Why reread books?

Cover of "The Little Prince (Turtleback S...
Cover via Amazon

Here is an answer I gave to a question asked on Quora:
Which fiction books have people read more than once? Why?

1) For deeper understanding of the meaning of the book. Some books, especially those with challenging structures, benefit from rereading because each time you can dig deeper into the themes and unwind the complexities. Exs: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

2) For comfort. Some books are so familiar and the characters are so beloved that I reread them if I just require some psychological comfort. For instance, after 9/11, I turned to Stephen King’s The Stand (strange choice, I know, but I love the people in that book so much). Other exs: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

3) To reacquaint myself with a book I’ve read long ago that I remember as being great but I don’t remember the details. I will pick it up again to see if it holds up, especially if I don’t remember much of the plot or if I read it under extreme circumstances (i.e., in college). Exs: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

What are your favorite rereads? Why do you keep returning to particular books?

One response to “Why reread books?”

  1. […] Why reread books? (shannonturlington.com) […]

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