Thursday, September 18, 2014

On the Power of the Reread

Photo by Indi
I used to be someone who eschewed the reread. I don't have time to reread when there are more great books being published than I can ever get to already! I would protest.

Which is kind of weird since I was a huge rereader as a child. I read the books on my bookshelf over and over again. I loved to visit my literary friends: Sally J. Freedman, Jerusha Abbott, Anastasia Krupnik, Johnny Tremain, Ramona Quimby, and the rest. But somewhere along the line - probably in college when I started keeping track of what books I was reading - I gave up rereading.

I had no idea what I was really missing.

This year, through my work on the Newbery Committee, I have discovered the power of the reread. I have discovered how the reread allows you to pick up on the many layers of a story, to notice details you may have missed the first time around, to solidify your opinion (positive or negative) about a book and pick up details to support that opinion.

So, I hereby give you permission to reread.

Of course, you don't need my permission for that. But just in case you, too, were stuck in the mindset that there are too many great books to read to "waste time" rereading something you've already read... I give you permission to change your mind.

Reread books you love. Reread books that you didn't like but everyone else seems to love (take a little break first; read some other books in between). Listen to audiobooks of books you've enjoyed.

And then go talk to a friend or colleague who's also read those books because conversations about books are also amazing.