“The joy of reading is in the rereading; this is where you get to know the world and characters in deep and rewarding fashion.” – Walter Mosley
All right, I confess. What I thought would never happen finally happened to me this year.
I got stuck in a reading slump.
This nerdy sickness was like a sneaky thief. It started with me taking much longer than usual to finish reading a single book because I got easily distracted by other things. And then before I knew it, I just didn’t feel like picking up anything from my TBR pile. Gawd, imagine the horror!
For me, a reading slump is definitely an EMERGENCY. I don’t mind reading slowly for a change. What alarmed me was that the thought of reading any new book did not excite me – not like the way it used to. In this situation, I was a damsel in distress. How could I bring back the passion and excitement for reading? (Pardon the theatrics. I can be such a drama queen. Haha.)
Here’s the funny thing: When I needed saving from books, I was actually rescued…by other books.
To be more specific, after months of telling fellow PJ fans how much I miss Percy, Annabeth, and the gang, I finally decided to push through with my plan to reread Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. The result? I fell in love with the characters all over again and those awesome demigods got me out of my reading slump. It’s almost like they were on a special side quest to remind me of the reasons why I love rereading:
1.) Old favorites are fun to take on vacation. I know that readers have different preferences, but personally I don’t want to risk reading a bad book while I’m supposed to be enjoying a much needed break. A bad book can stress me out, so what’s the point of a break if I spend it stressed out? Of course I’d rather reread an old favorite that already gave me so much happiness.
2.) Rereading brings back my enthusiasm for reading. For me, this method was even more effective because I marathoned 10 books that I loved. After a long wait, I finally experienced once again the familiar joy of looking forward to snuggle under the covers with a good book and a hot chamomile tea after a long day. I got so excited that I even bookmarked my favorite quotes and scenes, which led to a hundred bookmarked pages on my e-books. (For those of you who don’t know my reading quirks, that’s one of the most obvious signs of how much I love the books.)
3) Rereading wouldn’t cost you a thing. If you run out of things to read but you have no budget for a new book, then rereading’s one of your options. (Yeah, yeah, I’m sure so few of us would find this relatable because so many of us readers have a mile-long TBR pile. Haha.)
4.) Rereading’s like getting reunited with my old friends and finding out that I love them even more now. Now that I’m older (and hopefully wiser), I noticed the endearing little details about them that I missed before. Even better, I found myself sympathizing with those characters’ vulnerabilities more. Because of that deeper understanding, their triumphs meant a lot more to me.
5.) Rereading’s also exciting, but in a different way from the first time. Yes, I did know which scenes to look forward to, but that did not diminish the excitement at all. For me, the effect was to brace myself to absorb EVERY LITTLE DETAIL of that favorite scene. For example, since I already knew that none of my favorite characters would die in a certain scene, I could savor every word without the gut-wrenching fear.
6.) Rereading does not pressure me to rush. Ah, such bliss! As I already mentioned above, there’s no irresistible urge to find out what would happen next. I could just pick up the book anytime I want, without curiosity about what would happen next driving me crazy and forcing me to finish it ASAP.
7.) Two words: Easter eggs. I usually find more of them while rereading. Those hidden little clues and foreshadowing give me a nerdy high. First, I feel so clever and accomplished when I find them. Second, they make me appreciate the author’s creativity and writing prowess more. Lastly, I definitely enjoy discussing those Easter eggs with other fans who love analyzing and theorizing as much as I do.
So the next time someone tells you rereading is a waste of your time and effort, remind yourself of these things. Rereading may not be for everyone, but if it makes YOU happy, then it is definitely worth your time and effort.