This week I wanted to talk a bit about nostalgia reading. I've noticed that a lot of books have a special place because I read them as a kid or a teen- and I know a lot of people can probably relate to this. Books are so important during our formative years, as we're finding out who we are- and the fascinating thing is I think books help shape us in many ways. I think it's great we have so many choices because kids and teens are not only reading for entertainment, they are shaping their worldview, their sense of self. But for this discussion I want to focus on the nostalgia element.
I've mentioned before that some of the books from my childhood don't hold up so well when I re- read them as an adult. Again I think lots of us can relate to that. I've come to realize that it's okay if that happens- they don't have to hold up. It's enough that they were there, at that time- and for the role they played in shaping who I am. Many book lovers are introverts and draw energy from time alone and perhaps often from books. So again I think this is a way that books can affect who we are.
I've noticed too that I re- read a lot of books when I was in school or college. I guess as a blogger there are so many new releases to read and review but back then I wasn't constantly grabbing new releases. And I certainly wasn't privy to what was coming out months in advance. I wouldn't trade now for then, but at the same time there is a certain wistfulness when I think back to those more relaxed ways. Does anyone else feel this way?
So how about you? Do you read for nostalgia, or miss certain books from your childhood? What are your favorites?
I don't often read for nostalgia because all the new goodness is it's own sort of excitement, you know? But The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper is my go-to series. I have ebooks of them so they're always with me because I feel antsy not having them with me lol I just like knowing they're there. I love these covers, btw. So retro, but so good!ReplyDelete
I don't much anymore either, although I did. Blogging kinda solved that so I can relate. And it is nice to have a favorite series you can go to as a sort of comfort read!Delete
I like those covers too...
I love reading for nostalgia! I don't do that often, but it's so fun to go back and reread a book that was so important to me when I was a kid/teen. it's also fun now to read some of these books with my children. We all read The Giver together last year, which is one of my favorite books as a kid, and that was so damn awesome. :D I love seeing them read books on their own from my childhood as well.ReplyDelete
Also, awesome that you have The Hobbit on here. I didn't read that one as a kid, but that is the book I'm reading right now. :P
I hope you're liking the Hobbit. I've been meaning to re- read it as it's been a long time. I haven't read it in ages. And I do like nostalgia reads, especially when it brings back memories of reading and sharing with kids is awesome.Delete
Everyday I wish for that relaxed grazing at the library! That is where I used to come across new books. I don't even physically go there anymore, I tell my sister what I want and she picks it up. Next year I am setting aside way more time for personal reading which will mean more rereads, more classics I haven't gotten to, and older authors I have wanted to read. I need to reread The Hobbit. :)ReplyDelete
I haven't been to the library in forever. I really should go more. I've been buying mostly e-books now for convenience, but I could save a ton of $ if I went to the library! But yeah I read mostly what I want to read, and that reduces any stress i would have over ARC's.Delete
Wonderful post, Greg!ReplyDelete
I agree that books shape us into the people we want to be and the people we grow to be. I know that it's true for me, anyway. I didn't read a lot when I was a kid (I'm super bummed about that too) but I've been reading long enough that I still have nostalgia reads. Some books that hit me hard when I read it back in the day and have become comfort reads now. I also have some books that I read back in the day that didn't hold up for me once I re-read them years later. I think we're constantly changing as individuals that books will hit us differently at different parts of our lives. That's the beauty of books. The same story can pull different emotions out of you at different times.
Thanx! *nods* I totally think books shape us. And well said- a book may not hold up but it may have a different impact on us as an older person, and that's a great point. And we'll always have the memories of when we first read them, right?Delete
I've kind of gotten overwhelmed with new releases this year and I miss rereading! I do enjoy some of the books I loved as a kid and one of the nice things about the age of Amazon is that books that I couldn't get in the library or bookstores when I was a kid I can get now. There were a number of series that I could only get a couple of and I've really enjoyed catching up on them. I can definitely relate to that wistful feeling. I love being in the know to some degree but I miss being able to pick out books more spontaneously. Right now it feels like I'm more focused on pub dates than reading what catches my eye.ReplyDelete
I miss it sometimes too. I used to reread constantly, favorite books would get the reread treatment all the time! Great point too about the age of Amazon- I used to have to scout used bookstores occasionally for books and now between Amazon and online out of print places, it's easier than ever to find old books.Delete
And the pub date thing- yeah that's one of the downsides of blogging is I think it's easy to get caught up in the tours and commitments. It's a hard balance
I definitely have some books that I remember fondly from my childhood and teen years. I agree that they sometimes don't stand up to a re-read, but that doesn't take away from what they meant to you when you were younger!ReplyDelete
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Agreed. I think certain books have such an impact on us as kids or younger readers that even later the memories and good feeling they leave is such a great thing.Delete
So well said. I re-read constantly when I was a kid. Some of it was terrific, and some of it I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole now. I didn't have this panicky sense of "so many books I have to read!" I just read. I'm pretty sure that 20% of what I got at the library were books I'd read before, and I frequently would read the books we owned as well.ReplyDelete
Thank you. I did too. I read the same books constantly! Ha ha about the ten foot pole- you're so right, there have been a few where I've thought WHAT was I thinking? lol There's something about being a kid and just revisiting the same books over and over, like an old friend. No pressure like there is now to get reviews out. :)Delete
Great topic Greg! And yes, I definitely re-read for nostalgia although I have to agree that I have a lot less time since I started blogging.ReplyDelete
I've been re-reading the Narnia series extremely slowly and even though I loved it when I was younger I am actually seeing different aspects to it now that I'm re-reading and I'm enjoying it for some different reasons.
I also re-read The Hobbit earlier this year and I have to say it wasn't what I remembered it to be! It was still a good read although I have to say it was far better when I was 10. I need to do a LoTR re-read but I'm positive that those will hold up to any scrutiny as they were originally written for adults.
