Monday, 15 September 2014

The science behind the re-read

I saw recently that studies have shown the act of re-reading our favourite books can improve mental health by evoking a happier times without the need to leave your chair. Research has also found that the second read brings on stronger emotions as you read more deeply into a novel, understanding things you missed the first time. It's great to hear that there is some science behind the "re-read". With the amount of new books on the shelves, it's rare for me to go back to an old favourite, but if it's good for my brain - how can I refuse? I love discovering a new author, but there are two exceptions that I will go back to time and time again: 

Jane Austen's 'Emma' takes me back to that teenage year when I discovered my love of the period drama. The romance, the dresses, the country houses. Swoon. Yes it might be an out-dated concept that our heroine always gets married in the end, but Austen's women that we really love are the one's who settle for nothing less than they deserve. Emma Woodhouse, Fanny Price and of course Elizabeth Bennett prove that it is not looks, education or money but spirit that counts. With each re-read I see virtues in them that make me want to be a better person. 

I'm sure I'm not the only person to have my heart captured by the Harry Potter books. With every re-read, and there have been a few, I'm still overcome by the magic of it al which has made it's own place in my heart. l love that with each read another clue leaps out, a name, a place, an object, that will prove important later on. And re-reading these books which gives you access to the club of smug-faced people who can enjoy the film but explain how much better it was in the book, is reward on its own. 

Want to read the science bit? Find it here

1 comment:

  1. So that's why I have read Lord of the Rings four times!


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