Why I Reread Books

So I have recently been looking at my read books this year and there are a number of rereads in my list.  Some of that is because of my desire to share some of my favourites with you.  But I thought I would ask you if you enjoy rereading your books and share some of the reasons I enjoy doing so.

Why I Reread books

One of the reasons I love to reread books is because I enjoy the familiarity.  Reading Harry Potter again can bring up some nostalgia of a simpler time, when I didn’t have bills to pay and didn’t need to clean the kitchen as it was something that was magically done in the house.  Also surrounding yourself with a world you feel you know intimately there are no surprises or shocks.  You know what to expect, if you are reading Harry Potter you can expect to see magic, if you are rereading an Agatha Christie novel you can expect to see a murder and it being solved by the end of the book, with Lord of the Rings you will see Elves and battles.  While there are masses of new books out in the world sometimes when you have had a bad day a little bit of familiarity can make you feel better. 

Often you notice things as a reader that you have not noticed before. I have found when reading something I spot something that I have never noticed before.  These little gems of information which you may otherwise miss can change your thought process on a specific book or a character throughout a series. Each of these little insights can help you to understand the books more and in some cases further understand what the author is trying to get across to you. 

Sometimes if you are reading a book that you cannot put down, as each twist and turn of the plot is revealed you may forget what happened in the book or one of the main storylines.  I know that has happened with me for one of the Dan Brown novels, and I am aware that I should go back and read the book again.  In this case rereading can help refresh your knowledge of what occurred and in some cases enjoy the plot all over again.  My other half is a massive rereader as he can read so quickly he couldn’t discuss the plot of the book a week after he has finished it.

I have found when rereading some childhood favourites that you can spot things that you wouldn’t have noticed when you were younger and enjoy the complexities more as you have grown and changed these changes are reflected in your perception of the book. The book has not changed since the first time that you have read it, but your perception of it still changes as you have done so. 

There are inevitably some drawbacks of rereading books, you may have loved a book on your first read but when you reread it the book doesn’t meet your expectations and you wish that you had not bothered.  This may be for a plethora of reasons but it doesn’t make the experience any less disappointing. 

I personally enjoy rereading books, which is possibly why my TBR list never gets any shorter but I want to know what you think.  Do you enjoy rereading books?  Have you ever had any bad experiences when you have done so? 

Is my Blog helping me meet my Reading Aims?

I started this blog at the end of December 2019, with the aim  to encourage me to read more. If you haven’t read my first ever blog post you can see it here.   I felt that I needed accountability for my reading as I always felt like I read a lot but compared with my partner I hardly read. Since we are at the six month mark (well four days off) it felt timely to share how I think it is going so far.  

I am currently on book 20 for the year (60% through), and according to my Goodreads Reading challenge I am 3 books ahead of schedule.  Which is a good position to be in at the six month mark.  

During this year so far I have taken on books that I never would have previously attempted. Despite how much I love the Throne of Glass series I would have just let the final two books languish on my to be read pile, one because it didn’t follow the main characters and the other because it is such a large book,  instead I am 60% of the way through Kingdom of Ash. As much as I would like to state that I will finish it this week I doubt that will be possible due to work commitments. 

Last year one of my other aims was to read at least 10,000 pages.  This was a number that I was just below this figure. I am currently sitting at 9,389 pages so I may double that figure this year. 

In addition this blog has allowed me to think deeper about the books I am reading and analyse the underlying messages which the author is sharing.  

With these things in mind I would say that Indulgent Readers has been successful so far in helping me to read more and I hope to continue to improve on my reading statistics and blog. 

If you run a blog do you think it has helped you to read more or think more about what you are reading?  As a blog reader do the articles you read influence your thoughts and feelings on books?   

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets a Review

A few weeks ago I started reading the Harry Potter series again, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is one of my least favourites in the series though it was the first one I ever read. My version is probably about twenty years old (which really shocks me when I think about how many years young I am!)

This book is really the start of understanding why Voldermort survived and how this impacts the later books is fascinating.  There is a lot of mystery wrapped around the main plot lines, what is the creature which has been petrifying everyone?  Where has Dobby come from and why is he going to such lengths to ‘help’ Harry see that he has to return home?  

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling

As someone who has previously read this book none of these items really held my interest.  The longer term implications which I did not know the first time I read it were much more fascinating to me now.  

This books shows you a lot more of the relationship between Harry and Ron but also shows that Hermione’s intelligence will be key in future books as she is the only individual who seems to work out what creature it is that is causing the issues that the school is facing. 

We also meet Draco Malfoy’s father in this book and his actions have a profound effect on the story. It also allows the reader to understand more about Harry’s nemesis of Draco Malfoy and this makes his character more relatable.  

This is the first time we get to see the inside of a magical home and the controlled chaos which is the Weasley family.  While I was growing up I knew someone who was one of ten and I feel that they would have been able to relate to the challenges facing such a large family.  I know that their vehicle of choice was a van rather than a magically altered car, but the principle is the same. 

One of the themes in this book which is fairly strong through out the series is discrimination.  While we knew in the first book that the Slytherins we were introduced too do not like muggleborns, another form of discrimination in this book isthe shunning of Harry.  Harry has a fairly unusual gift of speaking to snakes and when this is revealed everyone automatically assumes that Harry is a dark wizard and therefore it must be him that has opened the Chamber of Secrets. The shunning of Harry show’s how fickle people can be when it comes to fear and a lack of understanding.  

This book made me feel a little ambivalent. When I First read this book I really enjoyed it.  However, I have read it a number of times since and I do not get the same feeling of I must read this to the end.  I also feel that the later books are where the more complex plots are revealed and the book by itself I feel is lacking in something. 

