You probably have a few, too: books that you didn’t appreciate to the fullest extent at age 13 or younger. I had a super high reading level when I was a kid, so I was stuck reading a bunch of books that were too old for me because technically, I understood the words, even if I didn’t understand the nuances. As a result, I have a slew of books that I think I need to reread now that I’m an adult, and can actually understand what’s going on.
So here they are: 4 books that I want to reread now that I’m officially a grown-up (for like seven years now).
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
Water for Elephants came out in 2006, when I was 13. I read it for one simple reason: it was a NaNoWriMo novel, and I did National Novel Writing Month religiously starting at the age of 11. I still do it, I just fail now more often than I win. But there’s a lot of nuances I probably missed as a young 13-year-old – I liked the writing, I liked the romance, but I didn’t understand the subplot of getting older, of aging. Now, I am still only 25, but I think I could understand it better. And so, Water for Elephants is on this list.
Redwall (series) by Brian Jacques
I devoured these books starting at age 9. Apparently, I missed a lot of symbolism – especially religious symbolism. I’m almost hesitant to read them again because I’m not sure I want the memory of them to be… tarnished?… by an adult read. I mean, this is the series that I used to play-act on sunny days – I was a squirrel archer from Redwall Abbey, and I’d go running around in the grass screaming “Eulalia!” at the top of my lungs, much to the chagrin of my neighbors.
So maybe I’ll reread this. Maybe I won’t. Maybe, sometimes, it’s better to let good memories stay good.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
So I’ve actually read Fahrenheit 451 at least six times, in a row, and here’s why. Do you remember back in the day, when you’d be sitting in your English class (everyone stop and picture a 14 or 15-year-old Witch in the middle of her grunge baby phase at a desk in high school), and the teacher would have everyone take turns reading aloud?
This was torture for me.
In the time it took one person to read one section, I’d have finished a chapter. Now, I’m not knocking the practice – I don’t teach, I’m by no means an expert – but for me, it was absolutely awful having to sit there and listen to the other students read haltingly a book that they didn’t even want to read in the first place.
So I read it six times while waiting for them to read it once.
I’m thinking I should reread it and really take my time with it, read it and get to know it, return to the world that Bradbury created. I’m just afraid I’ll see our own world within it.
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
Ah, fine, I’ll put up the actual cover too.
I read these books at 8 or 9 and I don’t remember them – instead, I remember the movies. That seems like a travesty, because I remember enjoying them, even being able to quote them, but they’re lost to me much like pre-Algebra. I hate putting books in the same category as math, because I hate math.
So it’s time to revisit, I think, Middle Earth.
Confession time: This list was going to be 5 books but honestly, I couldn’t think of a 5th one that made sense, and didn’t sound weird, so here are some runners-up.
- So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
- The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks
- Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
What are some books you need to reread, some worlds that may be worth revisiting for you?