I have a whole shelf on my bookshelf of books that I once held extremely near and dear to my heart. These books had a huge impact on my “youth” and they’re ones that I won’t be able to part with any time soon. Though some of these books have stood the test of time, there are many that make me cringe when I reread them.
I will say though that I don’t look at old middle grade novels in the same way that I do some of the old young adult novels that I read. I feel like to now critically look at a middle grade novel just doesn’t make sense, of course the characters come across as immature and naive and the plots are incredibly basic, middle grade is a whole other level of thinking and comprehension. I am obviously no longer the target audience! However, if any of you would be interested in me going back and critically looking at old middle grade books I would love to do a post like that… (This is me saying that I’m probably going to do this even if no one comments on this post about that particular topic).
On a “spiritual” level, I still love books like Twilight and those dystopian novels that were published really early on in that craze, but I also wouldn’t list them on my favorite books list right now. Even books I’ve read recently that I was obsessed with tend to have something fundamentally wrong with them and I have to look past that in order to read them with the same joy I had when I first read them.
Now I think that moving forward and reading new stories and learning new things will always teach a person to think more critically about things that they used to like… Or at least I think that’s what we all hope for people and ourselves as we learn new things. Books that we read in the past are super important to who we become as adults and I think it’s important to be able to talk about the books that we loved then and even if they don’t stand the test of time they can still mean something to us.
It’s too easy to be embarrassed about favorite books and want to hide our old or even current reading tastes because we may like problematic stories or stories that haven’t aged well or even stories that once seemed so mature and amazing that now have just lost their touch. I don’t think that we should be quick to condemn things we once loved because they aren’t “good” today. I think we should discuss and call out things that haven’t stood the test of time and be inspired to read better books and tell new stories.
I was just inspired to write this post from seeing people rereading Twilight recently and also from writing my Books That Shaped Me post. I think it’s funny to see how immature and bad some of my old favorite books are compared to some of the books I’ve been reading more recently. It’s just interesting to see how things change over time!
Do you guys have any books that you feel embarrassed to say that you still love?