A couple of weeks ago I finished my second year of University, and at the end of it all I really wanted was to just sit down, watch an episode of Shadowhunters with a packet of biscuits, a cup of tea, and think of rereading the books that I read when I was fifteen. I sometimes think of age fifteen as my golden year, it was when I discovered Cassandra Clare, The Hunger Games, Divergent, John Green… it was when I finally read Harry Potter properly after only having read parts and seen the films when I was younger. When I think back to being fifteen I remember watching the trailer for the City of Bones film over and over again, thinking of nothing else but the book I was currently reading, and adminning on Hunger Games fan pages on Facebook which was the cool thing to do at the time. The fantasy books I read was all I spoke and thought about, when I made a decision I had my favourite characters in my head, they were always with me (like when I decided to be the only girl in the class to drive the kit-car because I wanted to be Dauntless, which, with no surprise, I crashed into the school gate).
It was golden because I would read as soon as I came home, having dinner became a chore because it was time spent away from my books, and I would stay up until past two in the morning reading, because I really didn’t care about class despite it being the year of GCSEs (oops, but I ended up fine).
But now, studying English Literature at University, reading the YA Fantasy is rare, I’m spending all my time reading the classics which of course I love, but, sometimes I just want a cliche love triangle and some kind of monster. So what I did is I went over them all. I didn’t read all of them again, but I revisited them. I read the first hundred pages of Clockwork Angel, then my favourite hundred pages of Divergent. I watched The Hunger Games films and I listened to all of the Harry Potter soundtracks. I didn’t need to go into them all in-depth, but just revisiting them, in whatever medium, was exactly what I needed.
I think revisiting the old favourites, the books that meant so so so much to you, and still do, is so important for both soul and mind. I think its unhealthy to think ‘I so badly want to read Harry Potter’ and then to just ignore that and carry on reading the school books. Because I think that wish is telling you that its time to chill, to do something for yourself, to treat yourself. I can get so locked up in the pressure of reading (sometimes very dull) course books under a tight schedule, but it is just as important to merge into the cosy reading.
Reading fantasy books is my hobby, and losing that hobby because of my course is really not good. Even if it is just reading 20 pages, it can make you feel so much better. I think, after rereading bits of my old favourites, I feel much more ready to go back into reading the classics I have to read. Because if I completely denied reading my favourites, then reading the classics would be a chore, I would resent my course for denying me my hobby. I know it’s hard to balance both, to balance reading fantasy when you have a lot on, whether its course reading or just a full-time job, but it is so important– it really really improved my mood. Because who doesn’t love Jace’s sass, and JK Rowling’s magic? I may be almost twenty years old now, but these books will always have a place in my heart, and revisiting them, and remembering that year of being fifteen, to me, is just as important as working hard at my course. They were a favourite for a reason.
When you choose to revisit books, which books are your go to?