I've had this quote saved in a private stash for a while, but I never had such an urge to unleash it until now.
'No book is really worth reading at that age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond,' - C. S. Lewis
This is an excellent statement, at least to an extent. Before I turned ten and perhaps a couple of years afterwards, I read a lot of meaningless and pointless books that I will never read again and rarely remember. Obviously, not everything you read will be great, and particularly at that age. But there came a time, maybe around my eleventh, twelfth or even thirteenth birthday when I picked up E. Nesbit's Five Children and It and absolutely blew my preconceived perceptions of a good book out of the water, out of the ballpark, out of this world etcetera etcetera.
That book was just the book that I needed then to make me adore reading even more than even - to urge me on, to inspire me and introduce me to a thousand delights. And I read it over and over again, along with E. Nesbit's other books, especially my favourite, The Enchanted Castle, because regardless of how the years pass, they are still so beautiful to me. They are really worthwhile, and as I get older, I will continue to enjoy them in new ways.
My perceptions of things will mature. My taste will mature. My insight, understanding, knowledge, everything about me will change and develope as I change with time. When I read those books over and over, I keep getting exciting new joy from them. And those are the books that are really worth reading.
There is a good list of books that I discovered from that time on that I will never ever forget. Do you have a list? This is mine:
- The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
- The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
- The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
- National Velvet by Enid Blyton
- Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
- Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
- The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit
- The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit
These are books that we associate as being typically for children. But no. This reading is probably amongst the most worthwhile that I have ever enjoyed, and it was unforgettable. They were completely and utterly unforgettable because I can always go back and read these books that I loved as a child and still feel that incredible joy that I wore when I first read them. Only it's grown up a little.