I just finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia--all seven books in the series. Now that I have finished reading the books, I have a confession to make: I was dreading reading The Chronicles of Narnia.
I never read the books when I was younger because I didn't much enjoy fantasy books. I remember watching a movie based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when I was younger, and the story didn't appeal to me. I think my sister had the books on her bookshelf (she can correct me if I'm wrong, but I know I remember seeing them on someone's bookshelf...), and I remember thinking, "Why would anyone want to read books about talking animals?" At the time, I just didn't get it. It took me a while to come around to reading fantasy; in fact, I was in college before a friend convinced me to read The Complete Book of Swords, my first foray into fantasy. It wouldn't be until I read Harry Potter, though, that the true magnificence of fantasy would finally open my eyes to a genre I had been largely ignoring most of my life.
And so, it was with a bit of trepidation that I included The Chronicles of Narnia in my Book to Read Next Poll because I figured that would be the winner. My underlying motive was to read it early on in the Unread Books Challenge, though, so that I could get it out of the way.
I had started reading the books right after my son was born (a little over 4 years ago), and I still had my small paper bookmark, showing the place where I had stopped reading (right after the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). So I had made it through the first book in the series, but I couldn't remember a single thing about what I had read (which I find odd, seeing as how I can leave off for several years in the middle of other books and have no problems picking the storyline up again). I began at the beginning.
I flew through the series--not because I was skimming to get to the end but because I was so intrigued that I had to keep going. I wish I had read the books when I was younger because I'd like to know what I would have thought of the books as a younger reader; as an adult, I found I wanted to get out my red editor's pen and mark places that could have used a bit more detail (I've read that J.R.R. Tolkien, a friend of C.S. Lewis, felt the same way about the books), yet I still adored the stories. I adored the stories so much that I'll be dedicating at least two upcoming posts to stories of Narnia.
And so I thank my readers for giving me a gentle push toward finally reading the classic Narnia books by voting that book as the winner of the BTRN poll. In the next couple days, I'll post the next BTRN poll and continue reading my way through my own bookshelves.