What is your preferred reading order?

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What is your preferred reading order?

1. Original Publication Order
26
53%
2. Chronological Order
10
20%
3. Other (please explain)
13
27%
 
Total votes : 49

Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby I Know His Name Here » May 04, 2013 7:46 am

It is my opinion, first time readers MUST read the CoN in the original publication order:
LWW
PC
VDT
SC
HHB
MN
LB

The journey through Narnia flows much more smoothly and makes much more sense to a FIRST TIME reader if one reads the books in that order. The reason I use to support my adamant opinion is simply this: Prequels are NOT meant to be read/viewed first. An author writes a prequel after other books to provide additional information, spoilers if you will, to answer questions the reader might have and tie up loose ends. If one reads the prequel first, it ruins the entire series because the reader/viewer knows too much, too soon. An example of this can be found in the Star Wars movies. If a first time viewer watched those movies in chronological order and not the released order when Darth Vader iconically tells Luke, “I am your father!” the viewer says to him/herself, “So what, big deal, I already know that.” And just like that, the magic, the surprise, the impact of that moment is lost. The same holds true if the Narnia books are read in chronological order for the first time. It makes me so sad to think we have an entire generation reading these classic books in a sequence that spoils the beauty and magic that C.S. Lewis intended. Of course, after ALL of the books and been read in the proper published order, I encourage a chronological reading. And then an “any way you feel like” reading. I can honestly say I’ve read the CoN at least a thousand times each. I so love those books! :x
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby I Know His Name Here » May 04, 2013 7:55 am

Just wondering, has anyone ever started LWW, stopped near the end, read HHB, and then gone back and finished LWW? I haven't, but I might. That would truly be chronological order.


Yes I have done that, many times. :-bd
But I firmly believe a first time reader should read the CoN in publication order.
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby The Rose-Tree Dryad » Jul 17, 2014 9:53 pm

I chose original publication order. I originally read the books in the chronological order (didn't know any better; no one else in my family had read them and I was at the mercy of Harper Collins ;))) and I've always regretted that.

I remember reading LWW after MN and thinking, "Oh, I know what that is..." when Lucy found the lamp-post in the wintery woods. Hardly the reaction of wonder and curiosity that you'd hope to have! It kind of takes you right out of the story, because ideally you'd be feeling just like Lucy, but instead you're thinking about everything you already know.

I'd definitely recommend reading LWW first, and then MN before LB.
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby aileth » Jul 17, 2014 11:23 pm

I put "other" because I rarely read them in any kind of order. When the fancy strikes I pull out a book, whichever one feels right for the moment. Nor do I always go through the whole thing; there are passages that I prefer, and because I have read each book enough times, I know what happened elsewhere.

That said, when I recommend the series (particularly in my job as school librarian) I always recommend starting with LWW, basically following publication order. The funny thing is that the school does not have a matching set--MN says 1 and so does LWW--leading to great confusion. I have to explain it, and usually take the time to put in a plug for the whole series :)
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby Meltintalle » Jul 22, 2014 10:41 am

In my personal reading, I'm also an other type of person. ;)) I'll get a craving for a particular story or passage, and dive right in.

If I were to read through all seven, I imagine I would go for publication order. I did find some of the other orders suggested in-thread intriguing. I might have to try 'em if I remember...

At one point, I did have a fascination with putting things in order by the timeline, but I seem to have outgrew that impulse. (Or maybe it's just that my set is scattered over numerous bookshelves so there's not as much possibility for rigid "It MUST go in this order" shelving.)
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby jewel » Jul 26, 2014 1:02 pm

In order they were published I prefer them in reading. The story in this order makes it revealed as the fascinating history of Narnia.
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby Future Narnian » Aug 27, 2014 10:41 pm

I would say chronological order because that was how I discovered the series. And I like reading things in order - I was always obsessed with finding the first episode of a TV show or the first book in a series. I like knowing how things begin. And it kind of drives me crazy when they decide to do a prequel late in a series - it just feels strange.

It also made the Magician's Nephew more mysterious and intense, because I didn't know anything of what to expect. I really came into Narnia like Digory and Polly - I had no idea of who could be trusted or what this place was going to be like at all. I didn't have the benefit of the beavers saying Aslan was good. In fact, I wasn't even sure if these books were going to be good!

I grew up in a pretty conservative Christian home that shied away from any stories with magic in general. My mom and I read the Exitorn Adventures aloud together (Christian medieval fantasy series by Peggy Downing) and when we finished them, Mom was trying to find another good set of adventure books for us to read. A friend of hers owned a Christian book store and she recommended them to us. (In fact, she was the reason we read them in the order we did - she said she was out of the set that was in chronological order and she felt the books would be easier to understand that way, so we had to wait until she got another set in) Mom wasn't real thrilled with the mention of witches, but since they had been in the Christian bookstore she gave them a chance. I remember we finished the Magician's Nephew and Mom wasn't sure if we'd keep going or how she felt about the set. I kind of liked them, but they also had a feel like I shouldn't like them. And they were a little creepier than I was used to reading. We started The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, and as soon as we got to Aslan's resurrection everything completely changed. We understood the symbolism and why they were in a Christian bookstore and we both completely fell in love with them. And I'm not sure if it would have been the same if we'd had that experience with the first book - I like that it took a little for us to come to that because it made it a larger experience.

aileth wrote: The funny thing is that the school does not have a matching set--MN says 1 and so does LWW--leading to great confusion. I have to explain it, and usually take the time to put in a plug for the whole series :)


Aileth, it's funny that you would mention that. My cousin got a set with the publication order and I remember him insisting that this was the right order and I couldn't figure out how he could be so wrong. I didn't have my copies with me because we were visiting him and they lived in a different city, but I remember thinking the next time I was going to bring them and show him he was wrong! I never did though.
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby PhelanVelvel » Aug 28, 2014 7:50 pm

Future Narnian wrote:It also made the Magician's Nephew more mysterious and intense, because I didn't know anything of what to expect. I really came into Narnia like Digory and Polly - I had no idea of who could be trusted or what this place was going to be like at all. I didn't have the benefit of the beavers saying Aslan was good. In fact, I wasn't even sure if these books were going to be good!


Interesting. Probably the best argument for reading them in chronological order that I've heard.
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Re: What is your preferred reading order?

Postby johobbit » May 02, 2016 12:47 pm

Interesting discussion, indeed!

And now, nearly two years later, I read this article as to why this author (among others) strongly adheres to the Chronicles being read in publication order.

I grew up reading them in chronological order, and did not even consider any other way until I joined NarniaWeb. We read the Chronicles to our own children chronologically. I guess we will have a chance to change that with our future grandchildren ... whenever they come.
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