Rereading Favorite Books from Childhood

An interesting tidbit came up yesterday in Twitterland, and it has me reevaluating a reading rule I made for myself some time ago. It starts like this…

Tessa Gratton (@tessagratton) , the YA book author of Blood Magic, tweeted, “The Bad News: reading a book I adored when I was ten, and I hate it so much now I don’t understand what happened.”

I completely sympathize.

Has this ever happened to you before? You’ve held a few books up on a pedestal you’re entire life, and then you go back to them as adults and the love for it disappears? Or worse, it turns into indifference or grows into (it pains me to type it) hate? All that magic and wonder vanishes. It’s happened to me before. I tried to reread the Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery and couldn’t get past the first three chapters. I couldn’t do it. The adoration I felt for it faded with each paragraph and I couldn’t lose that. Ever since this has long been my rule: Never, not ever ever, re-read favorite novels from childhood. Sure, I read plenty of picture books with L that I used to have read to me when I was a girl, but novels are different. There is a commitment established when reading them. They need to be read at a finicky time and place in one’s life, and the stars in the universe need to align just so that one book can speak to you like no other book ever has.

I’m starting to exaggerate. Back to my point. Yesterday got me thinking… Am I being too strict? Is that one experience reason enough to shun all my favorite childhood books as an adult? It might be time to let go of that rule. Now all I have to decide is which book I’m willing to nominate for the challenge.

What about you? Do you ever reread favorite books from childhood? Have you ever reread a childhood favorite and found reading it as an adult changed your view of it entirely?



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2 Responses to “Rereading Favorite Books from Childhood”

  1. Emma says:

    Oh my goodness! I reread childhood favorites all the time! I think I read through the Melendy books and Henry Reed at least once yearly. Some books get even better (like A Little Princess) and I think the only books I’ve liked less are Louisa May Alcott’s. I haven’t been able to get through more than a few chapters of any of her novels since becoming an adult.

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh good! That’s very encouraging!! I find it so silly that I read children’s literature all the time, yet I am unable to go back and read children’s literature I loved when I was a kid. Maybe my first attempt should be A Little Princess (also a favorite) as per your recommendation? That might be a good place to start. I’m also considering rereading Abel’s Island by William Stieg. Wish me luck!

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