Gaze over at your bookshelf and see all your treasured books just waiting to be cracked open again, inviting you to explore its pages once more. Yes, yes, we know: there are so many books and so little time to read them all. But in this post, we try to make a case for why you should reread books. Read on and hear us out!
Sort of like when you visit your old school and are stunned to find out that everything seems smaller than you remember—rereading something as an older person can give you a new lens through which to view the text.
While the text remains unchanging, you are not the same person you were when you last read the same book. Life experiences, other books you've read, new relationships you've developed through the years can all alter how you interpret a story or perceive a character. For example, many who read Little Women as an child or young teen identified with Jo's independence and rebellious streak. But rereading it as an adult, one might finally be able to understand and relate with Amy's steady ambition and desire to belong.
Most readers will find themselves in a rut at some point in their reading life. When you don't want to invest in a new character or when you don't have the energy to follow an unknown storyline, rereading something you've already finished in the past presents a less daunting endeavor. Reading familiar lines can help get you unstuck. Try it sometime! You don't even have to finish a reread since you no longer need to find out how the story unravels.
Sometimes when you're so caught up in a story, you miss out on a lot of details in the storytelling. Rereading and deliberately taking the time to work your way through the text can show you layers in the narrative you might have glossed over the first time around. Rereading can also give you the space to focus on other subplots or elements, now that you aren't primarily driven by a need to know what happens next.
For many writers, the first reading might be for pleasure and subsequent readings are to figure out how the author was able successfully weave sentences and pages to articulate an idea, achieve a desired emotional reaction, or develop a character's arc. Rereading and breaking down a text is the key in identifying the strategies and storytelling techniques that the author used to create a great story. Understanding how the narrative was developed and constructed can deepen the pleasure you derive from the book, and—if you're a writer—provide invaluable insight on how to approach your own writing.
Like every Filipino high school student, we all read Jose Rizal's masterpiece, Noli Me Tangere. But we didn't necessarily had any choice which version of the novel we were assigned to read. It was only when I reread it in college using a different translation did the story come alive for me. I didn't know in high school how hilarious the novel was! Encountering it again years later gave me completely different understanding of the novel’s use of comedy (the tinola scene comes to mind!).
Perhaps you've read an abridged version of a classic when you were younger—try reading the full text this time around and see if it reveals new elements you were not able to perceive before.
Stories are like worlds we can revisit anytime we want. Rereading an old favorite can provide comfort, especially when real life is turbulent. While everything else may be uncertain, a reader can find reassurance between the pages—knowing it will all turn out the same in the end. Or maybe it's been too long and you've already forgotten the story, then you get to experience it like the first time again.
Go on, reach out to that book sitting on your shelf, patiently waiting to be rediscovered. We hope you get to experience the unique joy of rereading. Check out some of suggested books for rereading below.
F. H. Batacan
This harrowing mystery, winner of the Philippine National Book Award, follows two Catholic priests on the hunt through Manila for a brutal serial killer
Payatas, a 50-acre dump northeast of Manila’s Quezon City, is home to thousands of people who live off of what they can scavenge there. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city whose law enforcement is already stretched thin, devoid of forensic resources and rife with corruption. So when the eviscerated bodies of preteen boys begin to appear in the dump heaps, there is no one to seek justice on their behalf.
Get Smaller and Smaller Circles (Paperback) by F.H. Batacan and other crime and mystery books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.
Get A Little Life (Paperback) by Hanya Yanagihara and other contemporary fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
“Spectacular...An absorbing and distinguished work...The House of the Spirits with its all-informing, generous, and humane sensibility, is a unique achievement, both personal witness and possible allegory of the past, present, and future of Latin America.” —The New York Times Book Review
The House of the Spirits, the unforgettable first novel that established Isabel Allende as one of the world’s most gifted storytellers, brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family.
Get The House of the Spirits (Paperback) by Isabel Allende and other fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories contains, in two volumes, all fifty-six short stories and four novels featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s world-famous detective.
Volume I includes three of the four Sherlock Holmes novels: A Study in Scarlet, which introduced the eccentric genius and his sidekick Dr. Watson to the world; The Sign of Four, the quintessential locked-room mystery; and The Hound of the Baskervilles, a haunting tale that has rightly earned its reputation as the finest murder mystery ever written. The short stories include "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Red-Headed League," "The Adventure of the Speckled Band," and "The Final Problem," tales that bring to life the horse-drawn cabs and atmospheric fogs of Victorian England and the famous lodgings at 221B Baker Street where Holmes made his name as the greatest fictional detective of all time.
Get Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Vol. I (Paperback) by Arthur Conan Doyle and other classic books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time.
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for...
A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction.
Get Dune: Dune Chronicles, Book 1 (Paperback) by Frank Herbert and other Science Fiction and Fantasy Books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work "her own darling child" and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, "as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print."
Get Pride and Prejudice, Penguin Classics (Paperback) by Jane Austen and other classic fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.
Get The Joy Luck Club (Paperback) by Amy Tan and other contemporary fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
The world-renowned classic has enthralled and delighted millions of readers with its timeless tales of gods and heroes.
Edith Hamilton's mythology succeeds like no other book in bringing to life for the modern reader the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths that are the keystone of Western culture-the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.
Get Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, Export Edition (Mass Market) by Edith Hamilton and other mythology books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Louisa May Alcott
A beautiful new Deluxe Edition of Alcott's beloved novel, with a foreword by National Book Award-winning author and musician Patti Smith. Nominated as one of America’s most-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Get Little Women: 150th Anniversary Annotated, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition (Paperback) by Louisa May Alcott and other classic books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
José Rizal, León Ma. Guerrero
Noli Me Tángere was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism written from the point of view of the oppressed.
A scorching exposé of the Spanish government's corruption and abuses of power, this novel is famed as a catalyst to the Philippine Revolution. Its passionate tale of an idealistic young Filipino's challenges to authority plays out against a backdrop of repression, torture, and murder.
Rizal paid with his life for his outspoken writings; a century later, the martyred author remains a symbol of Philippine nationalism as Noli Me Tángere takes its place among the revolutionary classics that have influenced history.
Get Noli Me Tángere (Touch Me Not), Dover Thrift Editions (Paperback) by José Rizal, León Ma. Guerrero and other classic books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Joseph Conrad’s enduring portrait of the ugliness of colonialism. Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
Heart of Darkness is the thrilling tale of Marlow, a seaman and wanderer recounting his physical and psychological journey in search of the infamous ivory trader Kurtz. Traveling upriver into the heart of the African continent, he gradually becomes obsessed by this enigmatic, wraith-like figure. Marlow’s discovery of how Kurtz has gained his position of power over the local people involves him in a radical questioning, not only of his own nature and values, but of those that underpin Western civilization itself.
Get Heart of Darkness, Penguin Classics (Paperback) by Joseph Conrad and other classic fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More