So I’m one seventh of the way through the Narnia challenge, and honestly, I’m loving the process of re-reading The Chronicles for several reasons.

1. I love Narnia – not just the books but the place itself. I love the vision of life it gives – lions romping, centaurs (my favorite mythical creature), girls dancing with flowers, all of that glorious harmony. I just adore it.

2. I really enjoy thinking about the way I read these books when I was a kid. They were a huge part of my childhood. We had the little cream-colored box set (with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in its “proper” first position), and by the time my brother and I were done with them they were dog-eared and grimy, just as well-loved books should be. My parents still have that set of books in their guest room, and it gives me a little thrill to see it.

3. I like trying to read them as if I were a child full of wonder and delight again. Children’s books encourage me to drop the intellectualization that too much school has taught me. As I read, I can almost drop my analytical mind and just get absorbed in the story. Almost – I’m still thinking how these things are theological, or how the books are or are not like I remember – but I’m closer to that place of childlike wonder that is beautiful.

4. They’re good stories with good plots and good characters. Enough said.

5. And this one is incidental but important, I can read them quickly. I’m not bogged down in there (like I am with Wicked right now – can anyone cheer me through that book, or should I just stop?). I whiz through a chapter or two in fifteen minutes – it’s great.

I am, on principle, a person who does not re-read books (or re-watches movies for that matter). There’s too much in the world to read; in fact, sometimes if I think too hard about all the books in the world, I get really choked up. But somehow Narnia has escape that policy of mine – as Narnia escapes much that is true in this world – and I am really enjoying the process. I wonder if I would feel the same way about other books from when I was a kid.

So do you guys re-read? If so, what? Why? Are you re/reading Narnia? What are you thinking so far?