A common question to readers is why we enjoy reading books over and over again. And one of the most common answers is that we keep finding new things each time we read it. We get new meanings at different points in our lives. And these are answers that I’ve used myself on several different occasions. They are still true, but I don’t think it exactly hits the nail on the head, either.
I enjoy reading certain books over again for the sheer fact that I enjoy reading it. There are certain books like Me Before You and Water for Elephants that have connected to me on a spiritual level and I have to keep returning to them and surrounding myself in their world.
To me, reading a book again is the literary equivalent to eating comfort food. I’m reading it not only because it’s comforting, but because I already know what’s going to happen. I don’t have to be shocked by unexpected surprises or be disappointed at the end. I can read it at my own pace, safe in the knowledge that everything is already set in place. You can look for the moments that lead up to the end and delight in those little clues that foreshadow what’s going to happen, those things that you may or may not have noticed the first time around. I already know that the book will satisfy me, so why hurry through it this time around?
Not everybody likes to read a book more than once and I think that’s okay, too. Some of the most avid of readers read one book and move on to the next one; after all, there’s so many books out there and so little time to read them all in. Why read something over again when there’s other books out there waiting to be read? It’s not said, but it seems like people are confused when readers don’t want to re-read something.
I say read what makes you happy. I will read as much as possible, but I won’t hesitate to stop and immerse myself in a comforting book that makes me happy. And shouldn’t that be what makes my reading world turn? I can’t think of anything better.