Given that I’m fresh on the heels of an entire Grishaverse reread, this seems like the most appropriate time to discuss this! Reread is perhaps one of my favorite things in the world, and though I haven’t done a lot of it over the last few years, I’m really trying to convince myself that it’s worth the time spent. I always get it in my head that I should be reading new books, especially with my TBR officially spilling out past my dedicated shelves, but rereading is just so wonderful that I’m trying to just not buy new books instead so I can reread.
And, really, I could boil this entire post down to one thing: it’s familiar. We reread because we loved something enough that we want to experience it again, and that familiar comfort of settling down with a story that you already know is just everything. I read Red, White & Royal Blue three damn times in one year, not only because it was amazing, but because I wanted to relive those scenes that I loved (of course I’m talking about the Red Room scene, who do you think I am?), I wanted to drown in something familiar because that made it something comfortable and known. This doesn’t just apply to the last year, though I’ve certainly done more rereading throughout this state of chaos we’re constantly in–but this is always a thing that we crave. And, for me, this is really it. This is why I like to reread.
There are, of course, other reasons, though they always boil right back down to that. I knew, going into 2021, that I was going to reread at least part of the Grishaverse, though I definitely didn’t intend to try to reread the entire universe a month before the show premiered. And while I didn’t manage that, and I’ve still got a few left to go through, it’s been such a fun way to get prepared for Rule of Wolves by diving so deeply back into the universe. I definitely think I’d do this again, too–heck, maybe even before the Nikolai finale! Because it’s been so fun to go back and remember why I fell in love with all of these characters in the first place. I shout so often about Alina, but it’s been three years since I read those books, and seeing it unfold all over again just proved to me that she is a truly amazing character.
The same can be said for Shadowhunters. Though I didn’t reread TMI to get ready for anything, I was finally committing to catching up on the rest of the universe, and I wanted to start over again from the beginning. I wanted to fall in love with Clary again, to roll my eyes at Jace, to sigh over Magnus & Alec slowly coming together. Rereading TMI may have taken way longer than I anticipated, and that could just be a broad statement for the entire Shadowhunters universe because it’s taken me ages to catch up, and I’m still not done, but I enjoyed that reread so much, and I know that I’ll do it again someday because I love Shadowhunters, and being able to see them unfold from the very beginning is just so much fun.
It’s not only for love, too, though that’s a huge part of it. One of my favorite things about rereading is discovering new things. I’ll never forget the Noah Czerny character arc of The Raven Boys, and how stupid I felt when I went back and reread it, and it’s just there, plain as day, and we all ignored it anyway. There’s definitely something to be said about TRB, too, and even Shiver and The Scorpio Races. Maggie Stiefvater writes a spectacular first book, and though TSR is a standalone, it reminds me of the fact that I’ve reread Shiver and TRB way more than I have any other book in those respective series. Although, honestly? I could probably say the same thing about any series because I have a fondness for first books. I love the setup, the exposition, world slowly coming together. And I love experiencing all of that all over again.
I wrote a post a while back about books I wish I could forget so I could read them for the first time again, and that, too, is one of the big reasons that I reread. I love the discovery of a new book, and I think that’s sometimes why I wait so long to reread something. I’ve wanted to reread David Mitchell’s entire universe for years now, but I keep waiting, I guess, until I’ve forgotten enough of it that it’ll almost seem like I’m reading it all over again for the first time.
Because who wouldn’t want to revisit their favorite book again? If you told me that I could meet Karou for the first time ever, fall in love with her story all over again, find myself weirdly screeching KAROUUUUUUUU at random moments while reading? GIRL YES! I want it right now. I want to reread DOSAB right now just for the possibility. I want to die over Eugenides again. I want to weep over Lazlo Strange. I want to absolutely lose my mind and tag ever single one of my ADSOM posts with #hollandvosijkprotectionsquad.
Rereading books is one of my absolute favorite things in the world to do. I’m trying to do more of it, especially with so many series coming to an end. Having to wait a full year–and wow, that is so short compared to what it used to be, thank you, authors!–in between installments for a series is absolute torture, and I often forget a lot of what happened before, so I’m trying to take the time to allow myself to reread things. Because why not? Sure, I can say that I should be reading new books, and I should be working on getting my TBR down, and I should do this, that, and the other thing, but the bottom line is this: I said 2020 was about stress-free reading, and while I mostly did that, I also kind of didn’t because I still didn’t really allow myself to reread. And so, here I am, telling you that 2021 is definitely the year of the reread because why the hell not? I want to, and it’s fun, so I’m going to.
Also, how did we get through this entire post without mentioning There Will Come a Darkness? I’m 100% rereading this series TWICE this year, and I am so ready because I literally think about this series every damn week, and I deserve to love it over and over and over.