Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Worried I Might Not Love as Much the Second Time Around

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m going to tweak this prompt slightly so I can give more general answers to it as I have a long history of rereading books I loved X years ago only to discover that they no longer suit my tastes for a wide variety of reasons.

Drawing of dozens of red, green, black, or yellow circles that have been arranged in a chainmail pattern so that all of the circles are interlocked with several other circles to create an unbreakable bond between them. This means that if I’ve felt the urge to reread something, I’ve probably already done it.

Change is part of being human, and I don’t think it’s always reasonable to expect someone to feel the same way about a book 5, 10, or 50 years later.

Some people will always love certain books, of course, and that’s perfectly okay, too. But I believe that some books may work best if read at certain stages of life or under a specific range of personal circumstances for some of us.

This will be a short list this week.

1. The Classics

I’ve had some disappointing experiences rereading some of my favourite childhood classic novels only to discover things in them that I’d either forgotten or had not fully understood the first time I read them. This makes me not want to read reread anything else from this genre I have fond memories of.

See also: the weird and offensive things The Secret Garden had to say about how people should overcome their health problems. While I agree that spending time out in nature and trying to look on the bright side of life can be great coping mechanisms, they are not magical cures for anyone’s disabilities or illnesses.


2. Long Books

I used to see books that were 400+ pages long and relish the thought of diving into them. Now I strongly prefer works half that length at most unless the storyline is otherwise irresistible to me.

See also: The Pillars of the Earth series by Ken Follett. I remember loving how detailed the plot was about the lives of ordinary people who built those amazing cathedrals in Europe…but it’s also almost 1000 pages long which is far too verbose for me these days.


3. Unsatisfying Endings 

It’s disappointing to follow a series for years only to be let down by how it ends.

See also: The Clan of the Cave Bear series by Jean M. Auel. The first few books in it were wonderful, and then most of the conflicts that had been slowly building up tension in this series were either completely ignored or hand-waved away with tepid solutions in the final two books.

While I’ll always have a soft spot for these characters, I cannot convince myself to read those last two books again.


4. (Overly) Hyped Books

Obviously, not all books that are wildly popular upon their release are going to have this issue, but I’ve noticed that quite a few books that are hyped up a lot do not match my expectations of what I want to read. Their characters might feel flat when you look closely, or their plot twists have an over abundance of foreshadowing, or the issues they discuss are no longer so relevant a few years later.

I will not be providing an example of this one as I don’t want to make anyone feel bad for enjoying the hype surrounding hot, new books or having different preferences for character or plot development than I do. Reading tastes are such personal things.

It has simply been my experience that there is often – but certainly not always –  an inverse correlation between how much a new book is hyped up and how much I will personally enjoy it. So I will leave those heavily advertised books for other readers to enjoy and go browse in quieter sections of the reading community.


5. Fairy Tales

It pains me to admit this, but I have not enjoyed the majority of the fairy tales or fairy tale retellings I’ve read in the last five years. The genre doesn’t feel fresh to me anymore.

Hopefully this will change someday as I loved this sort of thing when I was a kid.

Once again, no examples are needed here.


6.  Amazing Plot Twists

Some stories work fabulously the first time around because you (probably) won’t see their plot twists coming in advance.

Once you know what those plot twists were, it can be hard to find the motivation to reread these tales even though I may have really enjoyed them the first time around.

See Also: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1) by Daniel Quinn, but I will not be giving any hints about what the twist was!




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54 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Worried I Might Not Love as Much the Second Time Around

  1. So much of what you’ve said chimes with my thoughts – especially the one about long books! Don’t have the inclination or energy anymore and I’ve come to admire brevity in a book. I rarely reread books but if I did it would probably be a classic although not one I read as a child. They were probably magical at the time but wouldn’t be now. Also I think sensibilities have changed and I might find some of the themes outdated or even unpalatable.

  2. I read a lot of mysteries and those are books that you really can’t re-read, at least not in the same way, since you already know what’s going to happen. Sometimes, it can be fun to re-read a really well-crafted one to look back and see which clues you missed your first time around.

    Happy TTT!


  3. I’ve become a fan of shorter books too. Same for very, very long series.

  4. I agree so much with your list!

  5. You make great points.
    THIS: I’ve noticed that quite a few books that are hyped up a lot do not match my expectations of what I want to read.

