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Nostalgia and Reading

Note: This is not a review of Pathfinder, since I haven’t finished the book yet.

One of my all time favorite authors is Angie Sage. She wrote all seven of the Septimus Heap books, which hold the place of honor on my bookshelf; top shelf, right in the middle. A few months ago, I was in a Books-A-Million (I didn’t even know they were still in business) and I saw Angie Sage had a new series around a character, Alice TodHunter Moon, which started off with the book Pathfinder.

I’ve just now gotten around to reading it. The original plan, because both series share some characters, was to reread all seven of the Septimus Heap books, then read Pathfinder. That was going to be a lot, so I decided not to do that.

Pathfinder has been…. rough. There’s really no other word for it. The story feels really jumpy, and though I haven’t finished the book, it took about one hundred and forty pages for it to get to a point where I could go “Okay, this writing seems familiar now”.

The main reason I bring this up, is now I’m scared to go back and read the Septimus Heap series. Maybe they have the same issues I see in Pathfinder, but because of my age (It is a children’s series, after all), I never noticed? Maybe they don’t hold up.

It’s not only affected me this Angie Sage’s work. There are books I’ve reread often, and have read them recently enough to know that at twenty-two, I still like them as much as I did when I was thirteen. But what if I don’t like some of the other ones?

People always say not to go back and watch movies from your childhood, and I’ve never taken that to heart. Disney movies were my childhood, and of course those hold up. But now I’m worried about my childhood books. Do I not go back and read them, and let them live the way they are in my memory, or do I go back and see how I feel about them now?

Its a hard question to answer. I think (read: hope) that after I finish Pathfinder, the beginning half of the book that I didn’t like will somehow make sense. Maybe there was a reason it felt too quick and jumpy. Maybe it was me who wasn’t into the story at first, and the book is fine. Maybe I can go back and read the Septimus Heap books again, and remember exactly what her style is, and Pathfinder will feel more in line with that. We’ll have to wait and see.

Have you gone back and read any childhood books and realized they weren’t all that great? Or maybe just different than you remember? Let me know!

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