I’ve been sick. I guess it’s “just a cold.” But it’s a monster “just a cold.” Sore throat. Cough. Congested chest, sinuses, head. You name it. I’m feeling better tonight, so I might actually read.

But I won’t be reading poetry (which I should since I wanted to do a few different “poetry” posts this month). I won’t be reading anything for my “challenges”, despite the fact that I keep signing up for more.

No, I’ll be rereading a book.

When I made up my list of books for college-bound students I was struck by one that I read first in middle school, Jane Eyre. I haven’t read it since middle school. So I decided it was time for a reread.

I am loving every minute of it. I stop and reread passages again and again. It may take me a while at this rate. But I don’t want it to end.

It’s just a reminder to me that this is what reading is meant to be about. Yes, there are places for the challenging books. I’ll still get to my books of poetry and about poetry eventually. Although those books may be challenging to read, they are worthwhile in my personal development

But I should also read for the joys of a comfortable book. So I’m off to Jane Eyre again tonight.

Do you reread books?  Why or why not? What do you read when you’re nursing a cold and not in the mood for a challenge?

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. Sounds just like my cold (awful sore throat), and sounds exactly like what I do when I’m sick! I also read Jane Eyre, or another ‘familiar’ book. Unfortunately, I’m already behind with my readings for uni, so that’s what I’ve been doing instead of reading Harry Potter. Grrr

    Hope you get well soon!

  2. Sorry to hear you’re sick. I’ve reread Jane Eyre several times. It’s a great book. I haven’t reread anything in a long time. I have too many on the TBR pile.

  3. Oooooohhh… I LOVE Jane Eyre. You make me want to reread it again right now. I definitely reread books – but mostly the fun ones that were easy to read in the first place. Often, I reread if a movie is coming out (I reread ALL of the Harry Potter books before each movie, just for fun, and I reread the Chronicles of Narnia before each movie – just the individual book, not the whole series).

    When I am sick, though, I definitely look for a Bronte sister – Wuthering Heights is a great sick book – or Jane Austen. I’m not sure why. I guess there’s just something comforting about them!

  4. I’ve got a monster cold right now, too! Ugh! I’ve been trying to read light (Rick Riordan) because I can’t focus on the two classics I started, but I’ve been tempted to go back to Harry Potter as my comfort book. But if I start, I’ll just keep reading those, and I need to get some other books read before I can do that.

    Can you believe I’d never read Jane Eyre until a little over a year ago? Infact, I’d never read any of the Bronte sisters until April of ’07, when my book club read Wuthering Heights. I didn’t like WH, so I was worried when I started Jane Eyre, but it turned out to be one of my all-time favorites. 😀

  5. I hope you feel better soon. The crud has been going around here and it seems like it’s hard to shake this year.

  6. Ugh, I’m pretty sick myself. Feel better!

    I reread:
    1. Books I’ve read before but can’t remember anything about.
    2. Books I read for school and did not enjoy. Now that I’m older, I have more patience, maturity, and experience, which helps me enjoy books that I did not like before.

    There aren’t many other books that I reread.

    When I am sick, I tend to watch TV rather than read. But usally I’ll find a “comfort book” by skimming a few pages from all the books in my TBR pile until I find one I like.

  7. I really appreciated the sentiment of this post (though I’m sad to hear that you’re feeling sick!). I wholly agree that there is a time and a place for reading purely for pleasure, purely for comfort. After all, surely improving one’s mood and one’s spirits, learning what one enjoys in a novel, aren’t these all elements of self-discovery and self-betterment?

    I don’t reread books an awful lot, but I do generally reread anywhere up to say 5 books a year. Often these are so-called comfort reads – books that I loved whole-heartedly, that utterly charmed me on my first reading. Normally I turn to these when I’ve hit a bit of a wall with my “new reads”, and have been generally finding them to be less than inspiring. I’ll turn to books I know I love in order to perk up my spirits and reignite my desire to read once more.

    For me, I find myself most often returning to Jane Austen, Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, and the Harry Potter books. These never fail to engross me and always provide an enthralling reading experience. However, at other times, I’ll return to more serious books that affected me profoundly when I first read them such as “All the Kings Men” by Robert Penn Warren or “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. If I’m sick, Harry Potter is always the right choice!

