This Is A Good Book Thursday: The ReReaders’ Edition

Have you ever re-read a book you loved and found it less?  Not the ones you loved when you were a kid and find wanting now that you’re an adult, a book you read for the first time lately and then went back for a reread.  I’m having that experience, and it’s weird.  It’s not as though I liked those books for the plots (although the plots were good), I liked the characters, too, but now I find my mind wandering and not finishing.  Yet I’ve returned to books I read twenty years ago and still found them compelling.

What makes one book re-readable and another one not?

Oh, and what did you read this week?


67 thoughts on “This Is A Good Book Thursday: The ReReaders’ Edition

  1. As it happens, I reread Charlie All Night over the last couple of days, because it’s a fast relaxing optimistic read. Never disappoints.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had reread disappointment on an adult book. I know straightaway at the end whether it’s a keeper or a one night stand, and the keepers have never disappointed me.

    Planning to reread the next to last Rivers of London book next (for about the millionth time).

  2. I have a couple of books I love to re-read, and they never disappoint. One of those is Maybe This Time. Andie’s strength and her relationships with the kids and with North just work for me. I can relate to her, and I want to be like her.

    This year I re-read a book I had rated 5 stars more than 10 years ago, but this time around, I had to force myself to finish it. There was a love triangle, which drives me insane on its own. But to top it off both guys were alpha, and the heroine was weak. When I was younger I must have been okay with alpha males, and I think an alpha male could still work for me, as long as the heroine is not a doormat.

    I’m currently listening to and reading along with Duplicate Death by Georgette Heyer. It’s on Kindle Unlimited (so free with my Prime Membership).

    1. Kindle unlimited is different from Prime Reading on is free and you get a limited time to eat the books the other is 10/per month.

  3. I have a lot of books and I do reread them, just like I re-watch my DVDs.

    With books, sometimes I re-read because I like the story or spending time with the characters. But lots of the time it’s more because books can be like songs to me–they take me back to the time or place where I first read them. Also, to the people I shared them with, friends or family members who also liked the book back then and so the book is like a shared bond.

    That’s the beauty of books I think. They can feel personal and entertain or enlighten at the same time. Double score:)

  4. Ooo… how did you get Kindle Unlimited as part of Prime? I’m a Prime member, but was being charged an additional $9.99 per month for Kindle Unlimited.

    I ended up cancelling Kindle Unlimited, because I wasn’t using it enough to justify that cost.

      1. Well, I feel stupid! I thought it was free. Shows how much I buy from Amazon that I never noticed the extra $9.99/month. 🙁

        I might have to cancel…after I’m done reading the Georgette Heyer books.

        1. Georgette Heyer should be available for free from a library, even in ebook form. Most states have a big city library that you can get an e-membership to as a resident of that state. Like Kindle Unlimited, but with some wait time :0 and a slightly limited selection…

          1. Yeah, we do that all the time, we are actually in line for quite a few ebooks through the LA County library system.

  5. Right now I am recuperating from emergency surgery last week, so I’m rereading for the umpteenth time some old mysteries by Donna Andrews, which are clever and light and for some reason I find them very comforting. I guess I can’t handle new stuff when I am in healing mode. Same goes for television. The only thing I’m watching at the moment are episodes of MIDSOMER MURDERS, all of which I’ve seen multiple times. I must note that it is very nice that the hospital now has Wi-Fi because I was able to stream MIDSOMER MURDERS while I was there. Made the time go a lot faster.

    1. Midsomer Murders is like comfort food; I rewatch those, too, although they never again achieved the inspired insanity of the very first episode. After that, it was just comforting cosy mysteries (with violent deaths), but that first one was so off the wall, it was marvelous. And then they brought back the actors who played the mother and son in a much later season, but this time they were the cousins of the original characters and different, and they both agreed that the people in the first episode were just WEIRD. No kidding.

