Lately I’ve been re-reading books I’ve already read, including books from my childhood. I highly recommend it.
This week I re-read The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. This book was probably the most significant book of my childhood. It’s the one that got me started in reading fantasy, which is the primary genre I read growing up, and it really encouraged my love of reading. I also think it helped to keep alive my love of magical things and to foster my belief that there’s more to life than meets the eye. I can’t remember anything I ever read before I read this book. Granted, I was 9 or 10 when I read The Blue Sword the first time. I do remember I was really bored with the books I was reading before I read The Blue Sword, and this was my first “close to adult” book. I also remember that as I kept reading fantasy, I started to worry that if my parents realized I was reading such adult books they might be upset. They weren’t, of course, but it was my little rebellion, even if it was imaginary.
So the other night I picked up this book that has been so significant in my life, that I haven’t read in many years, and was shocked to discover that I remembered the first few lines. I remembered how Harry loved the fresh squeezed orange juice, even if I didn’t remember Harry’s name until I read it again. I was hooked in after only the first chapter, knowing that it just gets better and better, and relishing all the details that were coming back to me. It was like going home after many years away.
When I got to the end of the book I found it just as satisfying as it was the first time. I wanted more, and I even re-read passages again just so I could stay in that world a little longer. I felt like I was 10 again, in love with Corlath and Harry and the world they lived in. It is said you can never go back, but, I think, by losing yourself in the right book, you can.