Dear readers, I have a confession to make. You see, I've been looking back on my reading history and feeling like my shelves are missing some of my old friends. I keep asking myself why on earth I ever got rid of them, but that's a rhetorical question because I know damn well what the answer is. You see, as a kid and a teenager, I loved getting rid of books. Don't worry, I never threw a book in the trash, but I was big on "growing out of" books and rounding up big piles to take to the used bookstores so I could replace them with newer books, non-school-related books, more "grown-up" books or whatever else was striking my fancy at the time. Granted, it would have made our multiple moves over the years even more difficult, but I look back and am so sad I don't have any of my Nancy Drew or Babysitter's Club books. I don't have any of the Mary Higgins Clarks I inhaled during my first "adult" mystery phase. I can count on one hand the number of books from my school days I have the same physical copy of:
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury -- I thought this one was gone as well until I found it recently at my parents' house. Lucky for me we held onto it for my brother who didn't mind in the slightest if added it back to my collection.
Wait Till Helen Comes, by Mary Downing Hahn -- This wasn't a school book, but I read it SO many times. I also read every other Mary Downing Hahn book my hometown library had in circulation. I can't even really remember what they were about anymore, but I absolutely loved them back then.
Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of Nimh, by Robert C. O'Brien -- a grammar school summer reading assignment that I enjoyed and miraculously held onto for all these years. Why this one and not others is a bit of a mystery to me!
And that's it. Those are the only ones that have survived to adulthood. There is a box of (mostly) picture books at my parents' house that my mom kept, but so many of the ones I remember most fondly now, I passed on with barely a second thought. I'm not upset I got rid of the ones I didn't like the first time around, but I actually liked reading Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. I liked Cold Sassy Tree so much I actually sought out the (unfinished) sequel. They may not have all been absolute favorites, but I distinctly remember liking The House on Mango Street, The Giver, Number the Stars, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Last Unicorn, The Poisonwood Bible, Catcher in the Rye, The Importance of Being Earnest, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, A Christmas Carol, and The Crystal Cave -- all of which were either part of the curriculum or summer reading options. Strange & Unexpected Love was an incredible memoir written by a Holocaust survivor who came to speak at my high school -- why on earth did I not keep that book?!?!
So this, my friends, is my Big Bookish Regret. This adult bookworm really wishes she had held onto more of her childhood and teenage books. 14-year-old me couldn't possibly imagine the nostalgia 28-year-old me would be feeling all these years later. I've replaced a few over the years, but in my excitement over my new Required Re-Reading Project, I've been doing it a lot more lately. Starting fresh with new, shiny copies of books I didn't like when I read them for school is one thing, but I do wish I had my original copies of some books I did like. There's not much to be done about it now, unfortunately. I think I've found a bit of a loophole in my Golden Rule of Book Buying, but I really don't feel too guilty about it :)
What about you? Do you ever regret getting rid of books? Or have other bookish regrets? I'd love to know!