Posted by: Trisha Leigh | October 12, 2011

The Quietest and Most Constant of Friends

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

–Charles W. Eliot

My general thoughts on re-reading books is this: there are many books I would love to read again, but when I think of how many books are waiting to be discovered the first time,  I choose instead to dive into something new.

Now, I will re-read on occasion if a book-turned-film is about to be released, or if I read an ARC and want to read again in its official version.

However, the only steady exceptions are the five books I re-read at least once a year. These novels have almost nothing in common, except that, in one way or another, they changed they way I think. About real love. About faith. About friendship, possibility, imagination, storytelling, and tragedy. About a hundred different strings that tie together life.

I know you’re curious, so here there are:

A Separate Peace (John Knowles)

Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle)

The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

Redeeming Love (Francine Rivers)

Now I’m curious.

Am I the only one who resists re-reading novels in favor of gobbling up something new? Are there books you come back to in order to recapture the feeling they gave you the first time?

If you have novels you read over and over again, please share them. I’d love to know.



  1. Yup. I call them my “comfort reads,” and drag them out whenever I’m sick or just feeling low. At the top of the list is OUTLANDER, by Diana Gabaldon. That book just has everything — undying love, adventure, history, and even that all-important touch of fantasy with its time-travel aspect. Hmm. Now I’m itching to reread it again…

    • That’s one I’ve never read, Linda, so thank you. *puts on list*

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
    A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
    Dubliners – James Joyce
    The Sleep Book – Dr. Suess

    • Those are all fantastic books, Ken. I have read To Kill a Mockingbird several times. Though I have to say, if I was going to reread Dickens, I would choose Great Expectations.

  3. There are books that I re-read because of the feelings they elicit in me. Let’s face it, I’m a cold soul. I play up the happy-go-lucky gal, but it takes a LOT for a book to make me happy, sad, loved, triumphant, etc. (I left out angry because a lot of books make me angry.)

    Like you, I never want to re-read a book for fear of missing out on something that could be spectacular. My “to be read” book pile is tall enough as is, not to mention too often I promise to BETA read or edit. But if I’m feeling emotional or in need of something familiar (say a sick day), I’ll pick up a favorite book and read a few scenes I know will get me going. I read the first few chapters of Harry Potter to remind me that life is magical, or bits of Pillars of the Earth to fall in love, etc.

    • After the last installment of HP, I came home and immediately reread book 1. I had to convince myself it wasn’t really over.

  4. Oh, I re-read books all the time. I love hanging out with characters that now feel like old friends.

    Harry Potter
    Jeff Somers’ Cates series
    Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay Saga
    A new favorite – Fifty Shades of Grey – EL James
    The Hunger Games
    If I Stay, Where She Went – Gayle Forman

    • You like to reread sad books! I haven’t read a lot of Nora Roberts, but I loved this book called The Reef. Read it if you haven’t!

  5. I have not re-read A Wrinkle in Time, but right now I feel like I should.

    • You should. It’s delicious every single time.

  6. When I had my first kiddo and reading became more of a luxury I fell in love with audiobooks. Terribly convenient, they allowed my mental escape while I was also able to get other things done (laundry, dishes, endless rocking of said baby). There are a couple that I have on my iPod permanently that I know so well that I can start at ANY point and instantly know where in the story it is. This includes one playlist that holds the entire Harry Potter series. I also have a playlist for the Twilight series that I don’t know quite as well, but will get a relisten fairly often.

    • Listening to audiobooks requires retraining the brain, but I do enjoy them at work on occasion. I love to read snips of HP over again. I’ve never reread Twilight. I think I’ll let myself remember them fondly 🙂

  7. Linda G., I also re-read OUTLANDER. The character, the style, I just have to visit that world every now and then. I also went back through A GAME OF THRONES just to refresh my memory before the show began.

    • Oh, I don’t know if I could reread GoT. It took so long to read it the first time!

  8. I re-read A Wrinkle In Time, too. Also Anne of Green Gables, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Harry Potter, and Hitchhiker’s Guide.

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