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?