It is difficult to find the time to re-read, especially with all the books coming out lately- but I think it's a worthwhile journey.
Thank you! Narnia would be interesting as an adult, I imagine, I read them as a kid so I have very little recollection of them, actually. I mean I remember major themes but a lot of details are all fuzzy.Delete
I've been thinking of the Hobbit too and I'm sorta braced for the simpler tone of it. Otherwise I think I'll be disappointed too. It's funny because there are certain aspects of that world that we only get in The Hobbit, I almost wish it had been written more like LotR.
I agree, even though re- read time is scarce, it is worth it. :)
I've only re-read 2 books in my life - Cronin's The Passage and The Twelve (1600+ pages!) - leading up to the release of The City of Mirrors this Spring. Not sure that I'll ever make re-reading a habit...but I can see the appeal with children's books read long ago.ReplyDelete
Really? That's cool. I hardly re- read anymore although as a kid I did quite a bit.Delete
I don't reread books for the most part because I am so scared I will feel differently about them. Two that I want to reread and kind of revisit are The Bell Jar and Catcher in the Rye which I loved in high school and think of fondly.ReplyDelete
Yeah that happens. After re- reading a few I've decided to curtal that a bit, for exactly that reason!Delete
Oh, I'm definitely nostalgic about my childhood reads. Looking back, it seems like I had SO MUCH free time, I could read whatever I wanted. I'd re-read entire series of books if I liked them. My best friend and I would go to the library every week or so and come home with HUGE hauls of books and read them all and then repeat the process.ReplyDelete
I really want to re-read LOTR soon, I think it's been 10 years since I last read it and I miss it! I know I'll be reading some of my faves with my kids soon, so that's good.
I recently borrowed a series I was obsessed with when I was around 14. It was absolute crap but I can sort of see why I loved it at that point of my life!
And yeah, books definitely help shape us. Not so much now, perhaps, but I wonder what kind of a reader I'd turn out to be if I read some of the books earlier - or if I hadn't read LOTR at 13, for example, or Harry Potter, or whatever. Pride and Prejudice also made a huge impact on me, I think I first read it when I was 15?
Great post! :)
I know, that was the best wasn't it? And I think LotR would be a great re- read, there's so much there. Plus I was pretty young when I read them, and I think to read them as an adult eye opening.Delete
Lol I know the feeling! So many favorites have turned out to be crappy as adult reads, so I've stopped re- reading to a certain extent.
And that is right- what if I hadn't read this book or that? Some of those childhood reads influenced me so much, some characters almost like role models (that sounds funny) but it's kinda true- they really do affect us I think.
At one point I tried re-reading some books from when I was younger, and I didn't like most of them, so I pretty much gave up. Well, actually it started because I re-read HP and loved those, but most of the rest didn't go so well lol. So I don't read for nostalgia.ReplyDelete
But it's funny because I used to never re-read when I was younger, I didn't understand the point, so I re-read more now that I'm a blogger!
Yeah I've had a problem with books not holding up. And though I've learned that's okay, it still doesn't motivate me to do much re- reading. :)Delete
that is funny, I was the opposite. I re- read a ton as a kid, but not so much now.
When I started blogging, I caught the new release fever but I read soooo many mediocre and bad books that way that I ended up in a MASSIVE reading slump. Since then, I've decided that I read what I want, when I want. So yes, now I go back to older books I never read, I'm trying to reread more again and basically just doing MY reading thing that makes me happy. There are tons of amazing older books out there and I've had so much more success with those than with ARCs...I don't regret the change :)ReplyDelete
Good for you. I think it's easy to get caught up in the ARC rage and the new shiny ha ha but it can be relaxing or less stressful to take a step back. I know I don't do ARC's and I do get aRC envy occasionally lol, but I also don't have deadlines or Netgalley percentages to worry about. And being a mood reader means I often don't know what I want to read next, or maybe I know 2 or 3 books ahead, but other than that- who knows? :)Delete
I think that's best, to read what you want. You gotta do you... :)
I LOVE this, because I agree completely! When I was younger, I would reread ALL the time. Because it was harder to get books I guess (no Amazon shipping OR prices hahah), and not as much information either, so I tended to stick to my comfort zones. On one hand, I do miss that feeling of nostalgia, but on the other, I am VERY glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone- I definitely have read a lot of things I'd never have picked up had I just been reading the same books, so I think that is a BIG plus. The one series I DO continue to reread no matter what is (shocking, I know) The Hunger Games- and I love it just as much every time. I have read the series 10 times, and I think I find new stuff to love every time. So yeah, I do wish I had a *little* more time for rereads (there are a few I WOULD love to read again!) but as a whole, I think new experiences are better. Love this post!!ReplyDelete
Thank you! Yes I ALWAYS re- read as a kid, and pretty much only read fantasy so the choices were ... less varied let's say. And I agree, I sometimes miss how but at the same time I wouldn't want to pass up the way it is now, with ALL the reads. lol plus I've tried things I never would have, so I can relate there as well.Delete
I might never have tried urban fantasy but now I've read a few. That has to be the biggest advantage of blogging- all the new stuff I'd never have tried.
I don't reread books very often anymore but I did as a kid and teen. I reread my favorites so many times. I did reread The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a few years ago. I still liked the book but I think I liked it more as a kid though I didn't appreciate the hidden depths as much.ReplyDelete
Great post! I am SUCH a nostalgia reader!! I recently spent an entire day trying to track down a book I had read in sixth grade, borrowed from the library. My husband thought I was crazy because it was an obscure book and it took me hours of googling different combinations and scouring weird catalogs to find it! But I did and I was able to purchase a super beat up copy and it just made me so happy.ReplyDelete