– Second read-through is ‘more emotional’
– Can offer mental health benefits, say researchers
– Same effect applies to watching films or holidaying in familiar places
Harry Potter fan: Scientists say that people who reread books over and over again could reap emotional benefits
Reading a favourite book for a second time often feels like a different experience – now scientists say that it actually IS different.
The habit of watching films or reading books multiple times encourages people to engage with them emotionally.
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.
The ‘second run’ can offer profound emotional benefits, says a new study, based on interviews with readers in the U.S. and New Zealand.
By enjoying the emotional effects of the book more deeply, people become more in touch with themselves.
‘By doing it again, people get more out of it,’ says author Cristel Antonia Russell of American University.
‘Even though people are already familiar with the stories or the places, re-consuming brings new or renewed appreciation of both the object of consumption and their self.’
The same effect can even work on familiar holiday destinations, according to the paper in the Journal of Consumer Research, ‘reigniting’ emotions from previous visits.
‘Given the immense benefits for growth and self-reflexivity, re-consuming actually appears to offer many mental health benefits,’ Thomas writes.
‘People should not hesitate to go back and re-read or re-view what they have already done. A once in a lifetime experience can easily appeal to people again.
Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.
The comments below have been moderated in advance.
I always read a book twice. You pick up more the second time around.
– busy as ever, worcestershire, 15/2/2012 13:48
i am showing this to my mum who always laughs at me for reading books more than once!!
– just a girl, asking u to love her, 15/2/2012 13:46
Great works can be read numerous times and when years elapse between readings, it’s sometimes surprising how differently the text affects us or how much more we notice about the writer’s craft. My current bedtime reading is an ambitious crime novel. It is appallingly written with confused use of tense, badly constructed sentences and quaint use of punctuation. I persevere reading it only to find out whodunnit. Many modern best sellers focus on plot. I read them to get to sleep at night and most go straight into the bin when finished. A few make it onto the bookshelves, worthy of rereading in the years to come.
– Samphirem, Derbyshire, 15/2/2012 13:39
I love reading and if I really enjoy a book then I will quite happily read it again later on. I often find you get a clearer understanding of some books after re-reading too, especially ones that have lots of twists and turns.
– georgie, middlesex, 15/2/2012 13:28
Tell that to our today’s youngsters, they have to read it for the first time before a second, if they can read.
– mH, Hants, 15/2/2012 13:15
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Heres how neurotech works. After being neuro-recorded the first reading, first holiday, first film watch, Orwellian society throws situations and events at you for a few years. Then they ask promote re-experiencing the media a second time to match and compare the 2 sets of brainscans.
With the corroborated ‘vectors’ they will be able to better neuroprofile a brainwave pattern of control more accurate than without the comparison. Repeat the same process a few more times, then control becomes complete. They may not use the cellphone satellite tech emf/wlf waves but any and everyone will be easier to control eventually the longer you are recorded and re-matched to new patterns.