Do you have a favorite book — one that you’ve read and reread so many times that the covers are worn and pages are dog-eared?
Is there a book on your shelf that you’ve picked up time and time again because you love it that much?
Though I can’t even begin to count the number of children’s books I have re-read, there are only a few chapter books, or novels, that I have taken the time to re-read. Beach Music, by Pat Conroy is one of them for me; I read it multiple times in my teens and early 20’s, but I haven’t picked it up for years.
When I was teaching high school, I had the luxury of re-reading the books I was teaching: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, To Kill A Mockingbird, Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby — and the list goes on. But it’s rare, now, that I take the time to re-read my own books.
This summer, however, I’m going to make it a point to do some re-reading with my kids because, really, friends, re-reading can be powerful.
Here are a few reasons you might want to pick up that book — again! — and give it a second read:
- Rereading lets the reader catch things he might have missed the first time. Maybe you skimmed over a section the first time. Now? Since you know what’s going to happen, so there’s no need to rush. Sit back, relax, and enjoy.
- Rereading allows you to really, truly get to know the characters. Did you not give a certain character a chance the first time? You instantly dubbed her ‘the mean girl’ without really knowing her story? Maybe in the second reading, you’ll see a different side of her.
- Rereading helps the reader to make better connections with the story. In that second or third reading, you can pay closer attention to the unraveling of the plot, the setting, and the conflicts; as a result, you’ll make deeper connections with these elements.
- Rereading allows the reader to understand the story on a deeper level. Often during subsequent readings, you have a better eye for symbolism. You may be able to see how something that may have little or no meaning at first glance really does stand for something larger or more important.
- Rereading makes the reader feel like an expert. When you re-read, you learn more. You catch more, and you remember more. As a result, you essentially become an ‘expert’ of the story. Being an expert can certainly help you during Book Talks, Book Club, or any book-related discussion!