Reading Once VS. Rereading

Ok, guys, so I have a question for you.  From one reader to another.  It’s something my mom and I argue about all the time and I just wonder where you guys stand on it.

Should books only be read once, or should we reread them?

So here are the arguments:

Read only once

There are too many books in this world to spend time rereading them.  If you want to attempt to keep up on a to-read list that tops a couple hundred (especially if there are a large number of series within that list), you’ve got to keep reading new books to keep on top of it.  Otherwise you’ll find yourself on book 3 in a 12 book series.  Why would you want to reread books when there are so many other stories out there to discover and love?  Instead, you can read what comes next in their series and see how they grow as characters, as people.  It seems like hundreds of new books are coming out every day.  And while you may not want to read all of them, there are always some that you do.  Why reread when there are so many other books to read?


Let’s compare books to movies.  You typically watch movies you love more than once, right?  So why not reread books?  There’s an old TV series from the late ’80s where a character says, “Old stories are rather like old friends.  Every once in a while, you just have to drop in on them, just to see how they’re doing.”  Why shouldn’t we reread books, when we fall in love with the characters and see them overcome their struggles?  And besides, the story may stay the same from read to read, but the reader changes.  Remember those Disney movies you watched as a kid, and then you watch them again as an adult and you find all the adult jokes in them and finally get them?  Sometimes, reading is like that.  So why not reread?

So, if you don’t mind, I’d really like to know how you guys feel about this.  Maybe my side is obvious, and maybe it’s not.  I don’t want to say which side I’m on until I get some results here.  Feel free to leave comments if you want to defend your side!  I’m more than happy to hear either side!  I just want to see how readers compare, especially those of us that read a lot.


3 thoughts on “Reading Once VS. Rereading

  1. Most books I read only once, however, certain authors draw me back time and again to their books, e.g. Arthur Conan Doyle (not just the Sherlock books), Charles Dickens, Terry Pratchett, to name but a few.

    Maybe through time, the newer authors will do the same 🙂

  2. Nice post. Even though I love finding new material to read, I really enjoy rereading. As you said “the reader changes” and you might find themes, a significant scene or a detail you may not have found before. You may be able to relate to the characters in a different way. Also, I always feel nostalgic rereading books that I read five years ago and love to remember where I was then or what I was feeling then which always resurfaces when I read a book

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