So, I’m curious.
A lot of us reread because we plain adore a particular book and want that familiar and happy-reader-buttons experience.
Some of us when we reread (for whatever reason) can end up finding the book dated or just not as good the second time around. Cue huge amounts of disappointment and frustration.
But have you ever reread a book and found it much, MUCH better than you thought it was?
This happened to me about a week ago and I was somewhat surprised about how good it felt. I don’t recall ever reacting that way towards a reread before. It was very satisfying, if a bit mystifying. I wondered what had changed between then and now. Had I become more open minded?
*snort* As if.
It’s more likely that I was in a better frame of mind. Let’s face it, I’m a moody bitch.
It made me curious, though. Has this ever happened to you?
Hmm. Anything involving a memory test like this is particularly challenging for me. Um, maybe? Or maybe not? There are some favorites, such as those by Charles de Lint, that I suspect I would get something completely different out of on a reread – but I also suspect it would be full on as good as the first. At least as.
There are some books I actively avoid rereading because I’m too scared what may or may not happen were I to read them again. I would be absolutely devastated if something I loved was no where near as good the second time around. And then, of course, there are the books that just get better and better because they always take you on that journey of discovery. I’m talking Sir Terry here. Obviously. 🙂
This was a timely post: http://bookriot.com/2015/03/20/perils-re-reading/
That was an interesting post. Thanks for the link.
I don’t recall ever reaching saturation point when it comes to rereading. I think, though, this has more to do with me being a moody reader. This means when I do reread something it will only be what I’m in the mood for, therefore I’m even less likely to not enjoy or be satisfied by the experience.
You’re welcome. 🙂 I’ve found I reach saturation in my favorite hockey fics – but I will reread those monthly or even more frequently. There are some I’ve probably read 30+ times… Understandably easy to reach saturation like that!
Ummm. Maybe? I read Flowers from the Storm (Laura Kinsale) ages ago and loved it but I was a bit annoyed by Maddy’s character. When I listened to the audio (does that count as a re-read?) I found myself much more in sympathy with Maddy and I still loved the book.
But unless I loved the book in the first place I’m very unlikely to re-read it. So it would have to go from “loved” to “OMGthisisthebestbookever” to be really noticeable for me.
What book did you have that experience with Kris?
It was the first book of Megan Derr’s ‘Kria’ series, ‘Prisoner’. I went back to see if I had said anything on GR about it and I wrote
‘It was a bit stop-startish for me, particularly in the beginning, but this could be just as much to do with my loss of interest in reading in general as much as it was to do with my not quite clicking with the characters… if that makes sense.’
I liked it much better when I reread it recently. I was able to connect with the characters more easily this time. I think this had a lot to do with being more aware of the worldbuilding and the cultural nuances between the two MCs. Not to mention what they each brought to the relationship.
Because of this, when I went on to reread the second in the series I also enjoyed it even more. It was a really satisfying reading experience and certainly made an impression.
Yes this happens to me. Mostly I reread a book – often from my early days of reading mm romance when everything was shiny – and wonder why I gave it 5 stars, but there are time when I reread and find I’ve enjoyed it much better than originally. It is taste I think. I’ve developed a taste for BDSM books over the years that I didn’t enjoy at first, for example, or I’ve become more tolerant of a type of character or understanding of a situation the older I’ve got. That works the other way too so some books have definitely dropped off my favourites pile.
Yes, taste definitely has an integral part in a reader’s experience. There are some books with pairings and themes that I was heartily sick of at one stage and now when I reread them I’m much more forgiving; downright magnanimous even. As you know, Jen, I’m such a patronising bitch.
Oh definitely. I am leery of books I LOVED because what if I don’t love it anymore? *cry* but then I usually go for them anyway. It’s rare I re-read a “meh” book but I recently went through a period where I reread an entire series that I initially thought was ok but on reread I loved the shit out of them. So much I started the series over as soon as I finished it. That’s beyond rare for me. I know tastes change but mostly I think that sometimes your perspective changes as well. I couldn’t remember the details of the books but I had a positive association. Like … I had no idea who the killer was but I was excited to find out and see if I remembered anything, which honestly I never did lol. But that inherent interest in the story probably kept me more engaged and attuned to the details than I was the first read through.
And it’s going to sound entirely strange but it feels like rereads are sheer pleasure. I know all reading should be that and blah blah but you pick up a book for the first time and there’s no guarantee you’ll like it, even if it’s from a favorite author etc. But a re-read there’s that comfort in usually knowing this won’t be horrible so it’s.. just easy and more fun for me anyway.
I totally agree with you re: rereads. There’s a certain comfort and satisfaction about rereading a book, even those you may have thought were meh-ish. There’s a knowing, an expectation without the trepidation and uncertainty. This, for me, makes it a much more pleasurable experience as a whole. Perhaps that’s another way your perspective can be changed when it comes to rereading. Just a more subtle one.