Most of us, if not all, have a number of books that we go back to often. We re-read them over and over, enjoying them more with each read. They are books that comfort or captivate us, ones that touched or enriched us in some way. I know I have a few shelves dedicated to my favorite "re-reads".
There are a few books that I make a point of re-reading every year, among them are Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Louis L'Amour's The Lonesome Gods, and Anne LaBastille's excellent series of memoirs, the Woodswoman series. Though I already have this practice in place, I've found myself re-reading even more books this year, so much so, I think it's safe to say that I've re-read books I've read in previous years more than I've read new books this year.
2019 has reminded me of the joy and benefits of re-reading good book. I've found that I take more away from a second or third reading. I've also learned that it is often beneficial to go back and re-read a book that you may have found wanting after the first read. Returning to a book later down the line will often find you reading it with new eyes and a new perspective. This tends to enhance your overall reading experience. What once seemed like a dull, lacking, or hard to grasp book, transforms into an enlightening, wonderful read.
I have found that timing is everything when it comes to certain books. You can pick up a great book, but if it's at the wrong time, it'll hinder your experience. Countless times, I have picked up a book and started to read, only to put it down because I just couldn't get into it. I've learned that when this happens, it doesn't necessarily mean that the book isn't right for you, just that the time isn't right. I've often returned to a book months or even a year or more later, only to find it an excellent or, at the very least, useful read.
While some people may advise you to get rid of that book that you never finished sitting on your shelf, I'd recommend holding on to it for a bit. You never know, by giving it another chance, you just might find a new favorite book. Give yourself a chance to discover the joy of re-reading. ;)
Liz Austin. Bibliophile. Writer. Book hoarder. I would rather be reading....