Books We Wish We Could Read Again For the First Time

Stories don’t feel the same the second time around.


There’s nothing like reading a story for the first time. All the twists, revelations, relationships, and endings can only create a true feeling of shock once. While you may be able to find new details while re-reading, (and while there are books we love to reread,) the experience of reading a new story for the first time cannot be recreated. 

We asked our followers on Facebook to tell us which stories they wish they could read for the first time again, and here are some of the most popular answers.


The Catcher in the Rye

By J.D. Salinger

A classic, usually required to read in high school, with plenty of teenage angst and rebellion. Salinger introduces the reader to Holden Caulfield, a sixteen-year-old boy from New York. Holden abandons his prep school in Pennsylvania to go back to New York for three days, all the while narrating his complex and confused thoughts.

Related: The 20 Most Hated Characters in Books

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen

"I would say Pride and Prejudice, except that I've read it so many times over the years and it's always like the first time." - Bernadette

Jane Austen’s most popular novel, Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in 19th century England, as Elizabeth Bennet grapples with the struggles as a  growing woman in society. The book’s popularity has only grown over the years, with Austen's biting wit inspiring excellent movie adaptations and modern retellings.

The Stand

The Stand

By Stephen King

"It was a great read the first time." -Linda

Stephen King tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world in this dark fantasy novel. The plot might hit a little too close to home during these turbulent times, as a pandemic kills almost the entire world population, leaving its new survivors to form groups and start a new society from scratch.


To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

Published in 1960 and often required to read in school, Harper Lee takes the reader to Alabama where Scout Finch narrates a story of racial inequality. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, is representing Tom Robinson, a Black man accused of raping a white woman. One of the most widely read books on racism in America, this story has touched many lives and became one of the best book to movie adaptations of all time.

Related: 12 To Kill a Mockingbird Quotes to Make You Understand People

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By Betty Smith

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 pick, Smith introduces Francie Nolan in this coming-of-age story. Living in Williamsburg, Francie’s eccentric family keeps life interesting, even if it results in their neighbors’ contempt. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an American classic, presenting the humble people in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Random Harvest

Random Harvest

By James Hilton

"My very favorite book" -Beth

This New York Times bestseller tells the story of World War I veteran Charles Rainier, who has lost all memory of his two years of war. When the bombs of the Second World War begin falling, Rainier is taken back to his violent and shocking past. Rainier's new life that he has built since waking in the Liverpool hospital is threatened as his memories return.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë

"Getting to re-experience Jane Eyre anew would be a wonderful treat!" -Paula

Jane Eyre lives in northern England during the 19th century, where the reader learns of her abusive upbringing, her experiences as a governess, and her romance with her employer Edward Fairfax Rochester. Along with Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre is one of the most popular romance novels of all time.

Related: The Laborious Birth of Jane Eyre

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis

When four English children in a wartime evacuation relocate to an old country house, the youngest child, Lucy, discovers that the wardrobe in a spare room leads to Narnia: a place of talking animals, mythical creatures, witches, and other magic. After showing the wardrobe to her siblings, they join forces with creatures in Narnia to defeat the White Witch. The novel was included in Time Magazine’s 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time and was adapted into a film in 2005.