What I Miss about How I Read as a Child

What Miss About How I Read as a Child

Previously, I have written about how my reading habits have changed over the years. And, in many ways, my habits have changed for the better. I learned that I could read what I wanted without fear of judgment. And I learned that it is not actually the end of the world if I cannot get my hands on a book the day it is released. Sometimes wisdom, or at least a bit of perspective, really does come with maturity. Even so, however, there are aspects of my childhood reading that I miss.

When I was growing up, I had no knowledge of the publishing industry. I simply strolled through the library or, if I was lucky, the bookstore, and picked up whatever I found interesting. Reading the most recent releases did not matter to me, because I had no idea what was a new title or what was a backlist title. If it looked interesting, I read it! I never felt a need to read to keep up with the hype or to appear knowledgeable and trendy.

In fact, even though classics have become a controversial topic, with many educators and librarians claiming that such books ruin children’s love of reading and should never be assigned or recommended to young people, I gravitated towards these books. Classics were the basis of my of my regular reading, and the books that made me fall in love with reading. When I was about eight, Little Women became my favorite book. When I was around eleven, it was J. R. R. Tolkien‘s The Lord of the Rings. My middle school list of repeat reads included titles such as Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and John Knowles’ A Separate Peace. When I went to the public library, I searched for titles such as Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books, or Louisa May Alcott’s lesser-known works like An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving. I discovered the magic of interlibrary loan in high school, so I could ask for some of the more obscure titles I was interested in.

And I reread these books all the time, a practice I sometimes feel like I have no time for as an adult. Many times I had to reread books, of course, because I could not take myself to the library as a child, and so my access to new books was somewhat limited. But I also loved rereading. Each time felt like returning to an old friend. And, each time I would discover some new aspect of the book that I had missed before.

The slow-paced feeling of reading as a child is what I miss the most. When I look back, I remember sunny days spent reading outside, with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Adult life contains many pressures, and I often find myself trying to squeeze in a few pages here and there, trying to read quickly so I can make some progress before I need to stop. I have also found that blogging has introduced me to the world of publishing and new releases, and I end up having to prevent myself from putting 50 library books on hold. And reminding myself that I can go back to an old favorite, or a classic. That I do not need to keep up with every new release because that is actually physically impossible.

I miss the feeling of not having anyone telling me what I needed to read. Just the anticipation of entering the library and seeing the rows and rows of shelves before me. And knowing that adventure awaited.

22 thoughts on “What I Miss about How I Read as a Child

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    I quite like the giddy feeling of wondering what adventures I will go on or what I will learn from each book that I pick up. I used to read a lot as a child, but I can’t remember where all the books came from. We had a mobile library call around once a fortnight. The Merlin books by Mary Stewart remain very memorable for setting me off through older child / teen reading.


    • Krysta says:

      Oh, I love the idea of a mobile library! The first time I stepped on one, I told the librarian there that, you know, mobile libraries are cool and there are so many of us wondering how magical it must be to step on a truck full of books! She looked at me a bit oddly and said, “Oh?” I guess it’s old news to her, but I maintain it is the coolest!

      I haven’t heard of Mary Stewart’s Merlin books, but they sound like something I might like!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jai Lynn says:

    This was a joy to read!! It made me miss my childhood too, and like you said going to the library and picking a book out that you knew nothing about! You just enjoyed the way it looked and the blurb on the back and that was all it took to bring it home! Nowadays because we are older and more exposed and knowledgable there is more pressure to read the new releases and the books that got the best reviews. This was a good topic, it made me feel very nostalgic. 🙂


    • Krysta says:

      You’re not the first I’ve heard say that school ruined reading! I think it can be hard to see reading as something fun and relaxing when you’re also supposed to be doing it for school.


  3. mphtheatregirl says:

    I enjoyed reading ever since a kid and still did entering middle school and high school

    The only trick with high school reading was when was there time to read for fun? Mostly being required reading- part were ones I loved, but most being ones I disliked (being a result of being more close-minded). The Iliad, The Odyssey, And Then Was There None- all being books I loved that were required

    Well, to this day I still am reading middle grade books- most of my favorite fantasy series are in that world. Last year, I think, I started rereading some of my favorite childhood books


  4. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    I don’t really remember my reading experience as a child. I do remember it as a teen/young adult pre blogging – sometimes I do miss the experience of just casually browsing library shelves and plucking off a few titles to try at home. But that strategy rarely resulted in me picking anything good, hah, so I don’t miss it too much!


    • Krysta says:

      Haha! That’s funny! I usually liked the books I picked out as a kid, but maybe I was just easily pleased. I remember I really didn’t like Jane Yolen’s books, though, and they were everywhere at the library. And I kept ending up with them somehow!


  5. jenniferkindschi says:

    I’d forgotten reading A Separate Peace. It must’ve been assigned reading in high school. Now that I think of it, that was such a deep, meaningful subject and book to have us kids read at that age. I’m glad I did!


  6. DoingDewey says:

    I very much miss that summer feeling of having nothing to do but read! Lately I’ve had a hard time sitting down and relaxing to read, so I’m especially nostalgic reading your post.


  7. Charvi says:

    This! This is exactly how I feel. I had the fortune of having a good state library where my mom would drop me off like twice a week after school. I remember spending hours there browsing books and reading laziy. I remember issuing six books (curtsey of my mom and sister’s cards as well that they forfeited) and finishing one a day to the point my mom said she wouldn’t take me to the library more than once a week. Children used to have a ban on tv and internet during exams, my mom used to ban reading XD
    If only we could have those days back!
    I loved reading this nostalgic post ❤


    • Krysta says:

      Ha! My mom used to say I read too much, and I always said, “You know, I’m sure other parents have much more pressing issues with their children.” XD I do miss when I had more time to read!


Leave a Reply! We'd love to read your thoughts!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.