Have You Ever Been Afraid to Reread a Book?

I’m in a bit of a slump right now. I have a problem where none of the books in my TBR pile sound good. Obviously they sounded good to me at one point, otherwise they wouldn’t be in my TBR. But right now, I just don’t feel like reading them.

As a result of this slump, I’ve looked at rereading a few books I’ve already read. I started out with rereading Harry Potter, which is something that I do often. But shortly after finishing I realized that I don’t reread any other books/series. Harry Potter is one of my comfort reads and I’m guaranteed to love it. I know that. But I used to reread other books all the time (this is like 6+ years ago). However, the idea of doing that now kind of scares me.

What if I no longer like the books I once loved?

I know that as I’ve read more books I’ve become a more critical reader. I have higher expectations and my tastes have grown and changed over time. So what if I read a book that I LOVED six years ago… and I hate it? That would crush me!! I’d almost rather not take the risk and stick with my fond memories.

Have you ever reread a book that you once loved, only to find that you didn’t like it anymore?

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  1. oh yes, happened to me with two books in particular. The first one, I read over 25 years ago. It was an australian novel, and was a comedy – very much almost slapstick, about a dead body that kept getting moved around with different people who were slightly connected. I remember thinking it was hysterically funny, and recommended it to heaps of people. A couple of years after, I noticed I had lost it – whether loaned to someone or in a move, I didn’t know. Fast forward to 5 years ago – I decided to track it down as I had always remembered it. Cue lots of searching on the web, with only a half-remembered author’s first name. I managed to track it down to a small second hand bookstore that sold on the web and was absolutely THRILLED to open up my mailbox and see it there. πŸ˜€ So that night, I was very excited to read it…..OMG what a piece of TRASH! Quite simply, the WORST and the MOST BADLY WRITTEN book I have ever had the misfortune to read. WTF had I been thinking 25 years ago??? Riddle with editing typos, two characters had the same first name for no reason whatsoever thus causing confusion, not funny in the slightest, written by a third-grader I’m sure. Wow, very disappointing. The second book is this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skallagrigg Loved it when I read it in 1987, thought it was one of the Best. Books. Ever. Read it years and years later and …. :headdesk: TERRIBLE. LOL

    Jaki recently posted: Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
  2. Ugh YES, it’s happened to me, of course. Especially with books I liked in my childhood – Peter Pan is the most obvious example. Not that I *loved* it as a kid, but I loathed it now.
    I think the bigger the time gap, the more likely it is that your memory of the book becomes slightly twisted.
    It’s similar with movies that you liked as a child – I know there are some I loved and can’t bear to watch now.
    But I think this is all perfectly normal, because it’s natural that our tastes change, right? Otherwise we’d still be stuck on the same kiddie level πŸ™‚

  3. Hmmm… I tend to re-read books that I loved when I’m in a reading slump too. It’s never happened that don’t like the book any more, probably because I haven’t tried reading a book that I ready more than 10 years ago. I guess my tastes have changed since then – I read a lot of YA now – but so far, so good.

    Liza @ Reading with ABC recently posted: Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
  4. It is entirely too strange to be getting this post from you today. I just went through the exact same thing yesterday and today decided to start a post on the topic of rereading a book. I’m glad I came here first otherwise I’d have been copying. LOL

    I have 4 books on the go right now and then yesterday ended up getting deeply involved in a book I already read years ago. It’s not like I consciously thought about reading a different book, it’s that I have too many devices to read them on and when I grab a different device the current book I’m reading isn’t on there and I might not be in an internet zone to be able to go get it so I end up grabbing a different one to read. Or at least that’s what happened yesterday.

    Then when I started to read I got thinking to myself, gosh I hope I like this as well as I did the first time I read it. Which lead me to other thoughts like yours. What if I were to pick up Harry Potter some day (again… for the 50th time) and suddenly I’m not caring about it as much as I did? I would be devastated.

    I have what I refer to as “Old Faithfuls” that I go back to on a regular basis to guide me through the reading slumps. It doesn’t necessarily happen very often but sometimes I like to revisit my favourite characters. What would I do if I suddenly hated them?

    So YES, it scares me too! πŸ™‚

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    1. Haha, don’t worry! It’s possible to just have the same idea without it being copying. πŸ˜›

      On the subject of Harry Potter, I actually can’t reread books 1-3 anymore. I still ADORE 4-7, but 1-3 have a very MG vibe (as opposed to YA) and I don’t particularly like/read MG. So I sadly can’t read and enjoy HP 1-3. πŸ™ Makes me so sad!

  5. I can definitely see this being a concern, although I’ve never had this issue personally. I used to re-read a lot (don’t anymore because of blogging and ARCs and fresh content, etc.), but when I did I never ended up loving a book less. I think my fond memories of it just overpowered my reading experiences, so I continued to be happy with the book, even if that would no longer be the case if I read the book for the first time right now. But I have no issues separating my current book criticisms and pet peeves from beloved older books.
    Also, the comfort gained by reading something familiar helps me not worry so much about other aspects of the book.

    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted: Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
  6. This happens far too often for me. I feel like I’m constantly changing the order of my favorite series because of it. Then there are the books that I gave high ratings too before my blog but never reviewed that I will re-read to put in a proper review or get caught up on a long running series that I find I suddenly don’t care for anymore. It makes me question all of my old reviews and wonder if I was too nice, or reviewed them too quickly. I know of one book that I gave 5 stars to in a book high just to realize a day later that it was a 2 or 3 star book. It’s made me wonder a few times if I should be reviewing books at all. Maybe I’m too fickle or something.