    2. Thanks for reminding me about Midsomer Murders. I used to watch them on TV enough, that my family gave me a box set for Christmas years ago. And now 19 seasons are streaming on Netflix so I can watch from the beginning. I think I started watching season 3 or 4. As I am about to begin a big crochet project, maybe two, this will be nice.

  6. I’ve reread the Lord Peter Wimsey stories a zillion times and still love them, though I definitely notice the casual racism of the time more than I used to.

    I read Prayer for Owen Meany once and loved it, but I’ve never reread it because I fear being disappointed.

    And I’ve never been sorry to reread a Crusie, especially Charlie All Night, which was the first I read.

    I don’t read most books twice…

  7. I reread all the time. I read so much, it wouldn’t be practical to just read new stuff; especially since I read fiction for comfort – to cheer myself up and switch my brain off – so most genres don’t work for me. I’ve just had some contrasting experiences with Jayne Ann Krentz. First I bought her latest on Kindle by mistake, and couldn’t be bothered to return it. But, as rather expected, I found it instantly forgettable, and not that much fun. (Better than her latest, 1930s-set Amanda Quick, though, which I ended up skimming.) To remind myself that she used to be really good, I reread ‘Surrender’, an early Regency. This time, though, while better than her new stuff, I found it a bit dull. I think that particular book isn’t good enough to be reread again and again.

    Then, because I couldn’t think who to read next, I started rereading her Jayne Castle trilogy, ‘Amaryllis’, ‘Zinnia’ and ‘Orchid’. I’ll have read these more often than ‘Surrender’, but I’m still finding them a lot more fun.

    So part of my differing experience is down to how often I’ve read a story – is it over-familiar? But I think most is about whether the characters and the world are still fun to spend time with. And maybe about how much they spark me as I read; make me wonder ‘what if’. Not sure. It’s probably about where I am now as I read a story, because I’m co-creating it slightly differently each time – and sometimes assumptions/values start to jar.

    1. I think perceptions change, too. Like right now, with the Weinstein fall, everybody is suddenly hyperaware that sexual harassment is Wrong, so things that once might have been funny or attractive suddenly get an EW.

  8. I reread often – partly because I teach high school, which means I get to reread lots of classics annually with the kiddos (Beowulf, The Odyssey, Romeo & Juliet, The Great Gatsby, lots and lots of poems and short stories). Like katyL says, it’s almost like a piece of music; and you really know something’s a classic when you can read it, say, 80+ times (I’ve been teaching for 12 years) and still get excited about it every year. I would definitely say that some of the things that make a book re-readable are solid plotting and craft; and that includes layered characters and motifs, so you can notice something new every time, little details that don’t get picked up on the first read when I’m just desperate to know what’s happening!

    At home, since my job takes up a lot of my emotional energy, I also tend to re-read; like Lynda says, it’s comforting when you’re in recovery! If I’m sick or tired (or pregnant, like I am right now) I want something comforting. (And Lynda, I hope your recovery is swift and complete!)

    We’re on fall break, so I’ve been spending time napping and reading. This week I re-read Agnes and the Hitman for the umpteenth time, and I was meaning to go back to Connie Willis’ To Say Nothing of the Dog for another very satisfying romance/adventure/mystery combo, but I couldn’t find my copy. I actually ended up starting a book of hers I’ve never read before! Both of those have many characters with different goals who are all actively pursuing them, and clues to set up the mystery that I didn’t pick up on the first time (the Big Reveal about Casey Dean, for example) that I can find when I’m re-reading like a delightful little surprise.

    I also read a novel by one of the writers in my critique group, Stephanie Cain, called The Weather War. It’s the fourth in a series and it’s leading up to the fifth, so it set up and resolved an internal conflict that set up an external conflict that didn’t get resolved yet–the two sides are in a standoff and team Good Guys are all in trouble, so it’s going to be a long wait for the next book! That’s the trouble with a series, of course. But she’s a fast writer and I think #5 will be out next year (fingers crossed!).

