There are some days when I look at my book shelves and think that I have lots of new and excited things to read, and why would I ever pick up a book I’ve read before ever again. There are some days when I look at my book shelves and think those books that I’ve read were so good that I just want to keep re-reading those books over and over again. And there are some days when I finish a book and think, that was so good that if I re-read it I would be nothing but disappointed.
For all of you who don’t know what Top Ten Tuesday is, or don’t know how to get involved, click here. The lovely folks at Broke and Bookish teamed together to create this awesome weekly prompt, which is now hosted by the wonderful Jana @ The Artsy Reader Girl. Then you simply get listing!
Guys, I must confess that I am a serial re-reader. Nothing showcases this more than my current reads. I am reading Harry Potter for the gazillionth time at the moment, trying to convince myself that experiencing the illustrated editions for the first time doesn’t count. It takes a lot for a book to be so good that I won’t ever re-read it, or for a book to ruin itself if you experience it a second time, but there are a few and here they are:
1. Life Lessons from Space: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth Col. Chris Hadfield
This was my book of 2017, and if I am honest it is one of the best things I have ever read. I loved reading about the intricacies of the space programme, the dedication and devotion astronauts have to their careers, and the amusing quirks and astonishing focus of the Colonel himself. It was brilliant, and eye opening, and made me see some things differently, but it also was something that can’t be re-read. It will never mean as much the second time around.
2. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Trevor Noah
I have always found Trevor Noah funny, and for the longest time I have enjoyed watching his stand up performances and listening to his jokes. I also (relatively) recently visited South Africa. I experienced its divides and its beauty and listening to a man who grew up there, in a difficult situation as a child of multiple races, was a priviledge.
3. Ready Player One Ernest Cline
I recently read this. It was a bit of a timing thing, and a narrator thing, and I was surprised by just how much I loved it. Wil Wheaton was a masterful narrator and the story was enjoyable, but it’s nothing that I would choose to read again. It was definitely something I enjoyed, but wouldn’t want to re-experience.
4. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
The thing about thrillers is that they are page turners, they have exciting twisting plots, and they have unexpected endings. The problem with them is that once this has been experienced, it’s hard to enjoy them as much the second time round.
5. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe Lauren James
I really enjoyed this book. I knew nothing about it and was gifted it with the note that this was an incredible read. It blew my socks off and wow’ed me. The ending was so unexpected and story-changing that it wouldn’t be the same book if I re-read it. It wouldn’t flow or make sense, and it wouldn’t be something I want to experience again.
6. By Any Means: His Brand New Adventure from Wicklow to Wollongong Charley Boorman
I actually read this book years ago after seeing the TV show, and it was actually the first travel memoir I ever read and experienced. Charley Boorman was one of the first people that made me think about travel as more than holidays and that was pretty extraordinary. I don’t really like re-reading memoirs sadly, but this book was awesome.
7. The Lord of the Rings J R R Tolkien
I love middle earth. I love fantasy books. I love Tolkien. I love everything about The Lord of the Rings but it’s not something that I feel like I can ever re-experience in book format.
8. 12 Years a Slave Solomon Northup
This book is, well, it’s harrowing. It’s hard. It’s eye-opening. It makes you think and realise uncomfortable things. I won’t ever read this book again because I found it difficult the first time round, but that’s not because it wasn’t brilliant, it really was.
9. Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman
I really like dystopian literature. I really like Blackman’s take on a world-flipping and loved listening to the audiobook, but I think I will always choose a different book to re-read over this. It was really good, and the narration was incredible, but it just isn’t something I will pick up again.
10. You Don’t Know Me Imran Mahmood
This book is brilliant and amazing and categorically something that you only experience once. It makes you think, and it makes you review facts and testimonies as you go almost like you would in a real case, so it stands that this is a book you can only read once.
So there we have it, some of the books that I have loved most but know that I won’t re-read. There is one book not on this list that may well belong here, and that is my favourite book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this book over 10 years ago and absolutely loved it. I’m now scared to re-read it as an adult, what if I don’t like it as much, what if I have to try and work out what my new favourite book is? I hope to one day re-experience it, but until I do it remains a one-time read.
Have you read any of these books?
What books do you love but will never re-read?