Every once in a while, someone brings up a book that stirs memories that I had forgotten I even had. This week, the topic is books we’d like to revisit from our childhood, but most of my childhood was spent rereading the same books/series over and over, so there wouldn’t be ten to talk about. Instead, I’m discussing ten books/series I wish I could read again for the first time.
- Harry Potter. I have a feeling this is going to be on a lot of lists this week. That’s not to say that I don’t already revisit Harry Potter pretty often—believe me, I do—but I’d love to go back and read them again for the first time. (This goes for a lot of my favorite books, but most of those don’t count as “childhood” books.) It’s hard for me to remember exactly what went through my mind upon my first reading, and I wish I could experience that joy again. I had already loved to read by the time I picked up Harry Potter, but it was Harry Potter that really cemented my love of the fiction/fantasy genre.
- The American Girl books. The originals, mind you, not the lame ones they’ve been coming out with recently. My favorite American Girl series were Samantha, Molly, and Kirsten, and I had the Samantha and Molly dolls. My favorite favorite was Samantha, because there was a character named Bridget in it! If I’m remembering correctly, she was a servant girl who was about seven years old, which I liked because I was seven when I first read the books. They were my first chapter books and I loved them. I just bought a set of Samantha books for my baby sister and I’m so excited for her to read them!
- The Baby Sitters Club books. This is another series I loved. I probably owned something like 50 of them, all out of order, of course. My favorites were the “Super Specials” and the “Super Mysteries,” in particular the one where they go to the ski lodge to escape an apparent stalker and someone gets stuck on a lift in a storm (Stacey?). I read these throughout middle school and even early high school when I wanted something quick and easy and mindless to escape from the drudgery of whatever we were reading in English class that week.
- Jane Austen’s novels. Pride and Prejudice was my first, as I’m sure is the case for many. We had to read it for AP Lit, and after that year of horrors, I didn’t willingly read another “classic” until the summer between junior and senior year of college. I was spending the summer at BC so I could work, but I was only working part time and needed lots of stuff to read, so Andrew left me all his Jane Austen novels. I devoured them, and loved them so much that I decided to take a class on Jane Austen during my senior spring semester, just like he had. (His class was much better, though—mine was too full of the kind of feminists who thought Austen didn’t write about “important enough” things.)
- Stephen King’s The Stand. The Stand is the first Stephen King book I ever read. I wanted to read It first, but my dad suggested that I start with The Stand because it was “less scary.” Having read both multiple times now, I’d say they’re about the same level of scariness, but different kinds of scary. At any rate, I’d still love to read The Stand again, because it was my gateway into one of my all-time favorite writers.
- Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. I’d like to read this again for a different reason than most of the other books listed here; I’d like to read it again because I liked the first book when I read it the first time, but after having read Allegiant, which I pretty much hated, the entire series has been ruined for me. I wish I could go back to reading Divergent and just liking the simple story before getting bogged down by the “genetic damage” plot and all the relationship drama (ugh).
- Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. What an amazing book. I’ve read it three times now and it gets better with each read, but I wish I could experience the mystery and suspense again for the first time.
- Gillian Flynn’s books. After reading Gone Girl, I immediately went out and got Gillian Flynn’s other books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. As much as I loved Gone Girl, it’s the only one I haven’t reread (mostly because my mom has had it for a few years now and hasn’t finished it yet). The other two are amazing, and possibly even better than Gone Girl—they’re certainly darker in some respects. It would be amazing to read them all again for the first time without knowing how they end! (And believe me, they all have great endings!)
- Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves. I read this for the first time the summer after my senior year of high school. I remember it took me several hours just to get through the first 60-70 pages; I’ve read it several times since, and still have barely scratched the surface of its intricacies. If you haven’t read it, you should really give it a try. The way the stories weave together is amazing.
- Dean Koontz’s Watchers. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I’ve been disappointed by many, if not most, of the other Dean Koontz novels I’ve read, but Watchers always satisfies me. To read it again for the first time would be so great.
So, I just realized after writing all this that I already wrote on this topic two and a half years ago; about half of my answers are the same! Oops. Oh well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What books do you want to read again for the first time?by