    My big re-read disappointment was Vanity Fair, which I absolutely loved (I know, I’m a weirdo) the first time. The second time I realized I had just been Dobbin and I got really annoyed with where he ended up at the end (yeah, I know, probably OK to spoil that one hundreds of years later, but I’ll still try to refrain). There’s so much going on in that book that I still loved Becky’s exploits, and I’d always wanted to slap Amelia throughout, so I’ll probably give it a third try someday to see if I still cringe from self-recognition while Dobbin pines for someone who doesn’t want him!

    That’s something else about re-reading: the first time I read Romeo and Juliet, I thought it was swoony and Romeo was just so tragic and wonderful… I was 14. When I re-read it in high school, I thought Romeo was an idiot and Mercutio was awesome. When I re-read it in college, I thought “wow, these are all a bunch of dummies, learn to control your feelings!” and reading it as an adult, I think Benvolio’s the only one in Verona with an ounce of sense (OK, Rosaline’s smart enough to avoid Romeo the Stalker, so maybe the two of them are both all right). So even though my take on that has changed over time, I still love coming back to it – that’s that depth and craft thing.

    1. The Shakespeare Theater here in DC did a staging of Romeo & Juliet with a blond Romeo and it killed the night for me.

      Having said that, especially with Shakespeare, I find a good staging changes the play for me. I saw Avery Brooks as Othello with Andre Braugher as Iago and some Viking goddess as Desdemona (no joke I don’t remember the actress’s name but she was as tall as Avery Brooks and gorgeous) which made it one of my favorite plays. Then I saw Harry Hamlin as Henry V and thank God Branagh is own DVD because I never would have watched the play again.

  9. When I was in high school I became an ardent Francophile and as part of both my French class and because I was pretentious I became hooked on French existentialism. Hah! In my 30s I started re-reading them and good lord! Camus could make Sally Sunshine suicidal, Candide the hero of a beloved book was an idiot, and don’t get me started on Sartre. On the other hand my go-to comfort read is the Cinderella Deal.

    Just finished an older Amanda Quick “Otherwise engaged” I found it fun.

    1. We were reading Camus & Sartre by grade 9 or 10 I think as part of our curriculum in Montréal where I went to school. Definitely led to interesting discussions. But (among others) we also had Gabrielle Roy to read who’s stories, although often following characters through difficult times, were written from a woman’s perspective and I loved reading her books. There are some fab French writers now writing lighter fare & some good romcom, too, but agree some of those older books do make big impressions when read as a teen for sure:)

        1. Me too. I’ve had a French translation of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” on my shelf since 1986 but have not read it. (probably CAN’T by now!) Should have found a romance novel instead. 🙂

        2. There are several writers with translated books also. If you’re looking for very light romance, you might like Isabelle Laflèche. She writes the “J’adore” books as in “J’adore New York,” J’adore Rome,” “J’adore Paris,” etc. I think one of her ebooks is even free. Isabelle is a lawyer turned writer and her books often touch on the fashion world, so if you like that combo you can get the books in English or French I think.

    2. I had to do la Peste (the Plague) by Camus for French A level. I enjoyed it so much I read it a couple of times after – in English.

      I’ve also read Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes three times, and will probably read it again one day.

      Jilly Cooper’s early romances are great comfort reads, too.

  10. I reread Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. I have 3 copies of the Miss Marple short stories in case of emergency. I like a lot of Sayers’s short stories too and have several anthologies.

    When I was on dialysis, I didn’t feel up to reading anything new, so I read Agnes and the Hitman, Good Omens, and a couple of Mary Roach books that I’d read before.

    As soon as my migraine goes away, I am starting Envious Casca by Heyer.

    The most intense thing I read this past week was the “Dirty John” series. It’s very well done, but definitely needs a trigger warning.

