This is a question that has been bothering me for a few weeks now. I’ve been an avid reader for my entire life, but I cannot, for the life of me, remember what I read when I was a kid.
I’m talking books, by the way. Real ones, not picture books (not that there is anything wrong with picture books), and ones that have really stuck in my mind for a long time. I remember being read books as a small child, before the age of 5. My parents read me fairy tales, and stories of Beatrix Potter so many times I memorized them down to the page turns, but once I started reading on my own, apparently I didn’t read anything of particular note until I was at least 11.
There are books I know I wanted to read as a kid, but specifically never got around to (Ella Enchanted, A Wrinkle in Time), and then there are my favorites, the books I know I read at some point, but cannot, no matter how much I try, remember when I read them. Books like The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ramona Quimby Age 8, and my favorite, Maniac McGee. The strange thing was, even though I know I loved Maniac McGee, it took me weeks of thinking to even remember the title, and a walk through a Barnes and Noble “Young Readers” section to remember the others.
It bothers me that I didn’t read more as a little kid, especially since there are dozens of classic books that people my age remember fondly, and even more because there are books I read between the ages of 11 and 14 that I remember as some of my favorites. Books like Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet, and most importantly, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, which remains, more than a decade later, one of my favorite books.
So now I’m trying to rectify my childhood mistake by awkwardly purchasing and reading as many children’s books as possible. I would check them out of the library, but I would feel bad borrowing books as a 25-year-old that are intended for children in elementary school, thus making them unavailable to those kids during the summer. You’ll notice I’m optimistic about elementary school kids and their library use.
What were your favorite books as a kid?