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Why you should reread books

Feb 25, 2022

And the techniques to do it.


Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I know this is not the case for everyone, but I assume you want reading to have some impact on your life.

Over the past 10 plus years, I've read a lot of books. It seems like the list is endless. At this current moment, I have hundreds of books on my wish list and close to (if not more than) 100 physical books that I own but have not read.

So, if I have this many unread books that I desire to get to, why would I ever reread something?

I'll admit, in the past, I completely neglected to reread. But as I've read more, I've found connections between books that result in me going back and flipping through a previous book.

It's in those moments, of flipping through familiar pages and finding the past notes and highlights, that I discovered the joy of rereading.

But, if you're not at that same spot, maybe you need some convincing. So, why should you reread?

Get to reexperience it

While you can never capture the experience of reading it for the first time, good books are like a long-lost friend. Sure, sometimes you get reacquainted and it's not as good as you remember.

But other times it's refreshing, energizing, and just what you needed. And each time this happens, you remember why you continue to reconnect.

It's the same with books. Most of the time, the joy of that first experience with the book is brought back.

Find the hidden treasures

When you read a book for the first time, you will always miss details.

The same goes for movies. When rewatching, you capture themes you missed, quirks that weren't obvious, and plot twists (or holes) that went right over your head.

I've watched The Office TV series a few times and I've started, just now on the 3rd or 4th watch-through, to notice editing mistakes. Sure, it's not as magical as the first time, but those classic scenes ("Dinner Party," anyone?) get me every time.

Learn new lessons based on the new context

When we read a book, we read it with the context of the day. We read it with the knowledge we have at that moment.

But if we wait 5 years and reread it, we have 5 years of life experience that is new and wasn't present the first time around.

This new experience unlocks lessons or clarity that may not have been there before.

It's through this new context that our reading experience deepens.

Allows you to internalize the message

In advertising, they talk about the "rule of 7," meaning you need to hear a message 7 times to fully receive it.

The same goes for a book. On the first readthrough, you can absolutely learn and apply what you learn. But's it's through repetition that the big gains come.

When I think of this, I think of the Bible. As I Christian, I read and reread the scriptures to get a deeper understanding of how it applies to my life.

"I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways." - Psalm 119:15


It's through this meditation or repetition, that we gain a deeper understanding and knowledge.

It helps you love reading again

Sometimes, life just gets in the way of reading. That's okay.

So if you're struggling with your reading habit, picking up a book you love is a great way to reestablish it.


When rereading, we want to get the most out of the book possible (unless you're trying to reestablish the habit of reading). Here are a few ways to make the most of your reread:

  1. Skip to the important parts. Find what you loved and read those sections only. It's a great refresher without the time commitment of a full book.

  2. Look for actionable content. Think actively about how you plan to apply the knowledge.

  3. Take physical notes. One of the best things I've started doing is writing 2-3 sentence summaries of the books I read. Do this the second time through and stop to write when you read something profound.

  4. Identify your favorite quotes. Good books often have impactful quotes. If you can extract these for daily consumption, you can effectively carry the book with you.

Having a default to action mentality

I recently finished rereading Man's Search for Meaning and so I recorded a podcast on an application I pulled from the book.

You can listen to that by clicking here.

Question of the day

What have you reread recently?

And what book have you reread the most?


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