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As much as I love this series I am only giving this book three stars.  As i explained above I don’t love Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (and I am sure it must be someone’s favourite). I do understand that this book lays the ground work for the overall plot line.  

Do you think I have been harsh in my rating?  Is this your favourite Harry Potter book,  if so let me know in the comments below. 

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas Book Review

This book is one I was avoiding.  While I have loved the Throne of Glass series so far I knew from the beginning of the book that the main characters who we have been following until this point would not be appearing. I started this book more than once and until May I was not enjoying the thought that I would not be following the main characters’ journey. 

Tower of Dawn, Throne of Glass series book 6 by Sarah J Maas

Once I got past the first couple of chapters however I was once more in love with the story that Sarah J Maas has been creating.  It was lovely to see Choal who we were introduced to in the first book develop.  It was also lovely to see another area of the world that they live in an area which is not yet contaminated with the darkness and hate that has enveloped the Northern Continent. 

It was also lovely to see Yrene, I had read her story in the prequel, which meant that one mystery of this book was already solved for me. However that did not lesson my enjoyment of the book it simply meant that I was more focused on the other elements of the story.  

As I stated above I found the first few chapters difficult to get through as it was very description heavy.  However once the main points of the storyline occured I found it difficult to put down Tower of Dawn. 

My initial thoughts on the Southern Continent was that it was based on the Mongolian Empire. The Mongolians were one of very few conquerors who allowed those whose land they had taken over to continue to practice their own religion. This is something that the Khagnate did and it is probably one of the reasons they were so successful.  As the story progressed it also reminded me a little of my Turkic family, not being allowed to leave a home of a family member without eating something, and in some places a friend’s home.  This is a trait I have. I love to feed other people and it was nice to see some characters who have the same outlook on life. 

The opening of this story, as I have already explained, was too description heavy for my liking. This is understandable as the reader is in a place that we have not seen before. And It is important for the reader to understand these differences early on in the book.  As the story progressed the pace of the book quickened and the description once more was distributed which is how I prefer it. 

In some ways the book reminded me of Lord of the Rings, the characters splitting up from each other and doing their own thing to find answers.  In Lord of the Rings this split leaves you not knowing what half of the characters are doing for a very long period of time, yet in Tower of Dawn the story flicks back and forth between the two plots. 

One of the themes in this book is acceptance.  The acceptance of the differences in the cultures of people, thier religions and their histories. It is also shown that acceptance of yourself is important.  

Another theme is Loyalty.  With the interesting dynamics within the ruling family of the Southern content, the loyalty to those you have made promises to and the loyalty of friendship.  Each of these are played out in different ways, and while the characters all have different steaks on the situation they are involved in the loyalties they show ultimately supports them to get to where they need to be.

This books made me want to read the final installment of the Throne of Glass series.  While the dramatic end was slightly spoilt due to my reading of the prequel, I now really want to finish this series.  Though the next book is a mammoth 980 pages, meaning I will have to read a few short books to have some planned blog posts before I start it! 

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I am going to give this book 4 stars,  while I struggled with the start. I loved the last 200 pages which I sat and read in one day.  

5 Reasons all Slytherins should Smirk…or Smile

I have managed to get this far in my book blog without mentioning Harry Potter so I thought my first post after my review of the Philosopher’s stone I would share my Harry Potter house.  I am a Slytherin. 

Now don’t unfollow me just yet, I am going to give 4 reasons that Slytherins should be proud and even happy to wear the silver and green of this proud house. 

5 reasons all slytherins should smile... or smirk

Ambitious 

Now ambition can be a negative trait, but when it is focused in a specific place it is not entirely a bad thing.  Ambition can be shown in poor ways, but can you honestly say that you do not want a promotion at work? Or to run your personal best? Or to read more books than you did last year?  To be ambitious is not something which is inherently bad but it can drive positive things, in my case starting a book blog to increase how much I am reading.  

Determination

Anyone can set themselves a goal,  seeing it through to the end that takes determination. Be willing to do anything to achieve that goal,  get out of bed at 5 in the morning for your morning run, or do one more rep in the gym.  To succeed you often have to be aware that you may have to put blood sweat and tears into it, of it, some may even cheat or be underhanded to achieve their aims.  To be determined to achieve your aim gives you the drive to do so…how the drive is utilised is up to each individual.

Intelligence

Despite Slytherin’s apparent issues with morals on the whole the house is fairly intelligent. Ignoring the slight megalomania of Lord Voldermort  he pushed the boundaries of magic in a way that people had never thought of previously.  Severus Snape edited his NEWTs level potions book and created new non-verbal spells before he had graduated.  This is also shown in their success with winning the House Cup.  

Competitiveness

 Those of Slytherin house have a win at all costs mentality.  Before Harry Potter joined Hogwarts Slytherin had won the House Cup six years in a row. Winning the house cup three years in a row could be a coincidence…but seven?  A number of those points will have been awarded during classes (due to their intelligence). It is also seen on the Quidditch Pitch, and while others may not like it, even Oliver Wood has this outlook in the third book suggesting Harry ride a curse broom as long as he catches the snitch before it throws him off. 

Resourcefulness 

My favourite trait I have saved for last. Resourcefulness is useful in so many walks of life. Everytime I cook I have to overcome the problem that one of my hobs on the cooker does not work (it hasn’t since we bought the house and we have now learnt to live with it). I use it in my day job everyday where someone gives me a problem and I find one or more solutions for my manager or the individual involved.  This trait can be used for many things and being resourceful helps you to what you need done.