I’m sure all readers have some books that have become old friends or hold memories attached to them in some form or another. Earlier this year I was looking at my bookshelf here in the room and couldn’t help smiling at the fact quite a few of the titles I’ve read more than once. There is one particular series there that I remembered quite fondly from my childhood days. The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander is I dare say one of the of those that a young age encouraged me in the love of reading.
Since that evening of remembering the old dust-covered friends on the bookshelf realizing it’s probably been several years since I’d picked up an actual book and just read it. I must admit as tempting as it was to actually walk the few feet over to the shelf and grab the book as strange thought occurred to me. I don’t know if it was directly linkable to the highly nostalgic moment that occurred there, but I remembered that the Prydain Chronicles was one of the few books my mother actually read out loud to my sister and I over lunch time as kids. Those were wonderful times and believe one of the big reasons I’ve continued to read as much as I do and feel a joy when I can get lost in a story. Since that fateful day I suppose its none to difficult to figure out what comes next.
As I was browsing the titles of audio books available to me thanks to the library system I just had to do it. By that I mean see if they had the Prydain Chronicles. To my surprise and delight all of them were available to borrow. A whole new wave of overpowering nostalgia hit me and I checked out the first book and put the rest on my wish list for later. Here we are two months later having listened to two books and finally got the third. Now you might be thinking why didn’t I just read the books on the shelf? Great question for sure. It’s not purely about the desire to read the books in this case. With certain memories attached to this wonderful series in order to satisfy the overall nostalgic moment that occurred listening to them being read is a must. I have not been disappointed in any way by choosing to do it this way. In some small way I think it was the only way it would be right.
I certainly could have chosen another series that introduced me in a beautiful way to the fantasy novel. By ten I was devouring fantasy books on my own and couldn’t get enough. Among those was the Redwall books many of which live on that shelf right next to the Prydain Chronicles and right above Lord of the Rings. All of these hold a soft spot in some particular way for me. Granted I’ve moved on from field mice with swords and warrior badgers as in the Redwall books the moment I picked up a Tolkein book. I don’t know about you, but I believe in some cases a bit of nostalgia just might be a good thing and I’m sticking with that as I get prepared to get lost all over again listening to Castle of Lyre.