The feeling of being absolutely enthralled by a story is a luxury that many of us have lost appreciation for as adults. Everyday responsibilities make it so that we have little time to ourselves and when we do get that time, reading a book can feel like another chore.
There’s a risk that the story won’t interest you, or that you won’t relate to the characters. The fear of wasting time on a book is very real and people often combat this fear by reading nothing at all.
Instead, try reading a book you’re already familiar with, perhaps one from your childhood. No matter how old you are there’s a lot to be gained from revisiting books that brought you joy in your youth. If you’re looking to do so here are few books to start with.
1. “The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket
The first book in the extremely popular book series “A Series of Unfortunate Events” tells the story of three extraordinary children following the loss of their beloved parents.
The books made everyone want to get under the covers and watch as the Baudelaire children cleverly escape the hand of Count Olaf and other neglectful adults.
As you follow the Baudeliers on their mission to uncover the truth about the secret society that both their parents and Count Olaf were a part of, you’ll feel like a detective yourself.
What makes the series such a perfect read right now is its atmosphere. The books often featured gloomy settings that felt strangely cozy at times: Ornate halls filled with exotic reptiles, old brick buildings and libraries.
It’s the perfect series to revisit while staying inside, especially on rainy days or nights.
2. “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen
The story of a young boy who finds himself completely alone in the remote Canadian wilderness following a plane crash was one that made us all think that we were resilient enough to survive in the wilderness for months with nothing but a small hatchet.
The novel likely fostered an interest in the outdoors, especially camping. And while the book is a great form of escapism, there’s another more understated theme that can be taken away from Brian’s experience.
It’s really the story of a young man who was thrust into uncertain circumstances and despite all odds, survived. Even though he was scared and felt completely unprepared, he succeeded. This goes to show that you’re likely stronger, smarter and more prepared to face the world than you think.
3. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz
We always seemed to happen upon these books either at the school book fairs or our local libraries. Without knowing what the story was about, you might’ve found yourself drawn to the horrifying pictures on the cover and the titles scrawled dramatically in red.
Depending on which tale from the three book collection of short stories you happened upon that day, you might’ve read about ghost ships, cursed prom dresses, or unlucky brides.
Even though the stories were frightening, maybe even your first introduction to literary horror, there was something truly exciting about being afraid.
Revisiting these books as an adult, you’ll find that a lot of the stories were more profound than you realized. And still just as terrifying.
4. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak
This is a strangely melancholy story of a young boy named Max who sails to an island of Wild Things after he’s sent to bed by his mother for misbehaving.
Whether you grew up reading the story or not, the tale is so iconic that it’s almost ubiquitous. Even so, there are some lessons from the book that might not have reached you as a child.
There are times when retreating into your own fantasy world for a short while is just what you need to get through tough times. But just like in the book, know that you can’t stay there forever.
Perhaps when faced with reality again like Max, you’ll face the world with a new perspective, better able to give energy to the things that bring you joy.
You never read the same book twice because you’ve been so changed by your own experiences, the people you’ve met, and the places you visited that once you open a book again, neither you nor the book are the same. But because you’re reading with fresh eyes, that excitement you experienced at discovering these books as a child can be felt anew.