The benefits of re-reading
I've lately taken to getting more of my books from the library than from Barnes & Noble. Not only did last year's effort of moving my collection of 600 books — small by some measures — from one town to another prove exhausting, but I've realized I rarely revisit books that aren't part of a series. Seeing them as part of my personal library can be a gratifying reminder of my literary pursuits, but the expense of purchasing, storing, and moving books that I would read only once has become difficult to justify.
But new studies suggest that my methodology is flawed, and that I should be re-reading books more often. Mail Online reports:
The first time people read — or watch — through, they are focused on events and stories.
The second time through, the repeated experience reignites the emotions caused by the book or film, and allows people to savour those emotions at leisure.
The 'second run' can offer profound emotional benefits… By enjoying the emotional effects of the book more deeply, people become more in touch with themselves.
If you think that such repetitive activity is exclusive to children and their reruns of Blue's Clues, think about your peers who re-read every Harry Potter book to date in anticipation of the release of each sequel.
I own few books that I've found myself revisiting over the years, in no particular order:
And there are admittedly books I'd like to read again:
But with so many unread books waiting to be read, how do I justify retreading old ground? Is it better to spend time with old friends than it is to make new ones?
What books make your "must read again" list, and what balance do you strike between old and new?