Re-Reading: Waste of Time or Needed Rest?

As a kid, I re-read a lot. Sure, I always devoured new books, too, but there were books I read over and over. When you’re a kid, you have that luxury of time, so you can read new books and old books at will.

As I got older, through high school and college and grad school, I stopped re-reading. I had too many new books to read for school, and I had a job as well. No time for dipping back into a book I had loved.

That set the trend for my adulthood—I rarely re-read. I went on a classics binge and read all the “classics” I hadn’t read in school. Lately, I’ve been reading all the Newbery Award winners (I think I have 6 left.) But re-reading? I had no time for that—especially after my daughter came along.

Yet here I am, three weeks into re-reading books I loved when I was younger. It started because I fell into a period where I couldn’t get to the library, yet had finished all the books I had gotten out. I am a person who HAS to have something to read, so I got a book off my bookshelf and started reading. I have read Jean M. Auel’s Shelters of Stone, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Antonia Barber’s The Ghosts, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House In The Big Woods and Little House On The Prairie.

Part of me thinks this is a waste of my time. With so many books out there, why re-read something? But I am finding this to be restful. My brain is buzzing all day long. With a familiar book, I can settle into the story and enjoy the writing, but not have to put all my brain into concentrating. Perhaps it is my version of zoning out in front of the TV.

I find that I see things in the books I did not when I read them years ago, which keeps a freshness to them. And none have been in my current WIP’s genre, so it is not causing creative conflict in my brain. Yet they are stories, and that helps keep my mind primed for writing even as it lets me sit back and breathe.

I will return to reading new books, probably very soon, but I think this respite has been good for me. Like comfort food for my brain. And it has made me remember what it was that I loved about reading, and about the stories I read as a child. Reconnecting with that passion as a reader will feed into my writing—because I want to write stories that people will want to re-read again and again.

How about you? Are you a re-reader? Or is once enough for you?

GoosesQuill FB

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien