Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

A Second Reading — August 26, 2019

A Second Reading

Last week as we watched TV, perhaps preseason football, an ad for a new movie popped up. The movie is an adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize (2014) winning novel, The GoldfinchAs I watched the trailer, for some reason I thought I had not read The Goldfinch. 

After the game finished, I quickly went to find a copy of The Goldfinch at one of our local libraries. I requested it and downloaded it to my Kindle. Noting that it was quite lengthy, I began reading it right away. It wasn’t until the next day as I read a particular scene that I realized I had read this book before.

This one particular scene, rich in detail and emotion, stood out. My recall sent me to my Goodreads account, and sure enough, The Goldfinch is listed among my read books. Usually, I check Goodreads and Amazon before going to buy or check out a book. But not this time.

At that moment, I decided I wanted to read The Goldfinch again. I am, and I am enjoying it more than I did the first time. Do you ever read a book a second time, or maybe a third? There is a lot to be gained from a second reading. Here are a few salient points on this topic:

  • Revisiting a book or article is a good way to remember it. Perhaps using a notecard system like the one Ryan Holiday describes or the one Cal Newton describes in this post. Or you may have a different and better system of your own.
  • You’ll read things the second time you missed the first time. Quotes you missed the first time. Another page you want to dog-ear. Here’s where the notetaking systems come in handy. After all, we don’t want to keep revisiting the same books.
  • Listen to the audiobook version, if available. Hearing the words, and perhaps hearing them more than once, will likely create the desire to take action.

If you read it and hear it, you’re much more likely to take action on it.
~~ Zig Ziglar

  • Have you ever attended a conference? Do you remember the high the conference experience gave you? The motivation and inspiration you received last a few days, and in the different environment of your home, the high is lost. This is where revisiting a book, article, audiotape of an interview or talk makes the impact of lasting benefit.

That’s all for today. I’ve got a full schedule waiting for me—I’ve still got 530 pages of The Goldfinch to read.


Featured image attribution: Image by Earl McGhee (no changes made to image)


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