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In-Depth

How Childhood Books Impact our Adult Lives

By Damira B.

As we grow up, some of our favorite book series become embedded into our personal lives through the lessons they teach us. Different genres can play a huge role in perspective; whether a dystopian book demonstrating bravery or a fantasy book teaching the importance of friendship, there is always something to be learned through reading

With different preferences for books, there are many outlooks on the world. This could be the different morals we have, our hobbies, or even our very own personality traits. One of Nicole Coover-Thompson’s, a librarian at Maine West High School, favorite childhood book series was The Lord of the Rings. She described it as a series that has prevailing lessons, an important lesson being how “true friends are family through hard times.” She further explained, “You can choose who your family is and who you spend time with. They stick with you through everything, especially through big decisions. Taking risks isn’t always easy, but it can end up okay with friends there to support you.” 

To Coover-Thompson, The Hobbit – the first book of The Lord of the Rings series – emphasized these lessons. To give an overview, the main character, Bilbo Bow, had a fairly cozy life, as well as a family, yet chose to join forces with the wizard Gandalf and fight alongside a group of dwarfs for generations. He keeps warring sides apart from conflict and despite his self-pride, finds good friends along the way. Even though he had a quiet and happy life, he took risks by choice and put himself into experiences and adventures away from home. This allowed him to find himself along the way. Sometimes, choosing the thing that scares you most is the best thing to do, as shown in The Hobbit

As a child, Coover-Thompson mentioned how she would carry the book around with her and even today she continues to put to use the lessons she’s learned. The most important lesson is that even though it can be difficult to step outside of your comfort zone, with true friends and people who care about you, it’s possible to get through anything that comes your way. Coover-Thompson’s experience with The Lord of the Rings shows how important it is to think about the moralities of book characters as they and the lessons they learn can carry out a huge role throughout your life.

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