Remembering and reading children’s books as an adult

Guest post by Amanda Livingston, Corporate Communications intern

Last week I moved to Brooklyn. While most of my stuff is still all over the place, my bookshelf is neatly organized. This is because I ate dessert before dinner—I unpacked my books before I unpacked my clothes and shoes and kitchenware because I knew it was going to be more fun going through my book collection.

I only bring my favorites with me when I move, but this time I got to bring even more because I have my own space where I feel comfortable enough to keep the things that matter to me. Sifting through them made me think about how much I loved reading these when I was younger. I found myself reading through my old copy of Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng, and before I knew it I was swimming in memories of having the best time pretending I could hypnotize people and freeze time.

What is it about children’s books that make them so enjoyable to read as an adult?

I think for me a big part of it is the sentimental value they hold. I like to reread my old books because it reminds me of how I felt when I read them as child. Their predictability gives me a sense of comfort.

I also love how much hope and naiveté a lot of children’s books hold. Children’s books see the world through a sometimes realistic, but most often more hopeful and positive perspective. Reading them gives me hope and reminds me that goodness exists and can exist.

Children’s books make kids the protagonists, reminding them that anything is possible and that they can do whatever they put their minds to. Reading children’s books as an adult reminded me of all these things and more.

Here are some of the books I found while looking through my collection this past weekend, and can’t wait to flip through and remember what it was like to read them as a kid:

  1. Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng | Molly Moon is a miserable orphan until she discovers that she has the power to hypnotize people.
  2. The Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene | A young sleuth named Nancy Drew uses her cleverness and problem solving capabilities to solve mysteries in her small town of River Heights.
  3. Isabella’s Bed by Alison Lester | Anna and Luis love sleeping in their grandmother Isabella’s bed when they visit her, one day unearthing all of her memories through the silver ornaments on the headboard.
  4. The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins | A boy named Gregor discovers a subterranean world located under New York City inhabited by human life forms, bats, rats, and cockroaches.
  5. The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne | Jack and Annie Smith are sent on adventures in a magic tree house by sorceress Morgan Le Fay, learning about science, history, and the world.