A Good Book is Like an Old Friend

A few months ago I was reading a blog that posed the question of what books are worth re-reading, and mentions a debate as to whether or not re-reading is a waste of time. With so many great new books being released on a weekly basis, why go back to something you already read? As someone with a neverending “To Read” booklist, I have to argue that it is never a waste of time to re-read a good book.

I was reminded of this blog as I began re-reading Turn Coat (the most recent novel of the Dresden Files) last night. Opening those pages and enjoying Dresden’s wit and snark for a second time was like greeting an old friend whom I haven’t seen in nearly a year. There are 11 books in this series and I have read each of them twice (at least, I will have once I finish Turn Coat again). I love these novels and Harry Dresden is one of my favorite fictional characters, so I would never get tired of reading about him.

The Dresden Files aren’t the only books I love to re-read. When I was in school I would re-read Harry Potter every winter break and every time a new book came out. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read the first four books of that series. I also re-read Pride and Prejudice at least once a year. I love delving into those familiar pages and experiencing the lives of Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. There are many other books I’ve read multiple times, Watership Down, The Odyssey all of Maria V. Snyder’s books. The list is endless. Looking over last year’s reading list alone I re-read 12 novels, some of them I read twice just in last year.

Even as a child I was a fan of re-reading my books. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve read The Doll in the Garden (which was my favorite book when I was young) or the first 16 novels of the Trixie Beldon series, which my mother passed on to me.

There is just something comforting and relaxing about reading a novel you have already read and enjoyed. You already know how it will turn out, so you can just relax and enjoy the ride. You can skim the less interesting parts and focus on your favorite parts, or learn things you may not have noticed the first time around (every time I read a Harry Potter book I notice something I haven’t noticed before).

Never let anyone tell you re-reading a book is a waste of time. It is true that there are many new and interesting books out there waiting to be read, but re-reading books is an enjoyable experience all its own. I think everyone should have at least one favorite book that they can enjoy reading and reading again.

2 thoughts on “A Good Book is Like an Old Friend”

  1. I reread books all the time. I’ve been through most of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett multiple times. They’re usually my bedtime reading – comforting, familiar and I know what the exciting parts are, so I don’t usually stay up later than I intend to reading.

    I also just reread a few of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. Perk of having those almost memorized, I could skip the complicated side stories and focus on my favorite couples. Those did keep me up later than I’d intended, though.


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