There’s no definitive list of childhood classics that everyone has to read in order to graduate from elementary school or something. No matter how many times you hear someone talking about how something is a classic, it’s purely subjective. I know this, I really do – yet I still feel like I can be totally out of the loop with so many personal “classics.” Maybe it’s because I’m in the blogging sphere, where there are plenty of bloggers who have been reading since they were little and all have similar books they consumed on a daily basis, but I think I can feel this way in my “real” life as well.
What do I mean by that, you might be asking – well, you really should be asking that, because I’ve already rewritten the opening paragraph at least once and I feel like it still doesn’t totally make sense. So, either you’re curious or you’ve already moved on to another post or website or screen, in which case I applaud your attention span to my very fascinating babbling.
Anyway, where was I?
Ah yes, childhood favorites. Yes, there are some cliches in my literary history, like the beloved Harry Potter series, so I’m not a completely unique little swanling amongst a flock of ducks or some other literary metaphor. After all, there are so many books in the world and it’s impossible to read all of them, so it’s not surprising that I might have missed a “classic” or two. It’s weird, though, how much I can care about missing out on these, especially when I’m not that interested in the stories themselves.
For instance, have you ever heard of a never-ending series called The Magic Treehouse? I’m not sure when it began, so if you’re much older than I am, you might not know it unless you have younger siblings or other relatives. Obviously, I never read it, since that’s kind of the point of this post, but I know it was about two kids who traveled back in time in their magic treehouse and had many chapter-book-length adventures. Back in elementary school, that was one of those series that kids were always checking out from the school library, but I’m about 99% sure that I never read any of them. I honestly can’t remember why – was I trying to be a little rebel, or was I simply not interested? I may never remember, nor does it really matter.
I’m not saying I want to run out and read as many of these books as possible now, but I do feel awkward about missing out on this apparent staple of everyone else’s childhood from my generation, or at least my elementary school. I mean, there had to be a reason that so many people read and enjoyed them, right?
There are so many more classics that pretty much any readers alive today at least know of, though – things like The Little Princess and Chronicles of Narnia and The Nutcracker and The Velveteen Rabbit and… well, I could go on and on and still not list all of them. And most of the books I just mentioned were ones that I actually did read, but I don’t remember much if any of them because they apparently didn’t make as much of a mark on me as they did for others.
When I think of the books I read as a “kid,” there are so many that come to mind, but few of them seem like “classics.” There were series called Heartland and Pony Pals, both about horses; one about a genie named Gen (I think), who I really liked because of the similar name; the Magic Attic Club about four friends who go over to an elderly neighbor’s house to look at her attic and travel to all kinds of exotic adventures because of *magic*; The Secrets of Droon, a series about a magical land reached through a room in a boy’s basement; and so may more. There are also a lot of YA books and series that I think of, like the above Just Ella, a retelling/sequel to Cinderella, because I think I moved on to the YA section of my library a bit earlier than most kids (I was so excited when I discovered there was a whole other section on the other side of the library that had all of these books that I had never even seen), which means my younger sister did as well since we often read the same things.
So, what’s the point of this post? I’m not quite sure, other than to talk about how I feel like my own reading journey is quite different from other people’s and it makes me feel a lot of things – thus, the rambling. Does anyone else feel this way – like they’re outliers in the world of readers? Or am I truly a unique little swanling (doubtful)?