It’s funny. There are more books in the world that I want to read than I will ever have the chance to read and yet, I am an unrepentant re-reader. There are just some books and series that I will pick up over and over and over again. I don’t even necessarily read them all the way through. Sometimes, I will pick up a copy of Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice and just jump in at a random point. I get teased sometimes by people who don’t understand the point in reading something once you know the story but I have always felt that once you love a book, re-reading it is like visiting an old friend.
Maybe that’s why I like to curl up with a cup of tea and a book so much. It reminds me of all the times that my family and friends would gather for tea and conversation, only in this case, my friend is made of paper and ink and not flesh and blood.
I know that when I feel overwhelmed and stressed, reading a familiar book gives me a no-pressure outlet to relax without having to put in the effort to read and appreciate something new. And at times of trouble and loss, my fictional friends can be incredibly comforting.
Here’s just one example. As I have mentioned before, my grandmother introduced me to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and our shared love of this book was one of the many, many bonds between us. Nanny died a heart breaking five months before I got married and my grandfather got sick almost immediately after. My family rallied to be there for each other but we were all dealing with our own feelings of loss and grief and the demands of being there for my grandfather as he was dying. I was having trouble making sense of everything that was going on and so on my wedding day, I took a quiet moment to re-read certain passages from Little Women, including Meg’s wedding and Beth’s death. I can’t say that I didn’t cry and cry hard but the two passages tapped into the way I was feeling in a way that I desperately needed and it made me feel as if my grandmother was there with me through the pages of the book she gave me.
Of course, not every re-read is as dramatic as that. Sometimes, I re-read a book because I want something to read and I grab the nearest book at hand but the truth is I wouldn’t be the person I am without an occasional visit to my paperback friends. And so, even as I tackle a to-read pile that will never be done, I am still a staunch defender of the joys and comforts of re-reading my favorite books.
What do you think? Do you re-read books after you have finished them like I do or are you off to new stories with never a look back? Leave a comment and let’s compare notes!
P. S. – This is the last of my Anne of Green Gables Quote Posts for the week. If you have enjoyed them, please let me know and I will do another round of them in the future.
Don’t forget that the discount on my handmade Anne of Green Gables inspired jewelry is coming to an end soon. Visit my shop at www.etsy.com/shop/ciarraistudios before Sunday to take advantage of the sale.