Friday, March 15, 2013

A Blast from the {Reading} Past

Michelle and I both love reading  and we have "to-read" lists a mile long on Goodreads.  There's nothing quite like the thrill of a new book: the feeling of the pages, the smell, the anticipation.  As wonderful as a new book is, though, it can be even better to revisit an old favorite.  A truly favorite book is like a best friend; you may be apart for years, but the familiarity and love is still there.  Both of us recently took the time to re-read the books which we have claimed as our favorites for years, wondering if our "old friends" would be as wonderful as we'd remember...

Image via Goodreads

Oh, this book.  How I love, love this book.  I first came to know Anne Shirley when I was little, watching the movies on TV.  I received the complete series — all EIGHT books — for Christmas one year and I think I read all of them in seventh grade.  Ever since then, I have always proclaimed Anne of Green Gables to be my favorite book.  Other books have been added to my favorites list, of course, but Anne has always stayed firm.  When I picked it up again a few months ago, I wondered if I would still love it or if I would have outgrown the antics of "Anne with an E".  To my delight, I loved it just as much as I did when I was twelve.  I told Mr. W that I should read it with a highlighter so that I could underline all of my favorite passages.  Anne has to be one of the most winning characters ever written.  I love her wit and wisdom, and I loved watching her evolve from an awkward little girl to a confident, capable woman.  The other characters — Matthew, Marilla, Diana, Gilbert, Rachel Lynde — are all as warm and wonderful as I'd remembered.  In many ways, the people in this book are as real to me as any I've known in person.  I truly believe that Anne Shirley and I are "kindred spirits".

Image  via Google
Michelle — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Growing up I always had a large book shelf in my room. First it was filled full of picture books, Berenstein Bears, Mother Goose, etc. As I got older the rotation changed to Nancy Drew Files, Little House on the Prarie and Anne of Green Gables. One day I found this book on my shelf and since my Dad was raised in Brooklyn, NY I decided to read it...yep the critical thinking of a 12 year old! I ate the whole book up. I remember loving it, laughing, sympathizing, etc and have said it was my "Favorite" from then on. I'm not a big re-reader of books mainly because the list of books I need to read for the first time is waaaay too long. Well I decided to break my habit and re-read this one again. I read it. I closed it. I wondered, "Why is this my favorite again?" Yep. I didn't find it as engaging, thrilling or thought provoking as I claimed it to be when I was 12. Here is my theory: I was 12 when I read it. The main character is 12. I think at the time I was on her same level of thinking/emotions/etc. Now reading it as a grown's still a good story, but I don't really identify with it anymore {plus I think the weightier subject matter went over my head as a 12 year old and this time around I got it}. *Sigh* Even though I didn't find my re-read as fulfilling as I wanted it to be, it was still nice to go back and re-read & revisit, in a way, my childhood. To make sure I still loved some of the books I grew up with I re-read Daddy Long Legs, it was great!

And now, a She Said announcement...
You have probably noticed that we haven't been posting very much lately.  We are both doing well and we're certainly still friends, but we are BUSY!  Real life is demanding more of our time and leaving us less freedom to contribute to our dear blog here.  We will continue to update content occasionally, but our posts will be less frequent than before.  We hope you will understand and will continue reading She Said, even if there's not as much new stuff. :)

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