  7. You could read my book. πŸ˜›

    But in all honesty, perfect example of this: I actually likes Twilight the first three times I read it. After that, I hated it more and more until the whole series was a huge black scar in my memories.

    Another example though: another Stephenie Meyer book, The Host, I’ve read just as many time as I have Twilight but I end up liking it more and more every time I do.

    So, it could go either way. You never know. :]

    Sierra recently posted: Procession: an Excerpt
    1. That’s an excellent point about it going either way! I think I like Harry Potter more every time I read it. πŸ˜›

  8. I honestly don’t re-read too much, but when I do I find that I usually love the book even more than the first time. Like the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, I’m re-reading that now and I’m loving them so much more than before. I try not to worry about if I’m going to like it or not, I’m usually re-reading to refresh my memory when new books come out for a series.

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  9. Same! I’m in this book slump and even though many said that I should try rereading my favorite I think my mindset right now might influence my judgment on the book I once loved. And for some reason I don’t want anything that will destroy my opinion & experience of the book, even if it’s me (especially me). So yeah, I get where you’re coming from.

    Mitchii @ The Aeropapers recently posted: Early Review: Blackbird
  10. I’ve only reread Harry Potter because, like you said, I know that I’ll love it no matter how many times I read it. It’s definitely a comfort read for me, too. I actually haven’t reread the full books in quite a long time, but whenever I’ve had a rough day, I’ll grab a random one off of my shelf and flip to a random page and just start reading. I don’t think I’ve become so attached to other books like I have those that I would want to reread them again, though. I consider Harry Potter the only story that I’ve read as of yet that I would ever revisit in it’s entirety.

    Emily @ Books & Cleverness recently posted: Waiting on…Frostfire by Amanda Hocking

    Shiver by Maggie Stiefvator. I don’t know, dude, but I read this back in 2010 and loved it to pieces. Just recently I decided to reread it so I could continue on with the trilogy, and I hated it with a passion. I had a whole rant for a review, and it was a mess, but it was how I felt. I honestly couldn’t believe that I could hate a book that I used to love so much!

  12. So far, I have not reread a book and liked it less. And I don’t worry about it either. I am not too stressed about rereading and book and finding it lacking the second time around. I kind of expect it because, as you said, out tastes change.

    Just go for it. How does liking a book less the second time around really going to affect you in the long run? It’s not like you are going to re-review it. No one will know but you and there are so many other books you will still love.

    1. I think it’s just because I have super fond memories with certain books. They currently hold a special place in my heart if I LOVED LOVED LOVED them so it would be hugely disappointing if I suddenly didn’t like it and I feel like those memories would be ruined! πŸ™

  13. I’m in the exact same spot right now. We’re working on the house so I can’t actually get to my TBR books. I was thinking of a reread since I can actually get to those books, but I’m scared to read any of them. I actually have trouble making it through HP 1; I loved it when I first read it, but now I just can’t seem to get into it. I have a feeling Twilight would be the same.

  14. When I read the title of this post in my cellphone I thought when Joey (Friends) put a book in the refrigerator because he was afraid of the story. I’ve been there.

    I usually re read my favorite authors like Gabriel Garcia Marquez,, I’ve read One Hundred Years of Solitude like 15 times, and others of his book too. A few weeks ago I re read my favorite book of Juliana Haygert, Breaking the Reins, and I love it like the first time. I have never been thinking in that fear you said.

    Savannah @Coffee, Books & My Kindle recently posted: ARC Review: Fragment by Ellie Wade
  15. I don’t re-read books I loved as a child, because I’m older now and I’m almost certain I will not love it as much as back then. I don’t want to spoil all the good thoughts I have about those books.

    When it comes to other books, I don’t have any problems with re-reading them. The book thief, Harry Potter and the work from Juliet Marillier are a couple of books I reread often and I fall in love with them all over again. I don’t think I’ve ever had a reread that felt different; I even had some books that were better the second time.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted: Review 283. Amy Ewing – The Jewel.
  16. I feel ya on the reading slump thing. Having a mini crisis over here. Maybe I should reread Harry Potter. πŸ˜‰

    I am always afraid that if I reread books that I will not like them as much and then be disappointed with my original thoughts and feelings on the book. I have a ton of books on my shelves and I think I’ll be paring them down soon to just those that I still need to read and some favourites. I have hopes that I’ll reread some of them one day.

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  17. So far, it never happened to me. But on the other hand, I have so many books to read that I don’t have time to re-read others. Only exception : Jane Eyre by Charlotte BrontΓ« – read it 8 or 9 times, I want to be buried with it lol !

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  18. I have reread a total of two books (books 1 and 2 in a series) in my life and I don’t know if I’ll do it again. Those books that I read were Divergent and Insurgent. I reread them in prep for the release of Allegiant. Guess what? I was disappointed! I did not like them NEARLY as much as I did the first time around, which kind of broke my heart. Those were two of my all-time favourite books, and now I just don’t know how to feel about them. I honestly don’t know if I’ll reread another book ever again. I’m way too scared! But, I would love to reread The Hunger Games trilogy. But, I don’t know. I wasn’t the avid reader I am now when I read that series, so it might disappoint me now that I have more reading experience under my belt. What if they’re not actually the amazing books I remember them to be???

    Anyway, I totally get what you’re saying.

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