much don't understand, what can drive anybody into not even rereading their favorite books (I mean, hullo? Favorite books? Those you reread twice and thrice and know by heart? What's up, people?)
    Sooo... I see your point. I experienced that too, when I read "Septimus Heap -Magyk" by Angie Sage and when I had been eleven it was wow and cool and everything. I was totally in joy about the ending, because I had guessed right, what would happen. When I read it a year later it was really sobering to realize that I simply wasn't as excited about it anymore. It didn't have the same magical effect as the first time and it wasn't even sad or something, it was just, well, I already mentioned, sobering. I think it isn't bad if you get more critical about things. I mean, it's a bit like that magic of Christmas, isn't it? Only the children who don't really understand where they're presents come from experience that magic and it's the same with books - only if you take on a book totally as a virgin it works on you with all it's surprises. But, surprises and shocks, is this ALL we ever want to see? I think, of course it's allowed to want magic for yourself if you're so excited about it. But for me this wears off after a time. I also love to read new books. But I don't expect or wish every new book to be the perfect favorite new book. I'm interested in reading outside of my comfort zone, I try out classics, read stuff else than Fantasy and Science Fiction. And I reread books that I know aren't the same again when you grow up. But, they still hold value. I don't think you have to be afraid of reading old books again. Because there are a lot of books who start having a magic after the first read. It will destroy you when it comes to certain books. Some books clearly aren't written for rereading. But maybe it can be okay too, to accept that these books aren't so good as you lifted them up in your imagination about them. Really. Because on the other hand there will be a lot of books which you will enjoy so much more! Details, connections you missed at the first time. I don't believe that there are books without a single flaw, so why should we avoid seeing them and pretend they're not there?
    Why is it so scary to lose previous opinions? You change your mind and don't love that book the same way, but maybe you can love it, even though you see the mistakes? Do you even know if your favorite books are as good as you believe?
    I mean, you also have to accept that Santa Claus and Fairies don't exist. I think it's possible to accept that perfect books don't exist.
    I guess that you must have reread books a couple of times yet as you seem to have experienced this, I don't get it to my mind, how one can never reread. Sorry. But I can't understand why it should be bad to reread. I do nasty things with books by pecking them to pieces. Because I believe that the best books can stand everything you do to them. Because, that's why they're good books.
    Am I cruel with books? Probably. I don't want to offend you're favorite books, but that's how I think about wanting a book to be good so much that you avoid it.
    Though, interesting, because I don't remember that I ever heard of anyone who doesn't like rereading.


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