In what order should the books be read?
I grew up reading the books in order of publication (making The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the first book of the series rather than The Magician's Nephew, even though Nephew is first chronologically). Setting aside habit and precedent and all that sort of thing, there's something so wonderful in reading about the very beginning of Narnia (in Nephew) after it has already become a familiar place. I will always want to read Lion first, but I won't harp on anyone reading the books in chronological order. The important thing is to JUST READ THEM!
Which of the seven books is my favorite?
I love each one of the Narnia books, but I don't love them all equally. I have four favorites and three not-so-favorites. The best: Lion, The Horse and His Boy, The Silver Chair, and Nephew. But don't tell the other three I said so.
Would I enjoy the books as much if I hadn't read and loved them as a child?
My (grown-up) friend BR borrowed the series from me a few years back. She enjoyed them, but I don't think she loved them. She very tactfully said she wished she'd read them as a child. I think that means the books didn't hold the same magic for her as they do for me. But I know there are a few of you who have imminent plans to read these books for the first time, and I'm eager to hear what you think! Only . . . if you don't love them, maybe you shouldn't tell me.
What about The Movies?
After reading the books so many times, I have very vivid pictures in my mind of exactly how everything looks. With each re-read, I go back to the exact same place in my imagination. I was worried that watching the movie adaptations would ruin that for me . . . but I couldn't help but do it anyway. Oh, the BBC editions are a little bit horrible, but the Hollywood versions are so beautiful that I don't mind very much when the movie scenery rousts the familiar old images from my brain. Hollywood has made a *lot* of changes to the stories, but most of them have actually been good and exciting changes that have added to the experience. I HEART THEM AND I HOPE THEY MAKE ALL SEVEN BOOKS INTO MOVIES. I will die a little bit inside if they don't.
Guess what? I just finished writing my 200th blog post.
|Illustrations by Pauline Baynes. She's my hero.|