"I need to read more over winter break. I haven't read anything for fun since school started," every single one of my friends said towards the end of this semester.
The same goes for me, but every year I have a holiday tradition: reread season. Instead of worrying that I'll spend all my time rereading old favorites during the semester, I set them aside for November and December to keep me company during the break — before my parents inevitably get me new books for Christmas. Rereading your childhood favorites as an adult is incredibly enlightening. You get to learn how much you've changed or stayed the same over the years, your adult mind detects far more nuances than it did the first time through, and best of all: you've likely forgotten the whole plot, and you get to experience the exact same surprises and suspense you loved before.
Here are my 11 recommendations for major nostalgia.
1. Harry Potter
Every time I read Harry Potter, something seems different. I like different characters, I enjoy different parts of the plot and I pick a different favorite book. You may not have forgotten the plot because of the movies, but the books are still full of little details and surprises for you to find.
Warriors is my favorite series to reread because, for some odd reason, it still entertains me like it did when I was in middle school. I feel the exact same sense of ruggedness and wildness, love the same characters and daydream about the forest world as much as I did before. It's like being a little kid again!
3. Percy Jackson
It was both thrilling and painful to reread this series. The plot holes, potty humor and literal deus ex machinas made me cringe, but I also found myself appreciating the character development and storytelling style much more. Plus, if you get pulled back into the series, you have a lot more Rick Riordan books to read.
4. To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is full of nuances you likely missed when your teachers forced you to read it way back when. You'll also appreciate the charm of the story much more, now that no one is forcing you to read it.
This was actually my first time reading Fablehaven, and I must say I was impressed. I loved the world and the plot so much as an adult, I can only imagine how obsessed I would have been as a kid.
6. The Hunger Games
This one really surprised me. It's a lot more profound and intelligent than I realized back in middle school. Now that I'm more mature, the struggles are more relatable and the love triangle seems much more forgivable.
This book was a real hit or miss among my friends when it first came out, so it definitely pays to reread it. Have you changed so much that you'll no longer find it entertaining, or will you find it more relatable and sincere than you thought the first time through?
I read Eragon for the first time about two years ago, and I must say I wasn't super impressed, even though my friends said it was their entire childhood. This probably means that it will be one of the most interesting books to reread: I honestly have no idea if it still holds up for adults like it did when we were kids.
9. The Hobbit
The Hobbit is super fun to read now as an adult because I've finally found a niche of friends who love fantasy books like Lord of the Rings. I no longer have that nagging feeling of "nerd" in the back of my mind while reading it.
10. City of Bones
Now this will be a fun one to reread. Oh, this book probably stirred up all kinds of questions about romance, vampires and angels for you when you first read it as a young teen. You'll love to see how your thoughts on the subject have changed in the past few years.
12. The Fault in Our Stars
This book likely taught you about loss, or you already knew about loss and found the book a profound waste of time. Either way, you are far more mature now, and will see the book in a completely different light...assuming you can see through the tears.
Whether you've felt it or not, you've changed a lot in your first semester in college. You've learned new facts about interpersonal relationships, the laws of physics and, most importantly, yourself. You'll never find a better winter break to test your new personality on your old childhood books.
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