  11. I have had some old favorites I open up and really cannot remember how I had liked them so well years ago. I guess I have grown up from them. Others, however, I can and do reread constantly. That is why I possess way more books than I really should. It is also why one of my sons bought me a Kindle. Some older books stand the test of time well, even when the writing is dated because they belong just where they are. The others are who I used to be and used to like and I just don’t now. Maturity. Who knew?

  12. I re-read two In Death books this week (Concealed and Thankless). Thankless was because Thanksgiving is coming closer, and I sometimes get the urge to read the holiday installments of series during that time of year. I also got Festive In Death and plan to read that again soon. That series is one I go back to a lot. It helps that there are so many books, which gives me a lot of options. I like revisiting those characters and the world, and because there have been a lot of novels, Roberts has had a lot of opportunity to develop both. The character arc for Dallas over the course of the series has been really satisfying. Personally, I’ve also found the plots more interesting as the series has progressed. Some are mysteries, some are closer to thrillers, some have more sci-fiction elements (Origin In Death is one of my favorites, and it leans more on the sci-fi aspect of the series).

    The big draw of re-reading for me is usually attachment to the characters and the chance to revisit them. Characters are what usually make or break the first reading experience for me, though, so I don’t know that there’s a difference between what makes me love a book the first time and what makes me want to go back. Can’t think of any disappointing re-reads, but I tend to go back to favorite authors, so that’s not really a surprise.

  13. I am currently reading “Dukes Prefer Blondes” by Loretta Chase. It’s the first of hers I’ve read and I’m really enjoying the high-quality writing and the smart H/H.

    I re-read books all the time. My book budget is already nutso, if I didn’t re-read it would be even worse. Have to leave room in the discretionary funds for wine. 🙂 Also, I love that restful familiarity thing: going back to a book I already know well gives me 99% of the entertainment with, like, 30% of the paying-attention.

    1. Loretta Chase is awesome. Mr. Impossible is a favorite, but you really can’t go wrong. She’s always funny.

  14. I have always been a re-reader, and I have found that some old favorites wear out – much as some songs from my youth which used to delight, and now are channel changers. I used to LOVE Barbara Michaels, but last time I re-read them, the thrill was gone. Judith Merkle Riley seems to stand the test of time and I am still infatuated with Kerry Greenwood. I liked Rex Stout for plot and character, and then years later liked him anew for writing skill – so part of it for me is books that have multiple good things going for them.

  15. I chanced on a nice older copy of Little Women a few months ago, which I’d really enjoyed as a child, and was kind of bummed to find out that I can’t stand it any more. After a few dozen pages I started to skip around, and when I got to the sequence where Jo March was spurning poor rich guy Laurie from next door, I was thoroughly put out with her. Didn’t like the family dynamics, didn’t like their conversations or habits. The whole book was just gone to me.

    On the other hand, re-readability is one of my key criteria for a book to love. And it’s all about the characters. If I really enjoy them, and it feels like I learn something new about them each time I read, it’s a keeper and I buy multiple copies at used bookstores to pass on to friends.

    That’s one reason I loved the Deborah Harkness trilogy (which I know some of you hated), because once the protagonist is in France and meets the hero’s mother, his backstory starts to emerge and he becomes real. Once we meet the heroine’s aunts and spend some time in her otherworldly witch homestead in New England, her weird personality challenges start to unfold and make sense. Both protagonists grow and evolve and feel more and more like cherished friends throughout the series, and that gets me every time.

    Also, Pratchett’s Guards, and Pratchett’s witches, and Pratchett’s Modern city group (The Truth, Postal, and Money, etc.) are wonderful to dip into over and over. Whereas anything with Rincewind is just not worth opening twice, even if the context is great.

    Good Omens, on the other hand, totally is, and I do.

    Favorite Crusie re-reads, for me, are Cinderella Deal, Maybe Next Time, and Faking It. Just somehow more nuanced and appealing to drift back into after a time away.

