Feb 19, 2012

Rereader--Are You or Aren't You?

I've met multiple avid readers who never read a book twice.
I can see the advantages: hours upon hours saved and hopefully spent on a new crisp book, the reader is constantly surprised during the story instead of knowing what's going to happen, the imagination is always soaring in newness...

I'll never know what it's like. I'm a rereader. I fall in love far too easily with characters. If I can't get enough of them by the end of the book, I start over and trick my mind into thinking it's never read the book before (it doesn't usually work). I've read J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series at least ten times (no, I'm not exaggerating. The first three books are probably somewhere close to 20), Francine Rivers' Mark of the Lion series used to be an annual read until I permanently lent out my books, Lord of the Rings, Hunger Games, Blood of Kings Trilogy, favorites, favorites, favorites...

I crave them.

I can't just leave my favorite characters behind. I'd rather repeat history with them again and again, defeat the villain over and over, find my courage page after page, which may be why I've found myself recently craving (and obsessing) over reading Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, the unabridged version, for a second time. It takes a very specific type of stamina to push through a lengthy encyclopedia-sized classic like that, but I guarantee it's worth it. Hands-down, Jean Valjean is, in my opinion, the strongest character ever written.

I know it's not a fantasy novel, but the library is taking forever to get me Ally Condie's Crossed, so until it arrives, I must satisfy my craving. It's gone on far too long--I've been listening to the Les Miserables musical soundtrack (phenomenal on stage, by the way...especially when seen in London) while washing dishes and then singing it in the shower. (and elsewhere) I think Jean Valjean and I have an appointment. Our rendezvous is tonight. Until then, fellow readers...

p.s. Are you a rereader or not? What's your opinion on re-reading a book?

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She writes stories about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her debut dystopian novel, A Time to Die, releases 2014 from Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction. When Nadine's not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she is out pursuing adventures. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband. You can find out more about Nadine and her books at http://nadinebrandes.com.


  1. I'm a huge re-reader. It started when I first learned to read and became a big skimmer, so every time I re-read a book I'd always find something new that I had missed before. Now that I've bested that habit, I still love going back and spending time with my favorite characters and in my favorite adventures, as you wonderfully described it. :)

  2. I'm glad you chose to go back and best that habit! There are far too many books that are more delicious when not skimmed. :) Yet, at the same time, it's nice that you got to enjoy the book more fully through two readings!