Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bookish Nostalgia


My childhood was filled with books.  I spent huge swaths of time reading, poring over favorite books, creating my own characters, and my own stories.  I read, and I read, and I read.  I have an entire bookshelf in my room that is devoted to books that I don't really read anymore, but have so many memories attached to them, that I couldn't possibly give them away.

The Penderwicks.
Hannah West.
The Tortall books, by Tamora pierce.
Harry Potter.

These books shaped my childhood.  In fact, they still shape my life, and I do still read some of the books in that list.  I spent four years reading and rereading the Warriors series (Erin Hunter), and creating my own clans, my own characters, and making up stories.  From about second grade up, I've constantly had a book in my possession, being carted around from here to there.

I spent years running through my friend's backyard, pretending to be Ginny Weasley, while she was first Hermione Granger, and then Tonks, from Harry Potter.  A few years later, and our obsession had shifted to the Warriors series, where we came up with a set of four clans, and all the cats (who we bothered to integrate into our story) in them.  We had our main characters we played, and we came up with a prophecy.

I pretended I was the fifth Penderwick sister, or occasionally Batty, or Skye.  I played this game with myself, as none of my friends had read these books, until this year, when I made one of them read The Penderwicks.    I pretended I was Hannah West, a teenage sleuth solving crimes in Seattle, another game I played alone.   Another series I adored was the Percy Jackson series, by Rick Riordan.  I spent hours pretending I went to Camp Half-Blood, that I was Annabeth, or Thalia.  I distinctly remember running around my backyard, using a short wooden dagger my sister made at pirate camp to fend off imagined enemies.

Later on, my obsessions shifted once again, this time to Tamora Pierce's Totall series.  I would pretend I was Alanna, or Daine.  It took me a while to like Kel as much as I liked the other two, but I do like her now, though I rarely pretended I was her.  This is one of my more recent obsessions.

I still have all these stories.  All these books I adored as a child, that swept me up in fangirling over them for years.  I remember distinct moments from playing each of them.  Do you have any distinct memories from books like these, that you adored as a child, and have read seemingly a hundred times each?  Did you ever pretend you were a certain character, be it one from the book, or one you made up?

The Dandy Lioness


  1. Oh my! I like posts that talk about books so much! And can I ever relate to you!!! Books shaped so much of my life too. One of my all time favorite books was Treasures of the Snow, by Patricia St. John. It was about a girl in the Swiss Alps named Annette. I think when I read that, it was the first time I was glad I had blonde hair. (I had always wanted to be a native American, so therefore I needed black hair and dark eyes instead of blonde hair and blue eyes…) I’ve read that book over and over again, and still read it. So, so much more too! But, as this is just a comment, I’ll leave it at that. Thanks so much for this post, truly, it’s the kind that makes me happy and takes me down memory lane.

  2. Ah, the memories... :) I can totally relate. I started reading the Harry Potter series in first grade, and it got to the point where I could quote most of each book. I remember running around in "wizard robes" with a wand that I made out of a branch a lot.
    I read Anne of Green Gables when I was pretty young, too. I read that a lot. I also remember liking Beverly Cleary's books, although that was a long time ago.
    Most of my childhood was taken up by books and playing imaginary games.

  3. I did it with Harry Potter, certainly. :) Another book I pretended I was a character from was Crane by Jeff Stone; it's part of The Five Ancestors series, but that's my favorite out of the seven. Haven't read that one in a very long while . . .

  4. Holy top-hat, yes! I can totally relate; it's crazy how you can look back at books that were so prominent in your childhood and see how they've shaped you. Some of my best memories from being a little kid are of my big brother reading the first Harry Potter book to me every night before bed, and the Narnia series... Aww, nostalgia. I totally blame him for starting me down this path of insane fantasy nerd-dom. :P

    And oh my god, Tamora Pierce! I loved those so much as well! (And still do, heh...) Up until rather recently my life goal was to become a Lady Knight, after reading the Lioness books. (Actually... I think it still might be. o.o Only now I've added Doctor's Companion and Ranger to that list.) I remember picking up that first book for the first time so clearly... And I am eternally grateful to little 10-year-old me for doing so, heh. :P

    Oh, and by the way, hi! :D I think this is my first time actually commenting on your awesome blog after lurking around in the shadows for quite a while, hehe. So, nice to meet you, and lovely place you've got here. ^^