Do you read books more than once? If so, is there a difference in how you approach a book when you read it for the second time?
When I read a book from which I want to learn and retain information, I read carefully, taking note of important points on every page. But when I read a novel, especially a compelling plot-driven story, I read to find out what happens next. I blow by subtleties like symbolism, descriptive scenes, well-written dialogue, or nuanced character development like I blast through a swarm of gnats on a bike ride.
Once in a while, however, I’ll read a book for the second time. That is a completely different experience. Knowing the whole story frees me to enjoy all the finer points of the story-telling.
When my own children were young, I approached their unfolding stories like a plot driven parent. What would happen next? Where they suitably prepared for the next chapter? I was focused forward and did not always appreciate the page on which we were living.
I suppose that would be a good approach to life in general. I know how my story ends – in the arms of my Savior, Jesus. I know that I am in his loving care no matter what negative or confusing plot twists he allows in my life or in the lives of those I love.
Lord, help me to “read” each day in the story of my life joyfully and attentively, confident of the ultimate happy ending in your eternal presence.
Are there any books that you have read more than once? What are you reading (or re-reading) this summer? Do you read novels like a plot-driven page-turner or a serene sentence-savorer?
“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” The end of the story, from Revelation 21:3