I don’t remember when I started reading the Murderbot stories, but it couldn’t have been more than ten days ago, and I’m on my third reread of the entire series. What I want to know is, why?
That is, what makes a story re-readable or re-watchable?
I must have read The Grand Sophy well over a dozen times. I’ve seen the pilots of Leverage and Person of Interest at least a dozen times. And now I’m obsessively reading the Murderbots. Why do we go back to the same stories again and again?
If you were hoping I had an answer to this, turn back now. I don’t think it’s character; Stephen King’s very excellent Bag of Bones had great characters and I will never read it again. It’s not a soothing plot; I just read a fun romance that was pure fantasy and enjoyed seeing every unrealistic dream come true for the heroine, but I’ll never go back to it. It’s not emotional resonance; Shadowlands is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, but it was so emotionally powerful, I doubt I’ll ever watch it again.
So I’m pretty sure we don’t re-read or re-watch just because a story is really good. So what is it?
Over to you all.