Rereading a book can be like spending time with an old friend: the rhythms are the same, but you bring something new to the experience each time. You might identify with a different character this time around. Or you simply find comfort in the pieces that remain exactly as you remembered. No matter which experience you’re hoping for, we are 100% in support of your right to reread. So, in honor of a holiday (or, at least a movie with this holiday for a title) that celebrates re-dos, here are a few of our favorite books to read time and time again.
Yes, you may know who committed murder in the first few pages of this stunning work from the author of The Goldfinch, but that doesn’t make the read any less full of suspense. The language is beautiful, the tragedy is heartbreaking, and the enigmatic characters bring us back to this novel again and again.
This we promise you: after you read this book, you will think of it at least once a week forever. It might be the bit with the bedbugs. Or you’ll fantasize about being an art monster. It’s possible that you’ll think of a particular quote from the book (“But now it seems possible that the truth about getting older is that there are fewer and fewer things to make fun of until finally there is nothing you are sure you will never be”) and a shiver will run down your spine. Regardless, our advice is to read this incredible book. And then read it again.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie, the Queen of Crime, never fails to deliver. All of her books keep us turning pages until the moment the mystery is solved. But what we especially love about her novels is that even when you know who the murderer is, they’re still a good time. This is, of course, what also makes them the perfect comfort reread.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
We’re going to let you in on a little secret: the plot isn’t really the point of The Night Circus. Magicians raised for battle! Star-crossed lovers! It’s a super fun novel, but the thing that keeps us coming back to this book are the lush descriptions of the world inside the black-and-white striped tents of Le Cirque des Rêves. We want to feel our skin chill in the ice garden and mourn by the pool of tears. This is why we reread!
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed is a gift we are grateful for every day. And Tiny Beautiful Things is a gift we give to all of our friends anytime they are feeling down. This collection of “Dear Sugar” columns is so quotable that it’s impossible to pick just one, and the advice Strayed hands out is always full of empathy and wisdom. This is the perfect book to revisit when you’re looking for a little inspiration.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
We believe The Fire Next Time should be mandatory reading, but since it’s not, we reread it. At a brisk 128 pages, it packs an emotional punch that never fails to make us think. It also inspires us to go out and do the work of fighting racial injustice which Baldwin lays out in ways that are deeply disturbing, but beautifully written.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Sandra Cisneros’s classic work (which may soon be a TV series!) plays with language and plot in ways that are truly enchanting. You may have read this novel in school, and we think that’s all the more reason to read it again—see what new things you discover with a few more years of life experience under your belt.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
You didn’t think we’d forget Jane Austen, did you? Pride and Prejudice is such a rereadable novel, we feel like we don’t need to say much about it. So instead, we’ll leave you with the immortal quote that perfectly sums up our feelings for this novel: “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”