I’m not much of a re-reader; never have been and likely never will be. I love the idea of returning to beloved characters and worlds, and of course, occasionally I do (Hogwarts and Wonderland will always feel like home, after all). Generally speaking however, I find it really difficult to pick up a book I’ve already read, unless many years have passed, and there are several reasons why.
Firstly, there’s the guilt factor. With an ever-expanding list of books I want to get to and many an unread story sitting on my shelves that could all theoretically become new favourites, regularly picking up books I’ve already read would make me feel guilty about my constant book buying habits.
Secondly, and perhaps most prominently, is the fear of tarnishing existing memories of a beloved story. I’m a big believer in the fact that a large part of the enjoyment we get from books is about picking up the right one at the right time. There are certain reads I loved several years ago that may have been perfect for what I was looking for from my reading back then, but that doesn’t mean they would necessarily appeal to me so much these days, since my tastes have evolved and changed over time, as is normal for everyone. Revisiting something I have such fond memories of feels like a risk, as if it came as a disappointment second time around, it could taint the existing love I already hold for it, which would be a real shame.
All of this said, there are certain books I would really like to come back to someday soon, and so I suppose I’m essentially asking for reassurance that I’m not the only bookworm who feels these reservations.
Are you an avid re-reader? If you like to re-read, how long do you usually leave it before you go back to a story? Or do you steer clear of re-reads altogether?