"The books that are interesting, we read them through because we want to know the trajectory of the thought, but then we go back and we read differently. We just open them and we think, Oh, I love that passage, or we mark something down. And that’s how it should work. From the second reading onward, a good text can work in the same way that a good poem can, in that it becomes distilled and talismanic, rather than being there just for its narrative stretch— which we love in the first reading. Because we do want to know what happens next; it’s a natural function of our brains. “How does it end?” Of course, once that sweet but rather childlike response has been satisfied, we’re finished with it— we won’t go there again. Of course, if it’s got deeper things to say, we will go there again and we won’t be looking for the story anymore. It’s like having sex with somebody before you can get to know them. That’s how it is with reading a book— you have to do that, and once it’s out of the way, then you can get to know it."
— Jeanette Winterson on re-reading, in this month’s The Believer.