I’ve just started reading The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho for the second time. This book is on my top-five best-reads list. When I recommended the book to a friend, he asked me what happens and I couldn’t answer him. I know precisely what I felt and learned when reading it, but I’m fuzzy on the details.
Time to read it again, I thought. I wonder if it will make as big an impact on me as it did the first time I read it 12 years ago. I’m a bit worried I am going to be disappointed.
The fear of disappointment is one of the reasons I don’t re-read books often. Also, my must-read list is so long, I feel that I should spend my precious reading time reading something new.
But according to researchers, there are health benefits to re-reading a book (or watching a movie several times).
“The habit of watching films or rereading books multiple times encourages people to engage with them emotionally,” writes the Daily Mail. “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.”
“By enjoying the emotional effects of the book more deeply, people become more in touch with themselves.”
So no need to feel guilty about spending time rereading (or watching ‘Pride and Prejudice’ again), let’s just hope that I’ll have that wow factor – the enlightenment experience I had the first time.