Every skilled reader spends a fair amount of time rereading favorite books. What makes experienced teachers so effective? Rereading the books they teach—often.
Naturally, rereading benefits young readers too. Research shows that children learn more vocabulary from rereading old books than they do from reading a new one. Reading a book a second time also helps people build a stronger emotional connection to the book.
Rereading doesn’t just help people better understand the book they are rereading; it builds abilities that transfer to other books.
For example, rereading a book will often help you to see a new level of detail. Once you see this level of detail in one book, you’ll look for it in another book. As another example, on rereading a book, you might see symbolism that you didn’t notice the first time. You will start to look for symbolism in other books. Finally, sometimes rereading helps you notice a hidden meaning in a conversation between characters.
You will then start to look for hidden meanings in the conversations in other books.
Don’t feel guilty about rereading books you love! By rereading, you really are helping yourself become a better reader.
Don’t worry if your children want to reread the same stories and books over and over. In fact, encourage them to do so! Ask them what new features they noticed, what plot points got cleared up, what characters they changed their opinions about. Or just ask them to talk about why they love the book so much.
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