Revisiting childhood: surfing high on a wave of nostalgia

I am going through a nostalgic phase nowadays. That means that I am digging up books I used to read as a child, spending time reconnecting to those childhood experiences that seem almost magical when viewed across the expanse of the intervening years. The good thing is that these old things are as enjoyable as they were back when I was a child, if not more. The bad part is that it puts me even further from getting into contemporary stuff, but there’s no rush to do that, so I can take my time on the nostalgia train and get to contemporary station eventually.

I read a lot of children’s classics back in the day, so revisiting my childhood reads means rereading The Secret Garden, Heidi, Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess and The Jungle Book. Most of these I got as ebooks, with the exception of The Jungle Book, which I got as a hardcover at the beginning of my nostalgic journey. With my recent discovery of classics being available as free audiobooks, I went and downloaded a bunch of them and started listening to A Little Princess. I have reached the most heartbreaking part of the book, which is somehow even more heartbreaking in audio form, with the reader voicing the characters’ emotions with a different voice for each one. Having these books in audio form means that I experience them differently enough for them to feel new but the story is still familiar, so it still counts as a nostalgic trip.

Another story that thrilled me as a child was The Lord of the Rings. I have reread the Harry Potter series more frequently than The Lord of the Rings, which is why I can safely put off rereading Harry Potter and focus on getting my hands on a copy of The Lord of the Rings. I have still to decide whether to get a hard copy, an ebook or an audiobook. I am so used to reading the tiny, tiny text of my old and worn paperback copy of The Lord of the Rings that any other format is going to change the experience considerably.

I am not going to go so far as to dive into the Enid Blyton books again. For one thing, there are so many that it would take me a lot of time to revisit them all. Yes, I did read a lot of her books as a child. Even typing this tempts me to see how I can get my hands on the Twins at St Clare’s series again. It would also prompt my mother to hypothetically throw me out of the house for going back to Enid Blyton at this age. I could probably get away with listening to them in audiobook form. You can tell I am totally going to go in that direction. As long as I’m going down memory lane, why not go all the way? Let me just stop short of digging up Dr. Seuss books. I actually reread them before giving them to my little cousins to read, so in a way, I have already revisited them as well as my “Peter and Jane” picture books.

As an avid reader, I have a rich history of books I have read. As a rereader, potentially all those books are up for revisiting. I will come around to reading contemporary books and recent releases, but for now, let me try to catch the wonder of a child reader’s joy in the well-loved pages of a familiar story. Once I am done with that, I can start making memories for my future self to return to at a later date. That’s just how nostalgia works, right?



10 thoughts on “Revisiting childhood: surfing high on a wave of nostalgia

  1. What a great idea! I used to love Anne of Green Gables and all of the Enid Blyton books… Malory Towers and The Famous Five. And of course, Harry Potter. I would love to revisit my childhood too.

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  2. I love all the books you talk about. I’ve never read LOrd of the rings but Harry Potter was my absolute favourite I loved it!!
    We also read around the world in 80 days the secret garden the list goes on and I still enjoy them whenever I read them to my younger siblings.

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  3. There is no joy quite like reading the books you grew up with. Authors like Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton, books like Heidi, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, Black Beauty, and other classics that I read as I grew old enough to understand them, shall always be close to my heart. I can’t wait for my girls to grow up so I can introduce them to my favourite books!

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  4. When you have kids this is such a reality 🙂 Esp when you tell them you used to read the book as a child! Despite the nostalgia it does kinda make some of us feel a little old LOL…

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  5. Ahh! I thought I’m reading about my childhood.
    I was a big reader of all these books. And fiction novels and your article are pushing me to write al about I was in my childhood.
    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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