Some of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by books from the moment we are born. Bedtime stories, board books, the ABCs; all of them gradually preparing us for the big world and motivating us to read ourselves. Thus, memories can not only be brought back by a song we hear on the radio or a familiar scent in the air - books can store memories, too. One can remember their mother’s voice when they are reading a book to their own child. The lights dimmed, shadows dancing on the walls – but the calm voice makes all the fears go away.
I do not remember a lot of details from the books I read years ago, rather the emotions they brought me. I was obsessed with Jack London’s novels when I was in middle school, and in my memories his books are full of hope and the will to live. I tried reading Ernest Thompson’s stories, and those were sad (welcome to life, here how it works: everyone and everything eventually dies).
Some books that I enjoyed reading when I was younger now seem so naïve to the adult me. Those books served their purpose. I enjoyed those when the time was right, learned what I needed to and moved on.
There are books that I re-read from time to time just because I like them. I am not looking for new meanings I have not noticed earlier, I just like the heroes, the setting, the story (or a combination of those) – they are mostly fantasy.
Recently, I decided to draw a list of books that I want to read again because my younger self might have missed some important details of the storyline. There will be some classics, like Wuthering Heights, but also several relatively modern writers. Back in high school I had a classmate who gave me a CD with a bunch of books burnt on it (yes, it was illegal in terms of copyright – but there weren’t really any other ways for most of us to get access to books outside of the school curriculum in a post-Soviet country). And if years ago reading them was partly motivated by simply the fact of having access to books you would never find at the school library (well, maybe even in the National library either), this time I am going to pay more attention to the stories themselves. Here are the ones I am going to start with:
I think the first two books will be a wonderful insight for those who want to learn more about the Russian and Soviet culture (I promise I will return them to the library soon). The Slynx is set in a post-apocalyptic world. I am sure it will be even more intriguing to read it given the current circumstances we are living in.
-Zarina Alfers is a Materials Handling Assistant at Lawrence Public Library.