Reading Other Writers on the Path

Writing and the Holidays

Yes, I Reread Books



“But why? Why reread a book? Isn’t that boring? You know how everything ends! I mean, if it’s a series and you need to refresh your memory, I guess I can see it….”

“I reread standalone novels as well.” I shrugged. This conversation almost always goes the same way, with a baffled person on the other end of it.

So I’m going to try and explain here. When I reread a story, it’s not about the ending. This is so important, I’m going to give it its own line space:

It’s not about the ending.

There’s a certain tension when I read a story for the first time, because I don’t know how it will turn out and I hope for the best. But after that, it becomes a place to go to again.

Why is that strange? How many people visit the same vacation spot year after year? No one thinks anything’s wrong with that.

I get to meet the characters again like old friends and revel in their adventures, similar to taking the same ride at an amusement park every summer. No one blinks an eye at Disneyworld. And reruns! People watch reruns on TV and buy season DVDs with the intention, I believe, of watching their favorite episodes more than once.

But say you reread books? That’s weird.

So this is the best explanation of why I reread books. I like them and want to experience their lives more than once.

Yeah. It’s weird.


 * Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at




  • M. Diamond • November 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Sometimes its about language and craftsmanship.
    Sometimes it’s about time. I’ve re-read books I loved when I was in my teens and twenties thirty years later to see what it was I loved about them then. It’s often amazing what you’ll pick up on the second reading that you didn’t get the first. And it’s equally amazing when you realize the book no longer speaks to you like it once did.

    • J. M. Levinton • November 4, 2014 at 1:32 am

      Absolutely. I still have childrens books that I adore. And others…got donated. 🙂

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