|My picture. The coffee was delicious.|
I want to talk a little bit this morning
about some more of my re-reading habits.
Sometimes my compulsion for re-reading extends a little beyond re-reading books I really love or refreshing myself before a sequel is released.
Sometimes I re-read books that I didn’t really love the first time.
A lot of people are quick to DNF if they don’t connect with a book. I totally get that, and I might the same way if I didn’t feel like I was a pretty good judge of what I think I would like to read. I usually pick books that I think I’d like, and this usually works out well for me. If I am not liking a book for any reason – if I DO push thru it – it’s because I’m hoping it will redeem itself to me. Sadly, this sometimes doesn’t happen for one reason or another.
It makes me sad when I don’t connect with books that some of my reading friends have loved. There could be several reasons that I don’t click with a book:
maybe the main character didn’t redeem him/herself to me
or I couldn’t get behind his/her actions or behavior
maybe the book was an issues book that
brought out too much emotion for me to handle
maybe the hype/buzz machine just killed it for me
or maybe it was a contemporary book and
I wasn’t really into the contemps yet
I think the main reason I don’t click with books is that hype from marketing, other bloggers, or other readers kills my excitement for the book. I have the worst time loving books that have been pumped up too much, so much so that I’ve started pulling myself back from reading books that I feel are over-marketed unless I’m reading them super-super-early or wayyyy after everyone else. I also am working my way through some contemporary titles that I didn’t love the first time because I just didn’t love the genre yet. Giving these titles and characters a second chance is especially important to me.
Not loving a book that lots of you guys have loved means that I don’t feel closure when I finish the story. (That sounds really dumb, but just go with me.) So I re-read. Does it mean that I’ll love the story on the re-read? No. No, it doesn’t. But at least I know that if I try it again, I can go in with a clear head and a more objective mindset. PLUS everyone deserves second chances, right? So why not characters and stories too?
Most recently – as in, just a couple of days ago – I re-read If I Stay by Gayle Forman. As per my norm, I re-read in audiobook format and followed along with a print copy. I didn’t click with this book the first time I read it. (I thought I did at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn’t.) I didn’t understand why everyone SOBBED, why everyone was so destroyed or slayed or whatever (yes, I understand that it is sad). It’s a good book, it really is. But why are so many books compared to it? I liked it, but I could not for the life of me figure out where everyone was coming from when they say they were so emotionally connected to that book. So when I decided that I wanted to read Where She Went, the second book, OF COURSE I went back and re-read If I Stay. You guys, I wanted to be emotionally connected to the story. I did. I wouldn’t have minded a little bit of tearing up, a few tears. But it just didn’t happen. Again, it was a good story. And hearing it in audiobook format made me like it even more. But I didn’t love it on the re-read. I just didn’t. Am I glad I re-read it? HECK YES…because I went on to read Where She Went, which completely rocked my YA-male-point-of-view-loving world and DID, in fact, slay me. Had I not re-read it, I would never have gone forward with Where She Went (because I’m quirky like that) so YAY for re-reading books I didn’t really love, I guess. Mia got her second chance and hooray for second chances.
I have some other second-chancers on my to-read list for the coming months. Some are coming up pretty soon and there are some that I’m still working toward. If everyone and their brother loved Divergent, Throne of Glass, Before I Fall, Anna and the French Kiss, and Just Listen so much – surely I missed something the first time – enough that I feel like another try is warranted. But that’s just me. Lots of people would just keep moving forward and not give books they didn’t love a second glance, and that’s okay too.
What about you all? How likely are you to give a book a second chance?
If you don’t love a book, do you tend to revisit it? Would you ever consider re-reading in another format to see if it makes a difference? (like audiobook, for example)
It sometimes will make all the difference for me, which is why I think I’m so quick to re-read books that I didn’t click with on the first go-round.