I found one of my first books read in English pn the book shelves a few days ago and decided to read it again. I admit I already had this habit of re-reading favourite novels or very useful personal/professional growth books, so this is not a new experience, but it really got me thinking about what are the benefits of re-reading:
1. Gaining fresh perspective is useful in reading and in life. Each month, year, decade shapes our personality and behaviour with furtunes, tough times, sucess, failure, encounters and departures, love and loss. And with enriched life experience comes the ability to see the same scene from a different perspective. So what you actually end up reading is NOT the same book, but the book shaped by your age, feelings and wisdom. A slightly different movie of the same plot. This brings a fresh vibe to apparently reading the same book.
2. The unexpected that was already in fron of your eyes. I read Saint-Exupery’s „The little Prince” five times by now, three times in Romanian, once in English and once in it’s original language, French. And it never ceases to amaze me how many truths on human nature, love, friendship, kindness and creativity I discover with each new reading, at a very different age. And while there is a wise quote by the Prince saying „And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”, some essential parts of a story are best seen after multiple looks, with eyes, mind & heart wide open, reading.
3. Fitness for the mind. Between remembering so many details or crucial moments in the plot and finding youself tangled in a suprising fact you totally missed or forgotten about and making new connections, unvealing new meanings with its help, your brain creates new links and trains to remember more things. So, it’s a bit like doing the same exercices in your daily workout, and finding out a new way your body reacts to it or new ways of optimising its impact on your fitness – but for the mind.
4. The beautiful feeling of reconnection. Meeting characters and places you love in the pages of a book, again and again, creates that cozy feeling of home, belonging and deep care. Whether we realise it or not, reading a story makes us part of it, invested in it, and expands our horizons with the universe the story takes place in.
5. Learning and discovery never stop. Each page can be full of wise ideas and advice we’ve missed before or simply forgotten.
The wiser person you are, you realise you know „nothing”, remember what Socrates allegedly said: The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” So we can learn from everything and everyone, even from books. They have been great mentors to me, that I can tell for sure.
We might learn things quickly, but we often forget things at the same rate — and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the things we’ve learned. Re-opening a book that influenced us earlier in our lives is a wonderful way of doing this.
Give it a try if you haven’t yet and see what your own experience is. For me, re-reading a book has proven to be an extraordinary one, so very often: the joy of remembering, the surprise of what you had forgotten, the fresh perspective of a new meaning hidden before, the strong feeling of already knowing and caring for the characters, the unreasonable hope for a different plot twist in key moments. They all live inside the same pages, already turned before but ready to reaveal themselves again in a novel light.
“Letters from Rifka” is a touching historic journal full of grace, perseverance and vivacity, telling the stories of a young immigrant jewish girl trying to flee to America with her family and b safe from their harsh life in Russia, in 1919.
You cand find on Amazon and many other online bookstores.