Friday, August 18, 2017

Discussion: Why Rereading is Getting Harder

I love rereading. It's not something I used think I would enjoy, but in high school when I needed to escape for a bit I found myself turning to favorite books and being able to relive them in all their glory. When I started blogging it became harder finding time to reread but when I did get the chances I still enjoyed the books. This year I've gotten a fair bit of rereading done, but I noticed that it's become harder for me to enjoy rereading.

The only exception to this being The Magicians. I originally read this senior year of high school and found it really depressing and unenjoyable. I reread it this year because I was really enjoying the show and found that I actually loved this book. A lot of the elements that I had disliked in high school were parts I tended to enjoy more this time, and I chalk that up to the fact that I'm older and more mature and because I've been able to enjoy more of the fantasy genre and really appreciate how this book subverts a lot of that genre.

The other books I've reread so far this year are ACOTAR, ACOMAF, Lady Midnight, Assassin's Blade, and Throne of Glass. With both ACOTAR and ACOMAF I didn't have nearly as hard a time enjoying them again, and I was easily reminded why I loved these books. I was finding that when I was reading them, though, that if I put them down for any extended period of time I didn't feel any particular urge to pick them back up; there was nothing driving me to actually continue reading them except my prior experience of enjoying them.

Lady Midnight was where I really and truly hit the wall. Rereading it I actually found myself disliking it. Moments I thoroughly loved in my first read through led me to just putting the book down and not wanting to pick it up. I disliked the characters, the pacing, and was even getting annoyed by the world of Shadowhunters. Now, this series has been with me since eighth grade, and turning away from it actually frightened me a bit and made me sad. What if I would never be able to return to these books that have gotten me through so much. Lord of Shadows put me back on the right track and I was able to enjoy it completely and become swept away into the world again. But disliking Lady Midnight put the kernel of thought into my head: Am I growing out of some of my books?

Recently I reread Assassin's Blade and Throne of Glass, two books I read every year. Yet they didn't inspire anything in me. I had a hard time finishing and even coming back to moments I forgot about, or seeing little things mentioned early on that have an impact on the most current book, couldn't keep me completely engaged. My mind wandered and my time was spent more often watching television. This gave me the other thought: Are some of my books running out of material?

I think it's a bit of both but I also think it has to do with the greater scheme of things, and the fact that I think an era is ending in YA.

Am I growing out of some of my books? Definitely. I've actually already discovered this when I was going through the books I keep in my closet. There were a lot in there that, flipping through again, didn't lead to any spark. I've donated most of them because I don't need them and because they don't hold special memory. I don't think I'm growing out of Shadowhunters but I do think Lady Midnight isn't nearly as good a book as I remember, sadly.

Are some of my books running out of material? Well, I'm not to sure about this. Like I said, I've read Throne of Glass every year since it came out. Every year I would find something new, some angle to the text that could make it a whole new book for me. This year that didn't happen. Soon I'll be rereading Crown of Midnight and the rest of the series and we'll see, maybe my thoughts with those will help me figure out what's been wrong. Maybe it's just not the year of Throne of Glass for me. I haven't read any other book nearly as much so I don't know what else to compare it to. In general I'm of the opinion that a good book never truly runs out of material or interpretations, but perhaps that could just mean Throne of Glass is not as good a book as I once thought.

What do I mean by the end of an era in YA? I mean that there have, recently, been a lot of books that just feel the same. I'm getting drained repeating stories outside of rereads. And sometimes it's not immediately noticeable and I'll go for a bit really enjoying a book, but when I look back and try to call up some of those things I loved about it, I'll also find those same traits in several others.

Has anyone else had a problem getting into rereads? Or are you feeling drained by things coming out? Even better: can you recommend me something that's different?


  1. I’ve been trying to reread one old favorite every month this year. So far, I haven’t had trouble getting into them. Maybe because it has been so many years since I originally read them. I do feel guilty about rereading when my TBR shelf is full of new books, though.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Oh that's a great goal to set for yourself. I definitely think that putting more time between reads helps; at least for me, with my poor memory, I forget a lot about details and plot after about two years, so it can become like reading a book for the first time.

      It's so hard to divide time between new books and old, well loved, books. Hopefully someday it will become easier to choose, haha. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. You didn't like Lady Midnight ? WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH SAM ?!
    *clears throat* let's be serious now. I'm not a rereader because I don't want to change my opinion about a book I loved (except for ASOIAF, I don't think I can grow out of it). What you said about YA is completely true. I've been in a slump for two weeks just because I can't find a book with an original concept. They're all about the same things (especially in YA fantasy, the girl who wants to take back her kingdom ? Boring.)

    Hum... a book that's different... Have you read Stolen by Lucy Christopher ? I know you're not really into contemporaries but this one is pretty interesting. Or Gilded Cage, this book is amazing.

    1. Haha, right?! I loved it the first time but something about the reread... idk it just didn't hook me the same at all. Hmm that's fair; normally when I reread I change my opinion for the better, but now that I'm not enjoying them as much it is something I need to worry about to. Haha yeah I've read GOT several times (it's the rest of the series that I have a hard time continuing with for whatever reason...).

      Hmm it sounds super familiar and looking it up the cover is super familiar as well, but I can't place whether I actually read it or not. It's possible I borrowed it from someone, or from the library, but never read it. Definitely adding it to my TBR; thanks for the rec. As for Gilded Cage, I got halfway through an ARC but for some reason I put it down before finishing. I absolutely need to finish it though, especially if you liked it!

  3. I don't reread all that often - never really have, aside from HP or certain passages of other favorites.

    1. That's totally fair. When I get homesick at college I tend to go through my favorite scenes from books, especially ones I read in high school.


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