  8. I don’t reread books very often, but Jane Eyre is one that I’ve read a few times. I remember reading it right after my first baby was born, and I was definitely in need of comfort then! I hop you start feeling better soon!

  9. yikes..so sorry to hear of all the colds and sicknesses.
    Jane Erye is just perfect cold reading. I read it about five years ago with my book club. I think it was one of our favorites. I have seen two different movie versions also. Loved them. They would be second on my list of things to do if I am sick. Feel better soon.

  10. I love rereading and used to do it all the time! Then bookblogging came along, and rereads are getting shortshrifts. I think that’s what my main reading resolution next year is going to focus on. 🙂

  11. I hope you feel better soon. I reread books some of my favorite books when I just want to escape from the world and all the pressure. I haven’t read Jane Eyre yet. It’s next week’s required reading for one of my classes so I can’t wait. Happy reading.

  12. Thanks for the well-wishing! I’m already feeling a lot better.

    tuesday, bummer being sick when you have school! I thankfully can zonk out on the couch and let my son hit me with his toys all day. Not too much brain power required….

    Chris, I know that TBR pile is out of control, always. I think it’s a shame we book bloggers don’t reread more often, especially when it’s a book we loved the first time!

    AK, I don’t recall loving Wuthering Heights when I read it in high school. Maybe I’ll revisit that one next time I”m sick.

    Amanda, I have so many books “in progress” that I felt guilty starting another! There are so many books like Jane Eyre that I’ve never yet read, so I can understand not discovering that one until later. So many books and so little time…

  13. Kathy, for us, it just keeps coming back! And it’s worse every time….

    Lily, the first two days of being sick were all about TV. Then I started to feel a little better and I just needed something else to read…

    Steph, I love your comment — and the book suggestions too! I hope to reread East of Eden some day. It was so wonderful the first time around.

    Shelley, isn’t it interesting how we remember what we’re reading at times like that?

    Toni, I don’t remember seeing the movies, but I tend to dislike movies of books that I liked. Thanks for the well-wishes!

    Eva, it is a downside of blogging that rereading gets cut! Maybe what we all need is another challenge…..

    Vassilly, It’s too bad it has to be read in such a short time. I hope you still can enjoy the beautiful language as you read it. I love the language!

  14. Oh dear, I hope you feel better soon! I do reread books, although with all these challenges I am wondering how I’ll fit that in. If I am sick, I reread Lorrie Moore. When I’m not sick, I reread Lorrie Moore. 🙂

  15. Get better soon!

    Love re-reading books after it’s been a couple of years (or in some cases a decade lol) as I don’t remember them quite as well. Then it’s like reading them for the very first time!

    When I have a cold however, I go for a comfort genre. It doesn’t necessarly have to be something I’ve read before, it just have to be a genre or an author I know I’ll enjoy and it can’t be too “heavy” (in all senses of the word lol).

  16. priscilla, maybe we just need a “reread books” challenge 😉

    Ladytink, I really like rereading too! And I understand the need for something not “heavy”!

  17. Oh I hope you’re feeling better. I used to reread a lot, but recently haven’t. There are so many books I want to read that it’s getting harder and harder to find time to reread. But I wish I could do it more often. My comfort rereading top three: Like Water for Chocolate, The House on Mango Street, and The Princess Bride.

  18. claire, I haven’t read Like Water for Chocolate! But I also love the Princess Bride. I’m more likely to re-watch the movie, but the book was so much fun too!

  19. I hope you are feeling better by now!

    I’ve been in the mood to re-read some books I first read in high school. Jane Eyre is one of them, as is The Great Gatsby. I sometimes re-read my favorite authors, like Jane Austen or Jim Harrison, but not often — there are so many books on my TBR list!

    When sick, I stick with mysteries.

  20. Rose City Reader, yes, I’m a lot better. Yes, the huge TBR always makes rereads less frequent. But this is so much fun that I think I’ll make it more of a habit in the future.

    John, hi thanks for the well wishes. I’m glad you like Shakespeare! I do too, although I must read more of his plays.

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