Old books or new?

27 Dec

174644There are many, many great books out there.  There are probably more great books than we could read the titles of in a lifetime, let alone manage to actually read.

So my question is this… are there books that you read and re-read over and over again?



I read The Lord of the Rings about once a year, and have read most Terry Pratchett books at least three or four times.  I am planning to re-read all the works of Jane Austen this year.

But should I not rather be reading new books?  There is so little time, and so much to read; can I really justify wasting time re-reading, when there are so many new worlds and stories to discover?

What do you do?


Posted by on December 27, 2012 in books


3 responses to “Old books or new?

  1. cynthiadumarin

    December 27, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I have perennial favorites that I reread. They are the sure things that always deliver and give me pleasure each time I return to them. It’s never a waste of time to revisit something wonderful. There are always new layers to discover, and if not there’s always the comfort of knowing the end will please. I hate it when I love a book all the way through and then hate the way it ends. But when I reread an old favorite, there are no unpleasant surprises to rob me of my joy at the end.

    But I’m also always on the lookout for new things to read. This past year I’ve read a lot by Indie authors, much of it quite good too. I long ago made peace with the fact that if I lived forever I would still not be able to read everything of interest out there, so I just keep plugging away and don’t worry about it.

  2. lolitakey

    December 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I justify re-reading because every time you read a (good) book you usually discover something new about the story or the characters. At the same time I believe that we change all the time as humans, we are not the same as we were when reading the book for the first time. We have experienced new things which shape our personalities and also how we percieve and relate to a story. Stories do not exist as static things. And therefore every re-read is unique.

    I could read the Moominbooks by Tove Jansson over and over again because I discover something new about myself, life etc. every time I read them.

  3. africanstardust

    December 29, 2012 at 9:49 am

    There are new stories to discover, but, at least for me, good ones are difficult to find. The books I read are mostly classics, Tolkien, CS Lewis, etc, and I reread them many times. But you can do that with those books, because they are so rich that you see new facets with each read.


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