7 books I tried again in my 20’s that I loved the second time around

Elizabeth Bennet - "What are men to rocks and mountains?"

Sometimes you’re just not in the right mindset for a particular book. Sometimes you might not have enough life experience for a certain book yet. Or maybe you don’t have a specific life experience just yet to appreciate a certain story. Or maybe your interests have changed over time. Maybe you think differently now. (Most likely).

There are many reasons why books might not be too appealing at a certain point in your life, but then become appealing later on. With age and time, you are going to change. And your book interests are going to change too.

Here’s an example. 

When I was in high school I watched the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice on TV and fell in love with the setting, the way of speaking, and with the love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

Pride and Prejudice still
Pride and Prejudice

So much so that I immediately picked up the book. But a couple of chapters into it I was just soooo. fricken. bored. Mr. Darcy was hardly in it and what were they even saying?

I put it down and never thought about it again.

Until about a week ago. (About a weeeeek agoooo). Okay, sorry.

This time around I suddenly thought to myself, ‘you know what? I’m in the mood to read a classic. I want to see what it’s all about.’ I didn’t go into it looking for an in-depth YA type romance between two characters, I went into it looking for an experience with some classic writing.

And with this new mindset, I loved it. I loved the way it was written, I enjoyed the way the characters spoke and interacted, and most importantly, I loved how much subtle shade was thrown. I mean all of these characters were throwing out backhanded compliments left and right. (Except for Jane, of course. She would never.)

So with the shady moments and subtle digs, I flew right through it. – And then began to think about what other books I had read in the last few years that I hadn’t been able to get through the first time around in my teens.

And then like any good blogger, I put them in a list.

So here we go:

Stephen King (in general)

I first picked up Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King when I was in high school because I wanted to try something really outside of my reading comfort zone. (That being – YA, romance, comedy and such at the time). But I was just not ready then to appreciate creepy, blunt, sometimes horrifyingly gross plot lines. It just wasn’t for me.

Until I picked up Needful Things last year. And then it really reallllly was for me.

Try: 

Or:

Pride and Prejudice

Like I mentioned earlier, the shade and backhanded compliments are brilliant.

Pride and Prejudice

And other classics: 

In cold blood

I had to read the first chapter of this for an in-class assignment once and, to be honest, I barely got through it. I didn’t have enough patience at the time to make my way through the build-up to the main event. I also didn’t realize at the time how insane and gripping this real-life story was.

This is one of the first, and best, true crime novels out there. It follows the story of the chilling cold-blooded murder of a small-town Kansas family – and the true crime lover in me today rates this book as a 5/5.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The Handmaid’s Tale

In high school we had to read a dystopian novel of our choice for a project. We were given a list of options and The Handmaid’s Tale was one of them. I read about one chapter before I switched to The Hunger Games. What can I say, I was 16.

Last year I picked up the Handmaid’s Tale again because it was all over every bookstore due to the hit Hulu show based on the book. (And I’m very glad I did!)

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The 4 Agreements

The Four Agreements is great for someone who is specifically looking for guidance on self-reflection and self-improvement. Once you find yourself in that mindset, definitely pick this one up and dive in.

The Four Agreements

Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl

I’ve read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl three times now. The first was in high school for English class. Now, I had a problem with reading books for school growing up. Even if the book assigned was one that I might enjoy or appreciate on my own, because I was being forced to read it I had trouble getting through it.

When I picked it back up a few years later I truly appreciated the circumstances surrounding Anne Frank’s diary, and I appreciated her perspective and experiences. So much so that I’ve reread it a third time on my own.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

The Book Thief

Ohhh boy. This is another book that I was given an option to read on a reading list for school. I briefly looked it over and passed on it. But I remember it being really popular when I was younger and just not understanding the hoopla surrounding it. Until I picked it back up in college and the narration and story sucked me in.

When people ask me what my favorite book is that I’ve ever read, I immediately say The Book Thief.

The Book Thief


 

Have you ever given a book a second chance and loved it? Let me know!

Happy Reading!

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Related: 26 Great Books For (and about) People with Anxiety 

— a twenty something

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