I’ve been reading books my whole life. Seriously, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love and obsess over books. Every year when my school would have the Scholastic Book Fair, I was there, wanting to buy everything, but unable to buy anything. I lingered in the book section of any store that had books on display. I would read a new book, then re-read an old book, rinse and repeat. My mom was probably equally exasperated and appreciative of my fanaticism, probably grateful I didn’t have some other, less desirable obsession. But it was my Grandma who really fueled the flames of my book passion, and I will be forever grateful to her. Granted, she started buying me books by V.C. Andrews when I was twelve, and as much as I adore V.C. Andrews, now that I’m older, I can see how her books aren’t necessarily the most appropriate for a twelve-year-old.
Over the years, my love for books has never changed, and I’ve stayed fairly consistent in my preferred genres – sticking mostly to fantasy, where the more magic and mythical creatures there are, the more invested I tend to be. And I love a good villain! Each day, it seems like there is a new author debuting, or a new book in a series, or a known author releasing a new book. There is so much content coming out these days, it can get a bit overwhelming to choose what to read next and which characters to laugh and cry with. Which is why, now more than ever, I find myself re-reading some of my favorites.
I’m pretty confident we all have our favorites – favorite characters, authors, books, series, whatever. And for me, those favorites have become like my favorite old t-shirt. They’re familiar, comfortable, and reliable. A lot of my friends scoff at the idea of re-reading a book: if you already know how it ends, what’s the point? Well for me, the point is comfort. Sometimes it’s more enjoyable for me to read something I already know front to back, something I’m familiar with and whose emotional ups and downs are something I know I can handle. But no matter how many times I read through my favorite series, I still find something new, or make a connection I didn’t see before. I still get all of the feels, still laugh at the shenanigans, and still cry at the heartbreaks. The difference is that I know I can handle those feels, and I know I will get through it. The first read through can heart stopping, and more than once, I have completely shut down and shut out the world when I get to a scene that is too much. The re-reads, though, don’t have that same effect, since I’ve already been through it and I know I can make it through again.
Sarah J. Maas is probably the one author who has made me cry more than any other, between the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series. The journeys her characters go through are so extensive and so well-written, I feel as though I’m journeying along at their side. The highs are extraordinarily uplifting, and the lows are soul-crushing. And I have read both series about 5 times each, at least. I just can’t get enough, and I’m sure I will continue to re-read this series through the rest of my life – and all my other favorites as well. Harry Potter will always be a much loved friend, and was, until recently, the most re-read of all my books – to the point where some of them are starting to fall apart. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan is always a joy to experience, and Anne Zoelle’s Ren Crown series has become the ultimate re-read series, with about 10 re-reads to date.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore reading a book that is brand new to me, and I’m constantly searching for a new adventure. But during those periods where I’m still getting over my book hangover from the last book I read, or trying to decide which new series to delve into, I’m glad I have my reliable backups to journey through a world I already love.