“To quote French author Francois Mauriac, ‘Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are’ is true enough, but I’d know you better if you told me what you reread.”
~ Sarah Wendell, American author and reviewer
Do you ever re-read a book? Sometimes when I admit this out loud, I get the same reaction as if I’d said, “I haven’t washed my underpants in three weeks.” Yep. That combination slack-jawed frowny face type of look. But come on, folks, I can’t be the only freak out there.
Turns out I’m not. In fact, there’s an entire page on Goodreads devoted to books recommend to re-read. What’s up with that? With all the bajillions of books out on the market, why pull an oldie off the shelf?
One study based on interviews in the U.S. and New Zealand reveals that a ‘second run’ (techno term for rereading a book) can offer “profound emotional benefits.” But that warm and fuzzy feeling isn’t the only reason why people pick up a title for the second or third time. . .
TOP 5 REASONS TO RE-READ A BOOK
1. To Run Away
Everyone needs to press the eject button now and then and escape from a nose-diving schedule. When you open a favorite book, it’s like running away to Happy Land because you know exactly what will happen with characters you feel safe with. . . which can be the polar opposite of reality.
2. The Movie Version is About to Hit Theaters
You remember loving the story, but you want to make sure you don’t sound like an idiot when you tell your buddies how Hollywood got it all wrong. Think of this as the research approach to re-reading.
3. It’s Tradition
My girls, though they’re now in their twenties, still read The Christmas Puppy every Christmas Eve. It’s for preschoolers. Sheesh. But they can’t have a proper Christmas unless they read it together.
4. Go Deeper
Maybe you missed a theme the first time around. Even if you didn’t, there are always nuances and things you didn’t notice before because guess what . . . you’re older. You’re not the same reader you were the first go around. You’re bound to get something different out of a re-read.
5. You Don’t Like a Particular Author’s New Style
Writers change over time, but that doesn’t mean you’ll like the changes. Some fans are die-hard, old school, gotta-have-the-same-old-same-old. And that’s okay.
One of my favorite titles to re-read is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. What’s one of yours?
Like what you read? There’s more. WRITER OFF THE LEASH: GROWING IN THE WRITING CRAFT is a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn’t know how to take their writing to the next level.