General Question

BronxLens's avatar

Why do some people read a book they have read already?

Asked by BronxLens (1539points) August 22nd, 2008

With so much material out there, why take the time to read something again, and on some instances, over and over again?

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31 Answers

rowenaz's avatar

Cause you always miss something and you can appreciate it more deeply.

gailcalled's avatar

Because the writer has written a complicated and complex text. Take Hamlet, for example.

gailcalled's avatar

There is also the issue of the maturity of the reader.. Many books I had to read for school I really didn’t understand. Now, with most of life’s experiences behind me, I have a very different take on issues.

augustlan's avatar

Because I am in love with the language the writer used…an elegant turn of phrase can be read and enjoyed over and over again. I read To Kill a Mockingbird at least once a year, and never tire of it.

shrubbery's avatar

I find that there are good books that I chew through pretty quickly cause that’s just how I read, then there are great books that I do like to savour and read slowly to drag it out for as long as possible, and then there are the awesome books that I can’t help racing through because it’s too good to put down. Those books I go back and read again later a bit slower, so as to pick up anything I missed the first time I raced through. I also re-read my favourite books because it gives me comfort- books are my escape, and it’s always comforting to escape to something I know I will like, and it’s nice to go and visit characters you’ve connected with or wish they were real so you could be friends with them :P If you enjoy something then why not experience it again and again if you can?

tinyfaery's avatar

To visit an old friend. To recapture (if possible) the feeling the book initially evoked. To gain new insight. To keep the memory fresh, so when discussing the book, the details are easily accessible.

Bri_L's avatar

@ Tinyfaery nailed it for me.

cyndyh's avatar

Sometimes I’ll do this once just to enjoy and then again to pick apart how the author did what he or she did.

stevenb's avatar

@tinyfaery, you said exactly what I was thinking! I love to visit with my old friends in books I have read before. Some authors write in ways that make my imagination see such amazing things that I just want to see the sights again, so to speak.

tabbycat's avatar

I can think of nothing more enjoyable than rereading a book that I love. It’s a great luxury to savor every familiar, perfect word. Unfortunately, I don’t do that often enough because there are so many books I haven’t read that I want to read.

wilhel1812's avatar

I have no idea, but i kinda want to re-experience the thing. i think i’ve read the harry potter books like 10 times now.

nephrons's avatar

First they like the book, second they might want to memorize some passages in the book, last, they simply would like to know if their comprehension/analysis of the book content remains the same after how many re reading..

Lightlyseared's avatar

The same reason people watch movies or TV programs over and over and over.

BarbieM's avatar

I always re-read my favorites. The ones I want to only read once, I pass on to my friends, but m favorites go on the shelf because I know I’m going to revisit them at some point.

babygalll's avatar

They might miss something the first time around.

It gets better every time you read it…

Mitsu_Neko's avatar

I frequently reread books. I do it because not only am I a) out of new books to read and b) I can get sucked right backinto the story like it was the first time all over again.

BronxLens's avatar

Thank you all for your insightful answers. You Flutheroos succeeded once again in showing me a new perspective =)

redsgirl4eva's avatar

I do this with books I love. Everytime I reread them I love them and find something I did not get before.

Tantigirl's avatar

That is why I reread mine too redsgirl4eva. Another reason why I read mine again is if they are part of a series. Sometimes it can be a year or two until the next book in a series is published, and I’ve read so many other books inbetween, so when it comes close to the time when I know the next one is coming out, I’ll reread the ones before it so that I can refresh my memory as to who is who, and what storyline fits where.

Larssenabdo's avatar

To revisit people and places I love. To pick up another nuance. To further appreciate the author’s gift. For example, Annie Proulx gets more amazing every time I re-read something of hers.

nina's avatar

Reading a good book is a wonderful experience. One wants to recreate it.

mee_ouch's avatar

The familiarity is akin to an old friend.

In times of need and comfort, knocking on the door of an old and dear friend will help to alleviate the turmoil…...even for a short while.

..plain and simple….....

tedibear's avatar

The first couple of times that I re-read a book, I pick up details that I missed the first time. Then if I love the book, I will continue to re-read it for comfort and familiarity. The story must be good, the characters must be engaging, and generally, I think of them as friends. Also, I can’t read a new book when trying to fall asleep. (And I must read to be able to fall asleep.) Typically, I’m too interested in the new book and won’t sleep. Then it’s 3AM and I end up with 3 hours of sleep which is just ugly!

mee_ouch's avatar

...then I’ll bet that you keep ‘self-talking’.
Your mind is now running amock with the can’ts, won’ts, maybes and ”%&$(X……why the f*ck can’t I GET to sleep?”

And so begins the time watch…....
“O.k.”, as you rationalize to yourself…..
“I can get by on three hours of sleep. I’ve done it before.”
One hour later…..
“Alright, two hours sleep….no biggie…”
Half an hour until the alarm….
Meanwhile, you’ve been staring at those damn orange digital numbers every ten bloody minutes…..

And so it goes.
We read to explore and learn.
Whomever suggested that reading at bedtime is an antidote for sleep… NOT reading the same material that you and I are.

Happy dreams tedi!

tedibear's avatar

LOL!!!! mee ouch, are you hanging out in my bedroom??? You completely pegged what happens!

mee_ouch's avatar

“I’m that elusive fly on your wall”. LOL!!!

Knotmyday's avatar

I re-read books because I love them.

tedibear's avatar

@mee ouch – then I had better tell the cat to back off, huh? She wouldn’t know what to do with a mouse, but any insect is not safe in our house.

@Knotmyday – you gave the perfect answer!

cyndyh's avatar

I will say that I spend the vast majority of my reading time on material that’s new to me, though. I like to reread a good book for all sorts of reasons mentioned above, but I want the new experience more.

mee_ouch's avatar

tedi…..then I had best utilize my amazing shapeshifting superpower to morph into something less appetizing to kitty!

Addicted2Guard's avatar

Besides all the other reasons previously stated, I sometimes re-read books because it’s late at night and I feel like reading; however, I sometimes find myself without any books I haven’t read.

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