Time To Talk: Do re-reads change my thoughts on a book?

Posted November 3, 2014 by Asheley in discussion, Uncategorized / 11 Comments

Photo credit: me, yay!   

I re-read books more than anyone that I know. I know how that sounds, but it’s true. I just finished one re-read this morning and I’m currently listening to another holiday re-read as I write this. Here are a few reasons that I read the same stories again and again:

1. Maybe I love a book so much that I want to experience that love again. 
2. Maybe I didn’t love a book the first time and I want to give it another chance. 
3. Maybe I’m about to read further into a series and I need a refresher. 
4. Maybe I’m participating in a read-along for a book that I’ve already read. 


Lately I’ve been churning out the re-reads, mostly via audiobook, which has been so much fun for me FOR THE MOST PART. It’s always fun when I listen to a book after reading it first in print because it is a totally new experience and I almost always discover new details that I somehow missed before. A few days ago, I finished Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier – two things I loved about this particular audio re-read are: 

1. I realized I had been pronouncing the main character’s name incorrectly. 
2. I had forgotten some of the details of my favorite parts of this story. 

I’m now reading the second book in this series for the first time. Since it had been well over two years since I read the first book, this re-read was perfect to help me become re-acclimated to the world and to re-introduce the characters to me. Even though the audiobook was not the best audiobook I’ve ever heard, I loved falling in love with the book all over again. This is pretty much RE-READ PERFECTION. 


HOWEVER, sometimes I read books over again and do not like them as much as the first time. Sometimes I read books again and like them much more on subsequent reads. This always tends to pose a question in my own mind: what do I do with my initial review and rating? Should I review and rate again? Or should I do nothing? 

Before, I’ve mostly done nothing except note that I’ve re-read because I’m nerdy and like to keep up with that type of thing. (Honestly, sometimes I even forget to note this which means my year-end challenge totals are always a little off.) More recently, though, I’ve been thinking that I want to acknowledge that my thoughts have changed and WHY. I figure that if I’m interested in this change in my thoughts and why it happens, maybe others will be too. Maybe. 


What are some reasons for the change in my thoughts? 

1. The main character or villain or any other character may be less likable to me than before, or maybe I see no reason for this. Normally I don’t mind unlikable characters if there is character development or resolution to why they are initially unlikable. 
2. A love triangle that isn’t worthy of being included. Sometimes a story would be really great if not for the added drama that a love triangle includes. I am not anti-triangle, but I AM anti-poorly-written-triangle.
3. A romance that should be secondary to the main plot thread, but tends to override it at times. 
4. Sometimes I find a book BETTER than before for various reasons. 

This is not every reason that I may change my thoughts on a book, but you get what I’m saying, right? 


I have plans to restart some series that I read before I began blogging/when I first started blogging. It’s true that everyone that starts doing this has ideas of what is “good” vs “not good” when they begin — these ideas morph over time as we read truly awesome stuff, as we begin to discuss books more critically online and behind the wall of the internet, etc. I KNOW without a doubt that when I restart these series, my thoughts on the first books will change at least a little bit one way or the other. I’m not the same reader that I was three, four, five years ago. I want to decide what I want to do about my initial thoughts and reviews and ratings. 


I’m not totally sure how I will handle these changed thoughts, but I wonder what everyone else does. 

Do your thoughts ever change with re-reads? How do you make record of this? 



About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


11 responses to “Time To Talk: Do re-reads change my thoughts on a book?

  1. I love re-reading books as well! Sometimes I feel guilty while doing so because there are so many new books or ones I haven't read that I should review for my blog… But honestly, I read for my enjoyment and re-reading books that I adore makes me happy. I do agree and think that your feelings or rating towards a book can change a lot. Maybe one day, you could do a post about books that you have changed your mind about because you re-read them?

    • I should do a post about that! I used to post about re-reads but the truth is that I re-read so often that I'm honestly not sure people want to know about that. But I suppose if my feelings change, that may be of interest-particularly when I like a book a little less. It always makes me a little sad when I like a book less the second time BUT thankfully it isn't that often!

  2. I love re-reading! It's just such a pleasure to dive back into stories that I've enjoyed, and hang out with characters that I really liked. I've really reread a lot of books this year, which I'm very, very happy about! Most of the time, I feel quite similarly to how I did when I first read it. But there has also been an instance where I liked the book much more the second time around – particularly in the case of The Winner's Curse and Nantucket Blue.

    • I mostly like a book more the second or third time too, Alexa! I don't often feel much the same on re-reads-I usually feel at least something different. But it isn't always enough that I feel like I want to let everyone know about it or change my ratings. Lately I've had a couple that have been THAT different.

  3. It's so strange how some books change, isn't it? I do prefer when I love the books as much as the first read but those that evolve provide a different reading experience. Not sure why some change so much and others provide the exact same experience but I'll take it!

    • I agree, Mary! Different reading experiences are so interesting to me and I love hearing about others' so I just wonder if there is interest in mine and what I should do about it! I've been noting it on Goodreads over the past couple of books but I think I may do something larger-scale in the future.

  4. It very strange, but I haven't really ever went back an re-read a book. I think it would probably add clarity and I would discover things I missed, if I did, re-read. I do re-watch movies. I've found pleasure in this, just not sure why I've never considered doing it with books. If I did re-read something I'd probably go back to the original review and update it to reflect my new insight.

    • That's so funny – I'm the opposite. I'm much quicker to reread a book than rewatch a movie, although I do have favorites that I will watch again. Updating a previous review is a good idea! Thank you (:

  5. I love the idea of listening to the audio book instead of physically rereading the book. I'm not a huge fan of audio books–I generally like to read at a faster pace than most narrators–but I think I'd enjoy it more if I already had an idea of what was going on.

    As for rereading, well, I wish I had more time to do it! But there are so many books that need to be read!

    • YES listening is fantastic for rereading and the main way that I reread, honestly. And truthfully I often speed up the narration when I am listening to match my reading pace because I follow along with the print copy. (:

  6. I think the best think to do when your feeling change would be to update your review. Maybe add a small pargraph explainig why your feelings change and clearly stating that you re-read it. It could be helpful to someone to understand what changed for you.

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