When I was younger, I would often repeatedly re-read books that I had enjoyed the first time round. I've read Little Women countless times, and the same goes for The Secret Garden and adult books like Gone With the Wind and The White Family. I didn't feel any guilt in it either - if I felt like reading a particular book again, I just read it and enjoyed it.
But now, especially since I started this blog, I feel guilty about re-reading. I feel like there are so many books and so little time, so that re-reading is 'wasted' time. I'm more conscious of how many books I'm reading too, and of how long each book takes to read. I get so many good recommendations from other blogs that my wishlist is very long and I feel like I should crack on with that rather than re-read. And I have lots of unread books on my shelves, which again make me feel guilty about reading an old favourite.
But I've resolved to re-read more, and to make reading just about enjoyment again, rather than putting pressure on myself over what to read or how long it takes. In the past I've often enjoyed a book more the second time round and I want to go back to that kind of enjoyment and simply read what I want to read, when I want to read it. Besides, I'm never going to be able to read all of the books I want to read, as more get published all of the time.
And it was definitely much improved on the re-read. I noticed details I hadn't noticed before, and was more free to savour the descriptions of the Eastern European countryside, as I wasn't so worried about what would happen to the characters. I was surprised by how much of the details I had forgotten, and I had also forgotten how much I enjoyed the narrative style of the diaries, letters and telegrams. Definitely not reading time wasted!
How about you? Do you re-read or do you feel guilty about it? Is it worth re-reading favourite books?