6 Reasons To Read A Book More Than Once
First of all, you don’t need a reason to read a book more than once. When I was a kid, reading a book was the only form of entertainment you could do twice. You could go to see a movie once in the theater, and the next weekend it would be gone forever, replaced by another movie. If you missed a television show, you waited six months for a rerun, and then that show was most likely gone forever. There was no cable, no internet, no tablets. But books? If you liked a book, you could read it as many times as you wanted. Sometimes we read a book more than once simply because we could.
But in these modern times, there are other reasons to read a book more than once. Even with so many other forms of entertainment, even when there are so many books out there that it’s impossible to read them all, sometimes it’s still better to reread a book that you’ve already read before.
SIX REASONS TO READ A BOOK MORE THAN ONCE
1. Every other book you try reading sucks
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Sometimes you need a sure thing when you’re reading a book. Whether you’re waiting for good/bad news in a hospital or sitting at an airport, you want something that you know will get your mind off of whatever you don’t want your mind on. That is NOT the time to experiment with an unfamiliar book or author. There are times you need a sure thing, and The Godfather is my sure thing.
Yeah, the movies (the first two) are okay, but the book has so many sub-plots that you can randomly pick a page and find something interesting. It’s not a perfect book (a couple sub-plots are out of place and stupid), but it’s very readable. And I turn to it when I need to know that I’ll enjoy what I’m reading.
2. Just because you like it
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
I read The Three Musketeers a couple times when I was in middle school. It might have been the first novel that I ever read twice, but I’m not sure. I liked it. That was the only reason I reread it. Just because… I liked it. It might be the best reason. But it’s not an interesting reason. The Three Musketeers is the only classic literature on my list. I have fond memories of the 1970s movies with Michael York as D’Artagnan and Raquel Welch as Constance, and those movies spurred me on to read the book. Even without the movies (and the Classics Illustrated comic), I would have loved this book.
3. To relive the experience
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
I accidentally found this novel during a low point in my teen years (I won’t go into what was going on). This book was lying around the house (I don’t know who bought it), and I liked the title because people often commented that I was thin, and it wasn’t meant as a compliment. I realized as I read that the thin man was the murder victim, but I liked the mystery novel anyway. The Thin Man got me through a really bad weekend. I don’t want to relive that bad weekend by reading The Thin Man, but I like remembering the joy of an unexpected great book. That doesn’t happen very often.
4. To win a contest
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
When I was in ninth grade, I got into a reading contest with another kid to see who could read The Lord of the Rings the most times. I had read it three times, and he had read it four times, and every time I read it again, he’d read it again just to stay ahead of me. The fourth time I read it, I skipped The Fellowship of the Ring (I claimed to have read it over a weekend). And the fifth time, I just lied and carried The Two Towers with me while I read something else. It may have been the first time I had ever lied about reading a book that I hadn’t really read. But it wouldn’t be the last time.
I always vowed that if I ever got into another reading contest, it would involve a short book and not a trilogy.
To be honest, I might never read this again. I read it several times in junior high/high school. Back in the 1970s, the rip-offs hadn’t been written yet, so there was nothing else quite like it (as far as we knew). TLOTR was a trilogy to be savored. It was a trilogy before trilogies were common. It was a trilogy that made sense as a trilogy. It even had a prequel. Any youngster reading The Lord of the Rings might not see anything unique in it because it’s been copied so many times in so many exciting ways (from a youngster’s point of view).
Referring to people younger than me as “youngster” probably makes me sound older than I really am.
5. To avoid reading anything by James Patterson
James Patterson writes too many books, so any time you reread a book, it keeps you from buying a James Patterson book (or a book with written by somebody else with James Patterson’s name on it).
6. To find details you didn’t notice the first time
Some people read books a second time to catch details that they missed the first time. That’s a great reason to read a book more than once, but I’ve never done it. I usually don’t care if I missed details the first time I read a book. I might notice details the second time I read a book, but that’s never the reason I reread a book. I hope I’m not being disrespectful to people who reread books for this reason. It’s not a bad reason. It’s probably a better reason than trying to win a contest.
BONUS BOOK to read more than once
The Bible– by God
When God writes a book, it’s probably a good idea to read it. Maybe it’s a good idea to read it more than once. Any of the above reasons would be ideal for reading The Bible more than once. I would have included The Bible as the example for all six reasons, but it wouldn’t be fair to the other books. No human author can compete with God, not even James Patterson (I hope James Patterson isn’t thinking of writing his own version of The Bible, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.). So I hope God understands why I didn’t include The Bible as an example for any book that’s worth reading more than once.
But enough about me! What books do you turn to when you need a sure thing? What books have you read more than once and why?