Characters, Reader's Rights

Paying a Visit to an Old Friend

I know a lot of readers enjoy reading the books they love over and over again.  But, while I have shelves of books I cannot bear to part with, intending to re-read them someday, there are too many books I have yet to discover to spend time re-reading all of those favorites.  Sometimes, though, I give into that urge to reconnect with an old friend.  After reading The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, which, while good and thought-provoking, was not the book I wanted to be reading at the time.  I needed a laugh and a comfortable story.  I picked up Ramona the Pest my favorite of Beverly Cleary’s books about Ramona Quimby and quite possibly my favorite book for most of my childhood.

My original copy of Ramona the Pest :)
My original copy of Ramona the Pest 🙂

As soon as I began reading, I was back in my childhood bedroom, laughing at Ramona’s antics and recalling how I had identified with Ramona, the baby of her family and not really a pest at all, and how I had wanted to be as bold as her.  I found myself picturing the scenes as they’d been illustrated in the edition I first read nearly 30 years ago rather than the updated illustrations of my current copy.  It was like taking a time machine back to my childhood.  And I probably laughed even more now than I did the first few times I read it thanks to my now-adult perspective of Ramona’s adventures.

Re-reading, even more than first readings is about how a book makes you feel.  Ramona the Pest put a smile on my face when I needed one and brought to mind the carefree days of childhood when I could spend an entire Saturday in my room reading my favorite book.  What books do you turn to when you need to visit and old friend?

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