What makes you read a book twice?

I’ve been in a purging mood lately. I’ve always been a big believer that an uncluttered space leads to an uncluttered mind. When things start to pile up in my house, I grow edgy. That’s when Iย feel the tickle of little hands at the back of my neck. Whose hands? Well, the purging elves, of course. The little demons who tell me, “Clean up, for God’s sake, woman. We’re drowning in old books and paperwork. Throw something out!” When the purging elves dig their nails into my skin, nothing is sacred.

Lately I’ve been eyeing my book collection, thinking it’s time for a cull.

“Gasp!”

Yes, I hear you, fellow book hoarders. I feel your pain but now I ask you to feel mine. I store my old books in the basement on a few very large, cluttered shelves. That’s prime real estate in my house. I could renovate that area and make a comfy nook. Or I could start exercising and install some gym equipment there. (Yeah, that’s totally going to happen.)

But discard my books? After all, you don’t throw a book away, right? You might read it again.

Or will you?

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You see, every time I stock my basement bookshelves, I say to myself, “This one’s a keeper. I’ll read it at least one more time.” Honestly, I rarely do. I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve actually reread and those ones have a place of honor in my collection. The others? They were fun, but their time has come and gone. They weren’t bad books. They simply served their purpose. I absorbed their messages and don’t need to revisit them.

I’m always shocked and humbled when a reader tells me she reread one of my books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not insulting my own work. However, it’s such a pleasant surprise based on my rereading history. My assumption is, to reread a novel, it must have really spoken to the reader in some way.

What is that magic element for you? What makes you pick up a book for the second or even the third time? Is it simply because you enjoying living in that world and want to dwell there a little longer? I would love to know what makes you want to “hoard” a book.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here throwing things out…you know, everything except my books.

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16 thoughts on “What makes you read a book twice?

  1. It’s generally been my observation that some people are re-readers and some aren’t. Personally I love re-reading my favorite books, or even just ones I liked a lot (sometimes). If I liked a book at all, I’d have a hard time getting rid of it because “you never know”…I may well feel it calling to me again sometime. As for what makes me like a book enough to want to re-read it….hard to pin that down. Sometimes it’s the characters, sometimes it’s the story, other times it’s a single scene that just really spoke to me for some reason. Most usually it has to do with characters that just really spoke to me though I suppose, and that I want to spend time with again. Like going to visit old friends now and again.

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  2. The lure of a new book or a sequel on the horizon leads me away from rereading. I’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey four times because I wanted to feel it all again. I did pick up new things when I did that. That makes me think maybe I will have a rereading career in the future, especially for the ones that come back to me. Anton and Marci’s story in Predator’s Refuge comes back to me, Rosanna, especially with Jani on the way…..rawr
    My husband loves to give away books so we not only have his books, we have three to four copies of them on shelves. And he wants hardbacks and removes the sleeves to read, soooo, there are sleeves laying on his shelves too. My collection isn’t small but I’ve groomed it enough times its good for now. You could always try taking out 20 books or so and putting them in a box in your car and see how your collection feels without them, Rosanna!? My romance collection is all digital so it is practically painless though I do like to keep track of it all and make sure I’m not missing something! Long live authors and book hoarders!

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    • Thanks Joni! I am so pleased you found Anton and Marci’s story re-readable. ๐Ÿ™‚ Many of my books are now digital too so that helps. I love your hubby’s book quirks. Removing the sleeves- that’s too funny. We all do what we can to make it even more enjoyable. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I read a book twice if it takes a while for the next to come out and I have to revisit the story to know where I left off this recently happened I was reading the entice,embrace series by Jessica shirvington I know I botched her name spelling but anyways just got endless the other day book 4 and it’s been 3 years since reading book 3 so time to rewind lol

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    • That’s a good point, Sunni. Sometimes, between books, we need a refresher, don’t we? We just pray the author doesn’t take ten years for the next installment. LOL

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  4. The books I re-read are the ones that gave me the same satisfaction even thinking about it days /weeks later–and I want to experience that same high. Some I I’ve read so often that can let the book fall open at any random place, read a few lines and feel like I’ve visited an old friend.

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