Reading Argument #101: Re-reading Books

            It’s quite a controversial topic. Some people do it, some don’t. Some get something out of it, some don’t. After some thinking, I did it. That “it” is re-reading books.

            The book I re-read this month was a book that has been unbelievably popular within the last little bit. Last time I checked, there were 113 people on the waiting list for it at the library. As you may have guessed, it’s The Hunger Games. Naturally, after watching the movie, I decided to read the book again. I never re-read books, but because I liked The Hunger Games movie so much, I decided to give this whole re-reading thing a try.

            Let’s start with the positives. Especially after seeing the motion picture of this novel, I was really motivated to read it again, but the main reason was a little different than people may think. It was partially because I wanted to get as much Hunger Games as I could at the time, but I was really curious how different the book was from the movie, and surprisingly, the movie actually did a pretty legitimate job of keeping what the book had in it. Also, had been a while since I had read the book, and I was really trying to get into all the details, and guess what? There were so many more details I caught the second time around rather than the first, and it was almost like a whole new experience with new details, and a new mental picture of the story line.

            Almost. With positives, there almost always come negatives. The one big downer in this book for me was that I already knew the thrilling story line. My visual images were different. The characters looked different. The plot did not. Even though the Hunger Games is an exciting book with so many twists and turns, I felt like I knew every one of them as they came. With the plot being the main element of a story, the re-reading of this book was a bit less enjoyed than the first time.

            Reflecting back on the positives and negatives, it is a surprisingly hard decision for me to choose whether I like re-reading or I don’t like re-reading. So, I didn’t choose. I really like some parts of re-reading, and other parts aren’t so likable, so I can’t really decide which one I think is the best. I think it depends on the book you read, your reading preferences, your author preferences, your book preferences, and so many other factors. I think re-reading isn’t as simple as you like it or you don’t, but depends on the reader and the book. That’s what I think.

Now, I would like to know: What do you think? What are your views on re-reading? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Please comment below and let me know. I’m interested!


Views: 195

Comment by Angela Wu on April 27, 2012 at 10:33pm

That's an interesting situation you brought up about how watching the movie first ruined the book because you already knew the story line. It would be much harder to enjoy the book a lot if you can already play the story out in your head. I do agree with you because when you re-read, you catch a lot of details that skimmed over the first time. If it has been a while since you first read a book, the second time may be just as enjoyable because you're a new person now, with different perspectives and intelligence. However, I personally don't like to reread books. If it is something I have already done, I tend to not want to feel like I'm wasting time. The few instances I have reread books was because I read them when I was too young and didn't quite understand it.

Comment by Taylor Wienold on April 28, 2012 at 12:34pm

 I agree with you. I think that re-reading certain books is a great way to compare to the movie and see which you like better. I also tend to re-read books I really liked the first time around. I find that each time I read I find some new piece of information that I hadn't picked up on before or not thought about it in that way. The only down side is if there was any suspense before, it's mostly gone since you know the general plot line.

Comment by Sam Holzhauer on April 28, 2012 at 3:08pm

The only books that I have ever re-read so far are the four books in the Twilight series. I personally think re-reading is a great thing, however, it's not for everybody. Usually people only have the motivation to read a book again because of their overwhelming love for the book the first time. I fell for the Twilight books and its story so hard that I simply had to experience them again! Also, I have bought some books after already reading them for the sole purpose of re-reading them another time in the future. I plan on re-reading the Harry Potter series, Perfect Chemistry series, and Thirteen Reasons Why. Re-reading is an awesome thing!

Comment by Kyle Erickson on April 29, 2012 at 6:00pm

My experiences with rereading are generally positive.  Yes you know what is going to happen, but that changes how you look at a book sufficiently to the point that it is a new experience.  You notice the characterization of one person, see the foreshadowing in the other, see things that you are astounded that you didn't see the first time.  One big thing books (and arguably video games) have over T.V. is that every time you go through them they are completely different.

Comment by Pierre McCauley on April 30, 2012 at 2:46pm

This is a very interesting and controversial topic. Personally, I do not enjoy re-reading books. I have decided this because I have tried to re-read a book before, and I really did not enjoy it. It goes the same for movies also at times. Another problem I have with re-reading is that I know what exactly is going to happen and I know the details contained in the story. Think of it like this. Let's say you have a First Generation Iphone since it has came out. That would probably suck, because you know its features and you are bored with the phone itself. I always want something fresh. For example the fourth generation Iphone S has recently came out, and people would rather use that instead of a first generation Iphone. Maybe this is helpful in understanding my reasons for not re-reading a book, however people are entitled to their own opinion. There's  no problem with re-reading books, but it's just not my style. Otherwise, this was a good blog post because you give people chance to be able to personally respond. Great blog idea, and sorry to the person who didn't get a chance to do this blog idea first.

Monsieur Pierre

Comment by Rosemary Agbeh on April 30, 2012 at 8:17pm

I tend to not re-read books because in my opinion there's no surprise to how the story ends, since I'm already aware of it. It takes away the eagerness of finding out what happens next. But then again you are right, you are able to catch things that may not have caught your attention in the first place. Also by re-reading a book you would be able to reflect on it with a different perspective. Thanks for posting!

Comment by Yuri Shibata on April 30, 2012 at 9:15pm

I completely agree that re-reading allows you to understand the story better and pick up some new details that you didn't notice the first time around. I normally don't re-read books either but there have been a few cases where I have and I must say, each time I re-read that book, I learn something new.

Comment by Olivia Nortillo on April 30, 2012 at 9:30pm

I agree with much of what you said Tanner. I think that re-reading is good and a lot of the times I like re-reading books, but it does depends on the book. I like reading books before the movie adaptation comes out (if one appears) because I can picture the characters and the setting in my head and what's going on the way that I see things. I agree with Djameno on people's imaginations being restricted if they see the movie before reading the book. If you're reading a book after you've seen the movie, the faces of actors who are portraying the characters are sometimes all you can see when trying to imagine the characters in your head. Like in The Hunger Games for example. People now have the faces of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson for Katniss and Peeta in their heads. Like people have been saying, it depends on the book. For example, The book The Giver by Lois Lowry is a book I've read at least 4 times. Every time I read it again I find more depth and intriguing things about the book that I wouldn't have caught when I was reading it for the first time. To my knowledge, there isn't a movie version of The Giver, so I can still play around with what I think the characters look like and how they act. I also agree with Viviana; why wouldn't you want to re-read a good book?  

Comment by Soumya Vhasure on May 6, 2012 at 11:17am

Personally, I like rereading books. Because you already know what's going to happen, you catch details you missed the first time. For example, in the beginning of The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson sees all of these suspicious things that he doesn't understand (and neither do you). However, if you go back and reread it, you realize that all of these things are happening because Percy is a demigod and someone stole Zeus's thunderbolt. I also recently finished rereading the Harry Potter series, mostly because I had forgotten the details of the books (having read them 4-5 years ago).

Comment by Stephanie Mueller on May 9, 2012 at 2:31pm

In  my opinion, I think re-reading books is great, especially when you haven't read it in a while. I think you can get a lot out of re-reading books, because you can catch new things that you missed the first time. You can also enjoy the storyline again while reading about your favorite characters again. I can see your point when you said you already knew the storyline and what was coming up, so I think re-reading books is only effective after a few years of reading the book the first time.


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