    I do like this topic!

    1. I actually like Louisa May Alcott, but Little Women is by far my least favorite. Amy is so whiny, I hate her, and then she gets Laurie, and Jo ends up with some fusty German dude? Ugh.
      But I love Rose in Bloom, and Little Men.

      1. I love Alcott.

        Little Women works for me because now when I read it I see the Jo in Little Men & Jo’s Boys.

        Jack & Jill which I loved didn’t wear as well because of the classism.

  16. There was a fantasy author I read in my teens and twenties, that I just loved and re-read over and over again. Every time I went back to the States, I searched for her books first thing. But as I absorbed the lessons I was learning from those books, I started noticing the more annoying things about her writing style and general tone. I needed that tone earlier, but as I grew up, I didn’t like it much.

    The books I read over and over again now? Well, some of them must contain stuff I need to learn. I guess most of them. I was about to write that I can’t see getting tired of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but . . . maybe I could. I found it very hard going the first two times I read it, but then something clicked and I find it very delightful.

    Most of the books I re-read also come with a fan base of delightful people who love discussing books (especially the books we mutually love). That is really a huge part in my re-reads. I’m reminded of the good times by the discussions, and I also start reading a book to find something to contribute to the discussion — and wind up reading the whole thing.

  17. The Mary Stewart backlist just showed up on kindle this month. I first read Nine Coaches Waiting and Touch Not the Cat when I was in my early teens. I bought a bunch of the ebooks and just finished a read of Nine Coaches. It absolutely held up for me although it’s more tame in the romance department than I remembered. Touch Not the Cat is next!

    1. Yes, I just discovered them on Kindle this week too! I started with Madam Will You Talk? which was her first, and Nine Coaches Waiting which was the first one I read. I recently reread a couple of other favorites in print at the library. I loved them in my teens, and I know her descriptions were partly responsible for my travel bug. (I definitely went to Corfu because of This Rough Magic.) I still enjoy them, but now with actual relationship experience, the “plucky heroine meets complicated hero, they have sparks/a conflict/danger, they kiss, they decide to marry” romance arc feels distractingly quaint and unrealistic.

      1. That’s may be because they weren’t issued as romances. They were considered Gothics when they were released. Slightly different rules.

        Having said that I started with Nine Coaches Waiting – which is my first Mary Stewart and I suddenly recognized that her opening sequences (orphan returning secretly to a nonnative homeland) is used by Elizabeth Peters a couple of times. Funny I never noticed the Gothic aspect of Peters before.

    2. I can remember wheeling my son’s stroller into the library back in the sixties to get a new discovery for me, Mary Stewart. I just checked the library and there are still many of her titles available along with Amazon book/kindle titles. Priced reasonable. I also liked from that time period Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt.

    3. Well there went my Kindle budget for the month. I had all these in hardback years ago but they have fallen apart over the years.

    4. They’re finally on Kindle! Thanks so much for the news! Of course, now I have to decide if it’s responsible to buy any this month considering unpleasant and unexpected car expenses…Some are 99 cents. I can buy one for 99 cents.

    5. Aaaaahh! I read Touch Not the Cat in high school (because Cat) and then This Rough Magic, and now here they are again. Clickity-click.

  18. I agree with the re-reading being like a familiar song. Also watching a tv show over and over. Last few years of my life have had several periods of “downs” rather than “up”. So, using re-reading and tv favorites is comforting and less caloric than lots of mashed potatoes and gravy, also comforting.

    Georgette Heyer has been a favorite of mine forever. Both her historicals + mysteries.
    Also Dorothy Sayer, Margaret Allingham, Agatha Christy, Nageo Marsh. Re-reading of any of these, even in snippets, is satisfying.

    A favorite regency writer of mine from the 70’s is Joan Smith. I love “Aunt Sophie’s Diamonds” and a few others. Quirky personalities. But her later work, when I go back to read the again, seems formulaic. So many current regency writers do too. Hot regency lord and lady fight, fall in love, dopey friend muffs something up, yadayada.

