Why You Should Re-Read An Old Favourite Book

I first read The Night Circus a long time ago. Probably fairly close to when it was first published, although I’m not entirely sure. For the sake of this blog post however, we’ll say it’s been about 10 years. In that time, I’ve told anyone who would listen just how much I love this book. It’s the first book I recommend to anyone looking for something to read, and I’ve spent a great deal of time daydreaming about various elements in the book that I remembered (or thought I did, more on that later!)

Backing up a little before we get into my experience with reading this book again, I need to say that generally I don’t re-read. It’s not my thing. I have a few reasons for this, one being that I have too many other books I want to read that I feel bad spending time reading something I’ve already read.

The other big reason is that it kind of scares me a little because what if I read a book I loved and find out I don’t love it anymore?

I will admit I was slightly worried about that going into this. My memories of the Night Circus were so fond that I was genuinely scared that I would read it again and discover it wasn’t as good as I had thought. But having just recently read The Starless Sea, my worries were lessened somewhat. (Not that the two books have anything at all in common, story wise, I just felt fairly confident that because I was so in love with Erin Morgenstern’s writing in The Starless Sea, chances were good I would still love The Night Circus if I was to go ahead and re-read it.

A (semi) recent Top Ten Tuesday post was actually what made me decide I should actually just go ahead and re-read some old favourites anyways, and The Night Circus just happened to be the first one I decided to tackle.

Here Are Some Good Reasons to Re-read an Old Favourite Book:

  • You might discover new little details you hadn’t noticed before.
  • The fresh perspective can change your opinions on some things. (both good and bad!)
  • Because you’ve already read it before, in theory it might be a faster, easier read than picking up a brand new book. (This did prove false for me in this particular case however, as I had the exact same problem I had with The Starless Sea: Not Wanting It To End! I would read a page or 2, put it down and get lost in a dreamy state before being able to continue reading.)
  • It’s fun to realize certain elements that you’ve somehow managed to remember perfectly all this time for reasons unknown. (Poppet’s outfit when she first meets Bailey for example—or my interpretation of what it looks like—has been burned into my mind all this time and it was fun to re-read that description and have it conjure up the same images as it did the first time.)
  • There’s a certain comfort in re-reading, like putting on your favourite sweater. It’s cozy and familiar and you know it’s likely to make you feel a specific way.

Do you often re-read books? Which book is your favourite to read over and over again? Has re-reading an old favourite ever backfired and made you realize you didn’t like it as much after all?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

2 comments

  1. Great post! I love rereading. I don’t do it near as often as some, but I always do at least a little rereading every year. And you’re so right. Our perspective changes, so there’s always something new that can grab you. Your circumstances can very much affect how different scenes and characters affect you. And, yes, I love the comfort of rereading a favorite. It’s like snuggling up with your favorite blanket!

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