Posted on 08/14/2015 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
"I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." — C.S. Lewis
Most bookworms don’t have to be convinced of the merits of rereading, so we’re probably preaching to the choir with this installment of Friday favorites.
But if you are skeptical about returning to a favorite rather than tackling your to-read list, Barnes & Noble has 10 reasons to do so, and Bustle describes the journey you would've taken, had you reopened that novel.
Molly McArdle of The Oyster Review and Sarah Seltzer of Flavorwire each took more time to describe how moving it can be to discover new details and insights you missed the last time, whether that was because you rushed through in your eagerness to finish, or because you’d changed as a person since the first time through.
(For a prime example of this phenomenon, check out author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s praise for “To Kill A Mockingbird,” well before the emergence of “Go Set A Watchman.”)
On the flip side, though, timing can truly be everything.
Owen Duffy, in The Guardian, discovered that the lack of technology in his childhood favorite books was confusing to his 8-year-old digital-native son.
BookRiot contributor Sarah Davis is holding off on — if not outright deciding against — rereading one book that moved her deeply, because of the intense emotional connection she made.
So yes, all of this praise for rereading isn’t to say that the first time doesn’t hold special significance. Look back at BookRiot for proof: Its list of books that people wish they could read for the first time again might be the longest item in this roundup.
To close, we’ll point you back to Hephzibah Anderson’s examination of the scientific, as well as emotional, reasons we reread, and her ultimate conclusion:
“Perhaps what’s really strange is that we don’t re-read more often. After all, we watch our favourite films again and we wouldn’t think of listening to an album only once. We treasure tatty old paperbacks as objects, yet of all art forms, literature alone is a largely one-time delight.”