    Early Donna Andrews I love. Easpecially “We’ll Always Have Parrots” and “Revenge of the Wraught Iron Flamingos”. Later books, when I go back to them, rely too much on characters developed in earlier books and I lose interest when I go back to them. Not enough to newness.

    And of course some writer called Jennifer Crusie, if you’ve ever heard of her? I’ve read and re-read them so many times I can pick one up for a few minutes of reading, and it’s a real pick me up.

    Re-readable books need Strong characters, interesting action, everything to make sense. Witty repartee. Sparks. Twists. Weight.

    Great one liners like ” if you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning”.

    I just finished binging all 19 seasons of Midsommers Murders. I can’t get the theme song out of my head. I rewatch Leverage, the Finder, and the Bruce Willis movies Red and Red 2. Any Despicable Me’s or Minion movies. Or, actually listen to them while I weave on my loom. I’ve seen them all so many times I don’t even have to see them to know what’s going on.

  19. Never really had that happen. If it makes it onto my reread list, I really love the story.

    Started reading Susan Mallery’s Happily Inc series. I really enjoy her as an author, though I don’t think she’s “great.” Her books are a bit formulaic, some of the plots drive me insane (there was one I walked away from for years cause it induced such rage the first time), and sometimes the endings come out of nowhere and you’re wondering if she just got tired of writing or something. For all of that, though, the stories are still engaging and fun and I keep coming back to the various series she has. They’re comfort reads. Or, like Oreos. Are Oreos the greatest cookie ever? Not necessarily. But there’s something great about them and I always enjoy eating one.

  20. For the most part, I’m not disappointed.

    But, I was going through the old romances to see if I still needed to keep everything and what I found is that with some authors, if you read their books back to back, the formula becomes a lot more obvious and the language repetitive. So even though I enjoyed their novels the first time around, read as a set, I quickly decided I only needed one or two of their better books and the rest could go to the library.

    Then there are the authors who make the same type of mistake book after book (usually something historically off) and the annoyance builds up.

    OTOH, I just reread the Emma McChesney books by Edna Ferber and I found them just as delightful this time around.

    1. Yes about the pitfalls of reading books back to back. You see the formula or notice when plot points or other details are dropped between connected books. Like in one book a big deal is made about a character being born on a particular holiday, then in another book in the series, that character as an adult, now the most popular person in town, is at a party on that holiday with beloved friends and family, and the birthday never comes up.

      1. Exactly. Or something is made a big deal of a relationship with a younger sibling and then afterwards, even though the hero/heroine show up, the kid is never mentioned.

  21. There’s a lot of science fiction that I’ve read numerous times and now have no interest in reading again – Heinlein comes to mind. And some of Anne McCaffrey’s stuff has aged really poorly- the brainships come to mind. I loved Helga, but after I had my own kids (late), the idea that people could have rocket ships but not be able to detect or fix prenatal issues, so shuffled their babies off to life as cyborgs with nary a sayonara did not work for me. It’s interesting sometimes to see where the … failure of imagination is the phrase that comes to mind, although that’s not quite it, plays out. All those rocket ships zipping around, but no mobile phones or internet (although McCaffrey does have a short story that foretells social media, come to think of it.)

  22. I read “Generation X” by Douglas Coupland when it first came out and was blown away at how much it resonated with me, e.g., I wondered how he had eavesdropped on my friends and me without our knowing it. I reread it last year and couldn’t believe how self-absorbed and trivial it seemed. That probably says more about me in my 20s than it does about the book.

    I have to reread because I can’t be trusted to put down a new book until I’m done, which doesn’t work for my commute or at bedtime. Like others, I reread for comfort. Characters (and how they interact) and language are what make books rereadable for me.

