Rereading is one of those marmite concepts that divide readers and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot in the run up to the release of Kingdom of Ash. One Guardian article claims “anyone who talks about rereading a book is arrogant, narrow-minded or dim” and a BBC one points out “We have so little time to read and there are so many great books that we’ve yet to get around to”. On the other hand, Patrick Rothfuss is actively encouraging us to reread the first two books before the third comes out, plenty of book bloggers are fans of rereading (Micheline, Mel, even Cait who initially was anti-rereading because there’s not enough time!) and there was a lot of praise for GoodReads finally adding a rereading feature.
Generally I do like re-reading: most years I reread a handful of books (4% in 2016, 7% in 2017) and I’d initially planned to reread the Throne of Glass series over the summer. Since I’ve been following the series for more than 5 years and this is the finale, I want to get the best out of it but now with less than 2 weeks until publication date, if I start rereading I’ll definitely be late to pick up Kingdom of Ash and so I’m absolutely torn! Who better to talk to about this than other readers though, right?!
Advantages of rereading
- No wasted time at the beginning trying to remember who characters are or what happened in previous books
- Being fully emotionally invested in all the characters from page 1
- Pick up more hints about upcoming twists, get more of the nuances of the story
- Revisit a story you previously loved
Disadvantages of rereading
- Can burn out on one author/genre/trope
- Takes up time you could be using to read new books you’ve never read before
- If you start too late with your reread (i.e. me, if I start now) you’ll be starting the newest book after a lot of other readers
I think I’m leaning towards rereading, but I am curious: what would you do? Are you generally a rereader or not?