20 August 2010


By day, I'm a manager in a department of eight or nine analysts, affectionately known as propeller heads, number crunchers, that group in the corner, etc. We are the quiet people at a party. As a group, we are rather vanilla, bland even.

As individuals, there are some really great minds and thinkers in there.

For example, I'm working with one analyst that usually reports to the other department manager. He was the right fit for the project in front of us and it gave me the opportunity to work with someone new. This gentleman -- let's call him Matt -- is the right fit because he thinks through the project from multiple angles, questions the way the numbers fit together, and finds the right solution for the client. No matter what question is posed from either the client or the internal team, Matt is right there with examples, walking everyone through the answer.

It was incredibly interesting to me then, during a long car ride, Matt asked why anyone would re-read a book. "You like to read, right? I don't get why anyone would buy a book. What's the point of reading it again if you already know the answer?"

At the time, I probably said something about liking characters or enjoy the story or something to that effect.

But further reflection has lead me to a different answer. It's not much different, to me, than all of the analysis and number crunching that Matt's done on this project. In order to truly understand all of the pieces, to answer the questions, to know everything inside and out, you have to look at it again and again. To live and breath it.

When it comes to books, the only way to do that is to re-read. Maybe it's a series. Maybe it's a single title. Maybe it's a childhood favorite that is re-discovered through the eyes of your child. I'm betting that readers of this blog have favorites to read again and again.

What's the story behind yours? Next time I'll share one of my favorite re-reads and that story.

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