The world is full of a plethora of books, ones we will unfortunately never have the opportunity to read, nonetheless re-read. And this is one of the intrusive thoughts that cause a fair amount of stress for me every once in a while. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really very unimportant compared to the true discomforts, pains and problems of the world. But I’m not conquering Rome in these thoughts as I sit on my couch at 11:30 PM, choosing to stay awake a bit later than usual for some reason.
I’ve added ~500 books to my “read” bookshelf on Goodreads, but I’m confident there’s at least 20% more I will discover in the coming weeks as I complete my quest to have a fully up-to-date Goodreads profile, quaintly full of charming book reviews and tempting to-be-read (tbr) priority lists. And as I scroll through trying to decide where to focus my attention each day, I often come across an author I adore, a book series that brings me joy, or a book I feel the need to dive into once more.
But that’s a big quandary for me… to re-read or not to re-read? With my tbr list now close to 3 times the size of my read list, what’s a guy to do? Do I forsake the previously determined priority list for an old favorite? Do I risk never getting to a book I once I thought I wanted in favor of a guaranteed smile? Do I stop time for a few hours simply to re-connect with a friend from the past?
I’ve avoided the re-read for many years. Except for a few that I re-read in college as part of my English major, or a couple that I absolutely needed to re-read, I’ve not been one to choose the re-read over a new book. And it makes me question the purpose not only of a re-read, but the read in general. “Why do we read?” is a question so many of us can easily answer, but at the same time, the answer is sometimes not what we think it is…
I try to tell myself to limit additions to the tbr shelf, just so I can get through as much as possible, and then I can maybe re-read a few favorites. Yet it doesn’t happen. I add between 3 and 5 books every day, but I only read a new book every 2 to 3 days. The math will never work out! So I opt to avoid the re-read. But then I worry… what if I am giving up a wonderful memory, re-imagined and enjoyed, simply for what could be a possible false lark in something new?
I offer no answers or scientific opinions here… more just a random moment of concern. Why do you choose the re-read? And how often do you embark on that path? Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions…
I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Each week, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.
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