For most of us who are avid readers, our love for literature stemmed from the beginning of our lives. I’ve seen and read lots of other bloggers in the book blogging community share how they grew up loving books and started reading from an early age. I myself also adored reading when I was young – my parents even said that I already loved books before I could even read, by asking them to reread my favourite picture books again and again.
When I was a preteen, I would reread my books constantly. These were before the Goodreads days, and I remember I would spend weekend afternoons perusing my bookshelf, looking at the books I have not read in a while (and as in a while I mean, six months maximum), and pick them up and if I’m in the mood, reread them within a few days.
Now that I live abroad, whenever I’d come back home I would try and pick up old childhood novels in my bookshelf and reread them. That sense of nostalgia and the memories of great adventures and amazing experiences I had reading these childhood books really pulled me to read them again and experience these worlds again.
Some of my favourite books I read before I was the age of 12:
In the past few years I would try and pick up the childhood favourites that I remember fondly.
I reread Little House on the Prairie two summers ago, a book that was part of one of my favourite series when I was in middle school. I adored Laura as a character, and the descriptions of making everything from scratch has a sense of wonder to me that I loved reading about.
After rereading Little House on the Prairie, I found myself falling back in love with the simple yet beautiful writing that takes me back in time. Laura and her family, her innocence and the summer heat, the dog and their journey across America were all the things I loved again. Even though later on I discovered the possibility that all the stories Ingalls wrote weren’t as lovely as they are in real life, and after finding out an available biography of the real life of Laura Ingalls, I still felt this childhood story was a wonderful reread.
Another book that I similarly fell back in love with was of course the classic Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Yet another novel that I had often reread when I was in elementary school, I found myself not having read the entire series for over three years until I bought the audiobook for the first book, narrated by Stephen Fry. Rereading the book with a different medium, and exploring the wizarding world with one of my favourite main characters I’ve ever read, I was thoroughly bewitched and loved every second of my relisten. I picked up a lot of detail that I had forgotten after years of not reading the book, and it felt like a whole new experience because this time I was listening to it. Check out my full review of all the times I read this book in my Goodreads.
However I had a different experience with one of my favourite authors in my childhood: Cornelia Funke. In my teenage years I begged my mom to buy me all of Funke’s English novels: from the Inkheart series to her stand-alones, I used to devour them. I reread The Thief Lord, a novel by her about two brothers lost in Venice and found myself thinking that it wasn’t a very good book at all. It really ruined my view of myself as a child, loving this book. It made me wonder about the books I thought were amazing when I was little – were they really that good?
It was an AMAZING book! I asked my mom to buy it in Manila (Philippine), because I like Cornelia Funke and I hope this book is good. It was great (even though not as great as Inkheart), but it’s still good. The plot is great! My favorite character is definitely Scipio. Poor him, but I think he will be a great detective! 🙂
My review of the book when I first read it in 2009 – rated 5/5 stars
When I first read this book I was like 12 years old. I guess I was just young and easily impressed because I rated it 5/5 stars. When I reread this again, I thought that the book didn’t deserve that rating AT ALL.
I don’t know if it was just because of my young and inexperienced mind or because this was a translated book or because the story was actually meant for children, but I just didn’t like the book at all. For one thing, the characters weren’t very interesting or sophisticated. Apart from Prosper and maybe Scipio, the others were just bland and didn’t really make sense for me.
In addition to that, the story itself was just really weird. I just didn’t understand the sci-fi or fantasy part of the book that just suddenly appeared in the middle of the story and the overall plot, how everything turned out and how the writer didn’t really show or tell about the effects of what the plot did to the characters.
Overall I thought this was a very terrible book – I don’t even think it is a good children’s book, but I guess it just made a lot of money from the fact that it was able to be translated from its original language to English. But honestly, I don’t get why everyone (including me 5 years ago) was so pumped up about Cornelia Funke, and especially, this book.
My review of the book when I reread it in 2012 – rated 2/5 stars. Full review in my Goodreads here.
Of course as a person grows up, they also mature in thoughts and experience, and certainly in reading taste. I personally have matured in my reading, and have become more critical when reviewing my books. However the fact remains that I did still love some of the childhood books that I reread. Is that a hit or miss situation? Or do I need to just stop rereading my childhood favourites altogether, just so I do not end up disliking them after rereading it as an adult?
It’s definitely a series of tough questions, and definitely food for thought. But now I’m bringing the questions back to you guys. Do you reread the books you used to love as a child, and do your opinions on those books change as you are now older? Have you ever considered, like me, to just let the past be the past, and leave my childhood favourites remain favourites by not revising them at all, therefore being immune to the possibility of them being not as good as I thought they were over ten years ago? Definitely let me know in the comments, and let us discuss this topic together!