A Bookish Dilemma

Like a lot of book lovers, I have a TBR list. With so many great, hilarious, touching, brilliant, cozy and heartwarming reads out there, it can be hard to remember them all when you’re standing in a bookstore or a library trying to narrow down which you’re bringing home.

The downside to keeping a TBR list (and I have one in my purse, one at home, one on Goodreads and one on The Savvy Reader’s 50 Book Pledge site…oh, and here) is that one can become kind of a slave to it.

You find yourself in the library and instead of enjoying the experience of being surrounded by thousands of books that you can take home (for free! Makes me happy every time), you find yourself consulting your list to see which books you’ve been meaning to read.

All this emphasis on new titles or books that you’ve been meaning to read can take one away from one of life’s great joys: rereading books you already loved.

Right now I’m struggling with this. I have piles and piles of books at home that are begging for my attention. A lot of them have been generously loaned by people and I feel it’s my responsibility to honour this munificence by returning them, read, in a timely manner.

My own books that I haven’t read I’m less concerned about because well – they’re mine. They will get read one day. But I’ve also developed this renewed love of going to the library and I just have one more book to get through before I can go back and get a new pile.

But with the looming start of fall I find myself craving the familiar. I’ve recently reread a number of Jane Austen’s books except for Emma so that’s a reasonable place to start. I got almost all the way through War and Peace before my efforts were derailed due to a publishing oversight (will I ever shut up about that? Not likely) and fall weather seems the perfect time to give that another go. Fall is much more appropriate for serious reading. Sunshine and Russian literature doesn’t seem to work quite as well as Russian literature and cold, heavy rain, and if I wait til the holidays I might just be too depressed to even make an effort.

But let’s be honest here. What I really want is a return visit to Hogwarts. I want to go back and be there when Harry learns he’s a wizard, when he meets Ron and Hermione, when he discovers he’s actually quite good at flying on a broom, that Quidditch is a thing.

I’m not ashamed of being nearly 30 (sh*t I’m nearly 30 – this is the first time I’ve actually admitted that) and nursing a deep and abiding love for Harry Potter ok? I own that loud and proud. Those books are brilliant and I will totally fight you if you say otherwise.

So what’s holding me back from re-experiencing the wizarding world? There are seven books. Re-reading all the books (and really, what’s the point in doing this half-assed?) is a serious time commitment. And with all these other books piling up around me, do I really have the time?

Would you do it?

16 thoughts on “A Bookish Dilemma

  1. I don’t like to reread things, so I probably wouldn’t. However, if you are a person who likes to reread, then go for it! I wouldn’t mind a second to with the HP series myself…maybe that’ll be my thing next summer.

      • Nope, my TBR list (mostly books I own) is close to 200 long, do if I reread, it’s one more book I haven’t gotten around too. The books I do reread often are the ones I teach. I’ve found (with classics especially) that retreading does make me enjoy the book more though. Classics I don’t mind rereading if I have a good reason.

  2. I feel your pain! I have TBR lists in multiple places, a stack of books from the library, and a pile of books I’ve bought on the shelf I reserve for books I’ve yet to read. And just last week I found myself re-reading “84 Charing Cross Road” for the third time. I think that most times the right book finds me at the right time…whether I’ve already read it or not.

    • You’re so right about that- I do find myself reading the right book at the right time. Sometimes you mean to read something for ages and you don’t get around to it until you do and then it’s perfect. Or total crap but that’s a whole other story. Thanks for the comment!

      • Maybe read the first book, then alternate with something new throughout the 7 books. Another bonus is the first 3 books are relatively small so it won’t take you long to read either? (I just want everyone to read HP with me! Might make me pick up the pace a little haha)

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