Comfort Reads and Lifechanging Stories – My Favourite Books to Reread!

orangutan list

I’m sure many of you know the pleasures of rereading: the comfort of a familiar book, the turn of a well-thumbed page, the nostalgia-filled nuances that bring back fond memories. As a self-confessed rereader, I like to try and find the time to fit it in (despite all the shiny new titles sitting on my shelf 😉). Oddly enough, for me, I find the spring (a time for new beginnings) a good time to return to my bookish roots. And, with everything going on, it seems like that’s truer than ever- which is why I thought it might be fun to share some of my favourite books to reread. I’m going to keep books I studied to a minimum, with one notable exception, because I want to avoid books I reread out of a sense of obligation (and also cos then this would be a very narrow kind of list). Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Hobbit_cover

The Hobbit– this was my most recent reread and what prompted this post. All I had to do was mention it, spot it on my shelf and I couldn’t resist! Abandoning all my reading plans (hello, mood reader here) I found myself wandering around Middle Earth again and loving every second.

sabriel

Sabriel– by contrast, this is one I haven’t reread in a while, but definitely plan to soon. It’s one of my favourite series from when I was a teen and periodically reread as often as I could- so much so that between me and my friend repeatedly borrowing them, the library rarely had copies available 😉

shades children

Shade’s Children– yes, I’m including more than one book by the same author, because it’s just as deliciously dark and rereadable! A unique dystopia with lovable characters, I can’t say how many times I was pulled back into this story. It doesn’t hurt, either, that it’s a standalone- so fully satisfying on its own!

northern lights

Northern Lights– ahh this series is so good. I’ve reread across the span of my life- from childhood, to my teens, to now. It’s just as good every time. And, unusually, watching the amazing adaptation in December has actually amped up my excitement to do a reread- result!

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

Harry Potter– I mean, I wouldn’t be a basic millennial if this wasn’t one of my most reread series 😉 But, c’mon, there’s a reason this makes everyone’s reread lists! Funnily enough, when it comes to the boy wizard, I decided a few years back, after rereading Philosopher Stone that my appetite was sated and I wasn’t going to do another reread… Of course, I didn’t keep to that (who could?) and reread and reviewed the whole series a couple of years later. So, now I know, this is always going to be a series I keep going back to.

carry on

Carry On– on the subject of Harry Potter, this parody of the beloved series stole my heart… so much so that when I finished it for the first time, I went right back to the start and read it again! I’ve since discovered it’s one of my go-tos for cosy rereads.

secret countess

The Secret Countess– thinking about comfort reads, you can’t go wrong with an Eva Ibbotson book. And none works better for me than Secret Countess– I periodically pick up this *perfect* love story and am never disappointed.

Emma_Jane_Austen_book_cover

Emma– speaking of romance, there had to be at least one Austen on this list (especially given I’ve reread them all). But, as I’ve mentioned before, Emma is my favourite- and consequently the one I’ve reread the most. Not just because it has flawlessly developed character arcs, not just because it has friends to lovers, but because it has the best Austen love interest (you can fight me on that 😉).

dorian gray

Picture of Dorian Gray– as promised I’ve tried to keep books off the list that I’ve studied or done essays on. However, I’m making this the exception because it’s a book I read of my own accord and chose to study. And, regardless of whether I’m studying it or not, it’s still a book I want to reread- which just goes to show how special it is!

man's search for meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning– this is probably the book on this list I’ve reread the fewest times, yet it’s probably the most important and the one I’m sure to return to. No, scratch that- it’s the one I need to reread. Because I need the reminders that life is precious, that meaning comes from the struggle and all the vital lessons this book provides. If ever there was a book that deserves to be reread, it’s this one.

And that’s all for now! Do you like (or dislike) any of these? What books do you most like to reread? Let me know in the comments!

The Joys of Rereading

Once upon a time there was a monkey who loved to reread. But as the monkey grew into a great ape, she began to feel like she had to devour all the other books (and bananas) in the world that she had not yet laid her hairy hands on. If she wanted to get to the top of the TBR Tower, there would be no time for diversions into Lands of Reading Past. However, as time went on, she began to get reader fatigue and was plagued by incessant slumps. The BIG BOOK DRAGON lurking in the back of her mind began to stir- “what about all the treasure troves of books you’ve read in the past?” She realised that her longing for magical worlds could only be sated by revisiting some of the old books she’d neglected. So the great ape got off her high horse, put the fears of the towering TBR out of her mind and picked up a series she knew she already loved. And she lived happily, bookishly after (until the next bookworm crisis). The End.

Okay, that was admittedly a very silly opening, but you get the idea, I’m here today to talk about why I love to reread books. Let’s get into the JOYS OF REREADING!

thoughts orangutan

carry onYou get to relive all your favourite memories! I mean, that’s one of the most obvious reasons to reread. I have to admit that sometimes I finish a really *amazing* book, like Carry On, and I have to flip back to my favourite parts and reread them straight away. It’s almost like a compulsion to get all the feels all over again!

 

hug a bookRereading a beloved book is like greeting an old friend– you get wrapped up in the embrace of familiarity. It’s easy to fall into step with a favourite novel, because you know exactly how it’s going to make you feel. You know which parts will make you laugh and which will make you cry. And sometimes that predictability can be a good thing.

 

chill slothBecause it’s incredibly relaxing to revisit something where you’re not fretting too much about how things turn out. Favourite books are like comfort food- there’s something heartening about them- like a snuggly jumper or a hot bowl of chicken soup (yes, that’s my comfort food 😉 ). It’s such a great way to destress as well if you’ve got a lot on your plate.

happy-runningIt’s also a fabulous way to get over a slump, because SLUMPS ARE FOR CHUMPS and we all want to get back on that reading horse as soon as possible. Sometimes just reading something we’ve read before can help. I’ve often found when I’m really struggling, I’ll go back to an old favourite and just whizzing through it will make me feel like I’m back on track. Then I get to feel like a CHAMPION!! (well, sort of 😉 )

1984 bookAnd sometimes you might learn something new into the bargain! Some books, like 1984, are endlessly complex. And no matter how many times I say “oh it’s too dark, I won’t read it again”, I know there is so much more to learn there that I will certainly *have to* read it again in the future. Plus, on the same note, though this isn’t the most joyful reason, if you need to do an exam on a book, there’s no revision as good as reading it and then reading it again and again…

rememberAnother huge positive is you might have forgotten most of it. Then it’ll be like reading it fresh! Sometimes I reread books and it gives me that “ah I remember why I fell in love with this in the first place” feeling. Given that you’ve read it and loved it before, there’s a solid chance the second time will be just as impactful. And if not, you might learn something new about yourself.

 

pride and prejudicePlus, you might even change your mind about how you feel about a book you didn’t like. Obviously, the danger of reading a book you did like is that you might not like it as much, but the MASSIVE PRO of rereading a book you didn’t like is you might change your mind. There’s always going to be books that we try at the wrong time or couldn’t get into when we first read them. For me, that was Pride and Prejudice– but I was so grateful to be set this for A Level because it made me give it another shot- and you know what? Now I love it! There are definitely other books in the world that I would love to reassess and give them a shot at a higher rating 😀

And that’s all for now- how do you feel about rereading? Yay or nay? Let me know in the comments!