Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Re-Read Books?

Most of my faithful readers already know I am a book fanatic, a collector or purveyor of literary works, in a nutshell I love to read. It's been a love of mine since childhood and one I am having difficulty getting my own children to enjoy. Mostly its due to the fact, they have technology that engages their every whim and I grew up without.

We dealt with imagination, they deal in virtual reality. So how does one share that love of books with these next generations? I guess the simple answer is to take away electricity. That would leave Ipods, computers, televisions and video games almost worthless. No power, no play.

Yet what I want to do is create that love for what books provide that technology can't. Yes, I also am aware of eBook readers, but for me, nothing feels the same or even smells the same as a paper book. Which is why, I love book stores! I love learning what secrets and adventures lay waiting in store for the eyes and brain to piece together the movie that plays out when we immerse ourselves into books.

When I grew up, some of my favorites included every single book about horses. From fictional novels like Black Beauty and Misty of Chincoteague, to books identifying the many different breeds and uses for horses. In addition during the summer, the book mobile would arrive in our neighborhood and provide us a mobile mini library to select from. This was perfect since mom and dad both worked so getting to the library often posed challenges. This rectified that problem. I read through all the Nancy Drew mysteries, solving crimes right alongside my best friend Nancy, I journeyed across the prairie with Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family; I read the classics, Swiss Family Robinson, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Books gave our imagination wings to fly and nothing was impossible, that is until we tried something and it failed.

Yet in the re-reading of these books, lessons are captured that our youth often missed or perhaps we learned something but never really understood what was happening. Through the Ingalls family, we learned about surviving through hard times, learning what living a simple life really meant. Even though Laura didn't have as much money as the rich Olsen's, she still was envied as having the warm love of her family and friends who would do anything for them.

We learned that visiting new places, meeting new people and trying new things didn't have to be so scary through Lucy's visit through the wardrobe. We learned that loyalty pays off in the end, and that evil never wins in the end, no matter how it might seem that it will. Patience is something to be gifted through trials and storms, and it doesn't hurt to have help in the form of friends and family along the way.

I am so curious to learn what books you read as a child and how they impacted your life today, even though you may not have thought about the correlation til you read this post. Please share by leaving me your comments below, and I hope you pick up some of your childhood favorites once again and read them through experienced and new eyes again. You can even research your favorite authors and learn more about why they wrote the stories we have come to call classics, those very reasons may just in fact prove to be a surprise as well.


Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I love children's books, not only because I'm a children's author but because I was enraptured by books at a very young age. I read books by Beverly Clearly, Carolyn Haywood, Judy Blume, Laura Ingalls Wilder and so many more. I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking, All of a Kind Family and the Mummy Market. I could go on and on but like you, I found that by reading children's books, I am able to see life through the innocence of a child.

I remember Delight said...

I was never really into re-reading books until the last year or so. Little Women was one the books that I've so far re-read. It was a lot more religious than I remembered, and also the message of family love and loyalty even in hard times was something I think I didn't really pick up on when I was younger.