I’m a re-reader. I go back and read my favorites until the book gets worn and starts falling apart. My favorites have tears, tea stains, and typically, the cover is falling off or has been taped on multiple times. My favorite author in high school was Tamora Pierce.
I had the opportunity to meet her my freshman year of college and it was probably one of the most embarrassing/awkward situation in my memory. I couldn’t speak to her. It was awful. She was super nice though. That year I came to realize that reading fiction, specifically Tamora Pierce, was an idol for me, so I symbolically tore up my favorite book (which I read more than any before it) and decided not to read her anymore. It was a good decision for me at the time. I got a lot more done and was able to explore newer and better books outside of that genre (like John Green and Diana Gabaldon and Samantha Shannon and Dorothy L Sayers).
Recently, I saw Wild Magic at my local library and decided to give it go again and see if it was as awesome as I remembered. I had gotten the audiobooks of Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen. Those were my particular favorites. They weren’t as good as I remembered, but I put it down to the narration, which was pretty awful. However, now that I’ve read the books, I know the truth.
The books aren’t that well written.
Don’t get me wrong; the story lines are good, the character development is all right, but the writing is so-so. She wrote these books for teen audiences pre-Harry Potter, so the stories go by fast. I read eight books over two days (which is a little embarrassing to admit).
It’s hard sometimes to visit old friends, like these books, and realize that they aren’t the way you remember them. It’s a strange sort of sadness. But I embrace it because I know that these stories that shaped my childhood can be put behind me. I’ve outgrown them, and that’s marvelous to realize. I’ve moved on to better authors. I’ve developed eclectic taste. It doesn’t mean that I don’t cherish these books. Like I said, they were a fundamental part of my childhood, and therefore are precious to me. I can only hope that my future self will read what I like now and find that I’ve outgrown that too…