The Benefits of Reading a Book Twice

girl reading book photography

There are so many interesting books out there that reading the same book twice may seem like the ultimate indulgence. But the benefits justify it.

Reading it twice helps you become a better writer

The first time, we tend to read for plot. We pay more attention to events and characters. It’s the way our brain works. The second time we pay more attention to the style, syntax, and diction. We know already what happened, so we can focus on how the writer tells the story.

Makes you appreciate it more

In good books we always come upon passages that are worth reading twice. Sometimes we pause and reread them before moving on. But if we go back to them later we can savor them without that quiet haste that made us turn the page away from them the first time.

Helps your retain information

The way our memory works, it usually needs repetition to recall text-based information. For most of the books we read just once, we forget the characters and even most of the action, to say nothing of the style. Only memorable scenes may stand out. But when we go back to them, it’s like stepping on earth we’ve already threaded — we make a path.

Nourishes your patience

One of the big forces that drives our life is curiosity. The first time you read a book, curiosity is there. The second time, though, there’s less curiosity, assuming of course you still remember what the book’s about. With curiosity toned down, you may have to make more of an effort to turn the pages. And when you make that effort, you automatically tax your patience more. If patience is a quality you want to develop, reading a book twice is a good exercise.

Makes it really yours

There are books, and then there are books that we call ours. Books we give a place of honor in our bookshelf. Books we recommend to friends and family. Books we take with us on holidays. Books that become emotional and intellectual extensions of ourselves. Those are the books we read twice. And thrice. And many times. And each time it’s as if we read them anew. We never get bored of them. Because they are great books.

What’s the last book you read twice? What about the book you’ve read the most?


21 thoughts on “The Benefits of Reading a Book Twice

  1. i an always compelled to read a good book twice. Actually I have read An American Tragedy four times. It never grows old. I agree it helps In writing, you can hardly help but pick up certain nuances, see what makes a book intriguing. Thank you for the great text !

  2. The one and only book I’ve read twice is the first Harry Potter book! It was just as good as the first time I read it! ^.^

  3. The book I have reread the most is probably Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnus Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I plan on rereading it again soon and reviewing it for my blog. I studied film in college and in order to analyze and write about a film, it has to be watched at least two times in its entirety, not to mention small portions for citing in the essays. Great post!

  4. I can’t say that I’ve ever read a book twice, I am however currently summarising it because I feel that what was said could really be applied to my life. The book is by a YouTuber that I’ve watched for a couple of years now, and her name is ‘Lilly Singh’ (a.k.a. ‘Superwoman’). The book is titled ‘How to be a Bawse’ and it’s essentially a book that tell you how to not just survive life, but to conquer it!

    I have also read this book in a week, which is highly unusual for me. And I can just tell that it’s going to be a book I’m going to reread for years to come.

    I also have the privilege of seeing her show in a couple of weeks! So I’m really excited about that.

    I like that you can also do the same thing with TV Shows, Movies even Music.

    Thanks Vincent,

    – A.J. BAWSE, Xx

  5. Good read. I am not really compelled to read books twice, not the whole book at least. I just try to reread what I want to recall. Now I’m having this conviction of reading good books twice. Thanks for the insight!

  6. Good read. The last book I read twice is The State of Africa by Martin Meredith, though admittedly the first time I read it I didn’t manage to finish it. The book I’ve read the most is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I love love love that story. And I’m looking forward to reading it again soon.

  7. The last book I read twice was Catherine Doyle’s Blood for Blood Series. It’s a romeo and juliet meets mafia family. It’s quite good actually and I surprised myself by reading it. Love your content by the way! Always a good read.

  8. I read Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh twice. I also read Bridget Jones’ Diary a few times – when I was younger.

  9. I have read some good books more than once just because I liked them, but generally if I am in a second reading it is because I chose it because of the author. Then I recognize it when I get into it. If that happens I do read for the second time. I am doing that right now with a Richard Paul Evans book.

  10. I found this interested as there are people who read the same books time and time again, and others who will not touch a book once it’s been read. I always re-read books if I enjoy them, and I find that there are whole sections that I have not fully digested in my first read of the book. I won’t read them until 6 months or so later, I can’t re-read straight away! I become invested in the characters and the plot, and get way to impatient to see how the story will unravel which does affect how quickly and accurately I read the book. A second or even third read allows me to appreciate the style of writing, syntax and the other more technical elements of writing and really benefits my own writing!

  11. I can’t remember the last time I read a book more than once. I know that as a child I did. I used to read and re-read all my books. Mostly because my reading tended to be series and I didn’t want to forget the story by the time the next book came out. Nowadays, I have so many books on my TBR that I can’t, or maybe I should say, won’t make the time for re-reading.


  12. I would love to re-read all the books I have on my shelf re: Richard Paul Evans. I love The Walk series but read them in installment. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is on a standby for re-reading too. Right now, I am on my second read of The Godfather. Read it when I was in college but I already forgot the details of the story.

  13. I love a re-read. This year my book related resolution was to only read books I’ve read (and loved) previously.
    The Stand is always a firm favourite, and so far I have re-read about 8 of Stephen King’s classics. Now I’m churning my way through the Thomas Covenant series (which I previously read more than 20 years ago). I must say I am more interested in the language this time around, rather than the plot.

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