  6. Unsatisfying endings are such a disappointment. To follow characters and their journeys over many books, growing attached to them, only to have it end with a whimper instead of a bang… quite the letdown.

  7. I like a long book, as long as that length is earned. But I do agree it’s hard to wrap my mind around re-reading some of the longer books I’ve read.

  8. I’ve re-read a couple of books with amazing plot twists and they worked the second time around because I saw new things I didn’t see the first time.

  9. I think we’ve talked about this before, but I’m with you on stuff like Clan of the Cave Bear…. I enjoyed those close to twenty years ago, but the longer the series went the more it became some elaborate soap opera with the occasional extinct animal wandering around.

  10. Your spin on the topic is fun! I’d 100% agree on long books. They just aren’t my thing and never have been. I’m all about a concise, well told 300 or so page novel. 🙂 I’m also all for good endings, too! Thanks so much for visiting my website this week.

  11. I agree, especially the long books. I might pick one up, but mostly they don’t appeal to me. Have a great week!

  12. I feel the same about long books – while I used to love them, recently I’ve been enjoying shorter books more often.

  13. You’ve got really great points, but I am stubbornly refusing to see it! No seriously, I agree with you on a lot of these but I really don’t want to because it hurts my heart to acknowledge that many of the books I used to love probably don’t hold up anymore. I used to love Gone With The Wind as one of the most romantic stories, but I reread it a few years ago and was so turned off by (a lot of issues), and I no longer see it as a romantic story. I still see it as an epic historical story though, but it’s no longer one of my favorite books and that’s sad.

  14. Joanne

    A great list Lydia and so well thought out. Particularly agree about books with plot twists!

  15. I get so scared when it comes to rereading classics! I sometimes think that if I enjoyed classics the first time, it was because it was new and interesting to me. But then, there are books like The Great Gatsby…books I reread every year (I teach this one in high school), and I grow to appreciate the book more with every read.

    I also agree with plot twists. There are thrillers that I have LOVED, but I doubt I will ever pick them up again unless I forget some big plot points.

  16. This is one of the reasons why I very seldom buy mystery books anymore! Once I know whodunnit, there’s no point (usually) in trying to reread it. Luckily, library books are perfect for that.

  17. Most of your reasons for not reading or re-reading a book sound like mine. Especially the overly-hyped books! A lot of times when I read a book that is (or has been) super popular, I feel let down. Maybe because my expectations were so high. Or perhaps the book wasn’t all that good to begin with. The rare exceptions have been hits for me, but that’s not the norm.
    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  18. Karis @ This Side of Storyland

    These all make a lot of sense! I still love fairytale retellings, but I can see how the genre is getting a little stale.

  19. Oh man, yes to The Secret Garden. Also Joanna Spyri’s Heidi for similar reasons…

  20. Vidya

    Long books will definitely be the hardest to get to reading again (and I have a couple of them on my list today) but I hope my love for those books is more than the fear of their length..

  21. A great list. I agree that tastes change and what you once read may not be the same. It’s the same with books that have a twist. Once you know it doesn’t have the same wonder about it! Also the bigger book. I only got for up to 400 pages. Any more than that and it needs to be really good 🤣.

    Have a great week!

  22. I have to agree with you here about books with the big plot twists – once you know what it is, rereading it becomes much less interesting unless I wait 10+ years to forget what happened. And I also don’t typically love books that are very highly hyped on social media. For some reason, most of those books are flops for me. Especially the TikTok favorites, which seems to rely heavily on *vibes* and no plot, while I rely heavily on a plot to enjoy a book. Thanks for letting me rant!

  23. Yes to the overhyped books. I have been burned more often than not reading overhyped books. Now, I avoid 99% of them because I don’t want to be disappointed again.

  24. Classics are definitely ones that can be tricky to reread. Especially when I read them as a student and may not remember them as well.

  25. Oh yes! It’s so hard to follow a series for years and be so disappointed by the last few or last book. I also prefer longer books! I used to avoid them at all costs

  26. So many of these are great reasons, and I can definitely relate! The unsatisfying ending and over hyped books are biggies for me, and I tend to shy away from ‘hype’ books now (and longer books, but it depends on the book…) for this reason.

    I also used to reread a lot more, but not so much anymore because I also noticed that more often than not, they aren’t the story I remembered (or thought they were) simply due to age difference or because of how much has changed (in my life, and in the world at large) which has made a big difference on the types of stories and content I enjoy compared to what I used to read and love in the past.

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