A Short Discourse on Rereading

Since the movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games came out last week, a lot of bookish people I know have whipped out their copies of the book and reread it - either prior to, or after seeing the movie. Reasons for the reread vary: some did it to reacquaint themselves with the plot, some did because they're huge fans and found the reread necessary. Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that not few of us who love books do rereads of books that have been adapted into motion pictures.

Not me, though. I may pick up a book that I haven't read before because the movie adaptation piqued my interest, but I don't do rereads of books of movie adaptations, either before or after seeing it. I don't reread books that have been serialized on TV. I just don't do rereads, period. Yes, even of my favorite books.

Primarily, it's because I find the exercise a waste of precious time and effort. I still have a mountain of books waiting to be read, and there are so many other titles equally worthwhile that I've yet to discover, so why would I spend all that time reading a book that I've already read?

Plus, I don't enjoy reading a book the plot of which I already know. Every flip of a page, and you have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen next, you might as well recite the dialogue out loud. It's just not as exciting and interesting as when you read the book for the first time. Take, for example, Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. I loved that book so much, but I would never be convinced to reread it even if people say the perspective is wholly different now that I already know how it ends. It's just simply not the same.

What are your thoughts on this? Care to share? :)


Tina said…
I normally don't do rereads either, but sometimes because I need to take a break from all the new reads, I go for old ones. It's almost like listening to a song -- when the song is new, I can't do anything because I want to listen to the lyrics. But when it's an old (and loved) song, I just relax and let it flow. :)

I'm going through some old books again now for comfort, and also because I want to see if I like it as much as I used to. I just do it sparingly especially when my TBR keeps shouting at me. :D
I used to reread books all the time, but that was when I didn't have a lot of them. Now, especially, I can't afford to because of my TBR pile.

I also recently made it a personal rule not to reread the book before the movie. Just to give the movie a fair chance at surprising me all over again.
Anonymous said…
You know my stand on this, buddy! Remember 1984?

Some readers say that new things may be picked up through rereading. But I just don't have the time. I can only re-scan the book, like pick up quotations for my book write-ups or reread opening sentences or any paragraph that I like, but going through it again, line by line, I don't think so.
Monique said…
TINA and MINA (Hey, that rhymes!): Thanks for the comments!

We seem to avoid the rereads because of the TBR pile, yes? At least that's one thing we have in common. ;)

BUDDY: I know, how I can forget 1984? Haha! :)

I don't even rescan. Heehee.
Lynai said…
Just like Mina, I used to do rereads when I don't have Mt. TBR yet (i.e. when I was in high school and I have read all the books in our library). After watching The Hunger Games, though, I had this urge to do a quick re-read just to refresh my memory of the names of the characters. Too bad, I cannot find my copy of the book.

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