  23. Everything everyone has written here is terrific. I wish we were all in a room and I could listen to you.

    More and more, I’ve been seeking stories in which the heroine is involved in both the plot climax and the psychological (or something) climax without simply becoming as good or better than a guy. I know this is weird, but it’s where I am right now.

    As a result, the Peter Wimsey’s have lost some of their luster — Harriet doesn’t solve the crime, and she isn’t able to because of something like her lack of confidence. (I know I’m overgeneralizing. I still love the books.)

    The same is true of Diana Wynn Jones stories: even an apparent female protagonist is the cover for the larger success and growth of a male (Howl’s Moving Castle, Heywood).

    Jennifer Crusie stories stand out to me for heroines who are active in the plot climax, who realize the changes wrought to themselves, friends, and society as a result of their actions, and who themselves change. And, for goodness sake, her stories include condoms!

    Rant over. I just reread Lois McMaster Bujold’s Chalion/5 Gods novels and the Penric short stories that directly flow from the books. I love what Bujold does with the details. I always know where I am in the physical world (even if it isn’t the physical world) in her tales.

    1. I never thought about this (the heroine’s agency in the plot and its resolution) consciously, but yes.

  24. I’ve been having a commitment problem these last few weeks. I just can’t get into anything new. I have four books with bookmarks in the first 100 pages because of this. So I’ve been re-reading Tamora Pierce. Just finished Alanna and am now on Beka.

    1. One of my 5th grade students introduced Tamora Pierce to me in my first year of teaching, and I’ve loved her ever since. My own 5th grade daughter told me this morning that’s she’s taking a TP book as a “just in case I need a break” on a Girl Scout trip, because “I never get tired of her books.” Love it.

  25. I have to wait a long time between rereads, usually. Especially if the book has a mystery somewhere in there. The suspense is part of the fun, and it is always different the second time…

    On another note, there is a character in Sarah Addison Allen’s Lost Lake who never reread books because the endings will change. I love this book, and while I don’t necessarily follow that practice, I take her point. We find different things as we grow into different people.

    I am currently rereading an old YA favorite, Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith. I must have read it a thousand times in high school. It was the most romantic book of my acquaintance. It still holds up, but for different reasons 🙂

  26. I’ve never been able to re-read anything because once it was in my head that was it, bored now, so I am hugely jealous of all of you who can. Except now that I think about it, my short-term memory was so stunted by Cymbalta for half a dozen years that there’s all kinds of stuff I’ve supposedly already read because Goodreads said I did, and I don’t recall a bit of it. Holy cats. That’s like free books! Maybe enough time’s passed that I can go back to some of the books mentioned here and reread out of sheer stubbornness too. Thanks for all the recommends!

  27. Most of my recent re-reading has been motivated by downsizing to (hopefully) move. So, books are re-read to see if they are truly worthy of shlepping to the new abode. It was amazing to finally see how many I’d kept for years that I didn’t enjoy anymore. Hopefully Goodwill will make some money off the dusty rejects.

  28. I used to enjoy reading the Marsha Grimes, Richard Jury books, but when I went back to them a couple of years ago they didn’t resonate with me anymore. I usually read a book twice, unless it’s rubbishy, first time a speed read then I read it again slowly to savour the descriptions etc. Being an asthmatic as a young person, long ago they didn’t have the medications they have now, so I had to stay in bed, I got used to rereading and still do.

  29. I loved and re-read Joan D Vinge’s Catspaw. But recently I went back to re-read Psion, and didn’t finish it. I don’t know why, and I was gutted as I had always looked back on it as a favourite.

    Then there are books I read and enjoy, but won’t re-read, like the Da Vinci Code and its ilk – read in a hurry to follow the story, but on a second visit there’s time to notice (and be annoyed by) the writing. I put twilight in this category too – it’s like bagged candy floss – guilty read, enjoyed at the time, but not as much as you should from something you’re giving time (and calorie allocation) to, and will never re-read.

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