Describe your first Narnia reading experience

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Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby Valiant_Nymph » May 11, 2018 7:37 pm

What do you remember about your first time reading Narnia (the first book your read, or the whole series -- whatever you like).

I first read LWW in my fifth grade class. I was not impressed when I saw the cover page --- it had a faun and I thought it looked boring ;)) We read the first chapter at the end of the day, and I was immediately hooked. I couldn't stand that we were only reading one chapter every few days. So I snuck out the book from my desk to read at home a few days after we started it, and read it all!!! =))

I was already a bookworm at the time, but this book captured me in a way I hadn't yet experienced, and in a way I can't describe. It sent my imagination running. The greatest thing it did was give me a sense of wonder, as well as hope there was something more powerful out there than mundane every day existence I was experiencing.

I found out shortly after I read the book that the movie was coming out that winter, about 8 months later. Waiting that long was agony!

How about you? What was your first experience of Narnia like?
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby JillPoleFriend » May 11, 2018 7:49 pm

That sounds like a thrilling first read, Valiant Nymph!

I don't quite remember the first time, because my mom read them to me when I was quite young. In a way, I can't remember a time when I didn't know about Narnia. But even if I already knew the story, I'd always beg my mom for another chapter! So I can sympathize with you sneaking the book out to read!! :p

How did the rest of your class feel about the book? Do you remember?
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby Valiant_Nymph » May 11, 2018 7:58 pm

I don't really recall it in detail, JillPolefriend, but I think it was positive. I do recall, however, that many were curious about what Turkish delight was. But when my teacher brought us all some to try, I remember the reaction was very negative ;)) (I had it again shortly after, and enjoyed it though).
I also remember we watched the BBC adaption and people found it hilarious. :p
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby coracle » May 12, 2018 3:08 pm

Sadly, I missed these books in my childhood. I was deprived!

At about 13 I heard that LWW was a good story, so I took it out from the school library. After a few chapters I gave up, as it just wasn't right for me at that time - I was at the inbetween age where I knew I was too old to read them as a a child, but couldn't appreciate them as an adult would.
was recommended the books by an older friend, about 4 years later, and really liked them.
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby Valiant_Nymph » May 12, 2018 7:02 pm

^Glad you ended up reading them Coracle! ;;) Did you start with LWW the first time you started?
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby coracle » May 13, 2018 11:15 am

Yes, when I was 13 it was the only title I had heard of. Later on, a friend who is a Lewis and Tolkien fan put me onto them both. I can't remember whether I mistakenly read Magician's Nephew first, as I have read them all lots of times now.
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby Varnafinde » May 13, 2018 12:38 pm

coracle wrote:Sadly, I missed these books in my childhood. I was deprived!

I was deprived in my childhood too - only LWW had been translated into Norwegian at that time! I didn't know then that the books had been translated into Swedish, I would have been able to read those, but I never went to a Swedish bookshop. My grandparents lived close to Sweden, but we only visited them in the summer, and then we usually went across the border for a Sunday afternoon trip. No bookshops.

Before LWW was published as a book, it was run as a serial in a Christian magazine for children, and my parents had subscribed to that magazine for me. I had read Constance Savery's To the City of Gold there, and when I was eight (that's fiftyfive years ago), they started The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. (Lewis was still alive at the time, he died a few weeks later.)

I had no way to sneak in an extra chapter - I had to wait the two weeks until the next issue of the magazine would come! I remember the chapter that ends with Edmund saying that he's a schoolboy, but it's the holidays now - and the magazine had a comment after that, saying that it's the holidays here as well, the Christmas holidays, and therefore there would be four weeks before the next issue.

That's actually the only part I remember reading. I guess it could be because I read that pile of magazines so many times over the next ten to twelve years. I loved that story and read it over and over again. Possibly every year.

Then when I went to teacher training college, I found the English version in the students' bookshop. It was a set textbook for those who studied English.

Not only did I finally have access to the original text, but there was also a list of the other titles in the series! So Professor Kirke was right, and this was only the beginning of the stories of Narnia! :-o

In May that year we visited the teacher training college in York, and in York Minster there was a bookshop which had all the books. I didn't trust the other books to be as good as the first one - you never know with these authors - so I only bought one, the one that was put as number one in the series, The Magician's Nephew.

I took it to bed as my bedside reading that evening. Undownputtable, they say about some books. I finished it in the wee hours of the morning and only then went to sleep. The next day I went back to the Minster and bought the missing five books.

A few years later, the whole series was translated into Norwegian - so Norwegian children aren't deprived any more.
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby King_Erlian » May 14, 2018 2:42 am

In the UK in the 1970s there was a nationwide children's book club called The Puffin Club, run by Puffin Books, the children's arm of Penguin. Every month there was a Book of the Month and one month the Book of the Month was The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader, so that was the first Narnia book I read (I was 6). I loved it and sought out the rest of the series (all published in paperback by Puffin). I read them in what I later realised was an odd order; I think I read Prince Caspian last, and until then all the references to it in Dawn Treader didn't make sense. My favourite then was The Magician's Nephew as it was the most "science-fictiony" - travel to other worlds, Digory able to see Jupiter up close etc. I never fell out of love with the books through my teens and into adulthood, but when the BBC series was screened in the late '80s (when I was in my mid-20s) I was incensed because I thought the BBC had deliberately made it so awful in order to mock the work. For a long time I wished that someone would make decent movies of all the stories (not just LWW), and in 2005 it looked like my wish was going to be granted; however, given the speed at which the movies are coming out, I'll probably have died of old age by the time they get to The Last Battle. Heigh ho.

My favourite book now is The Horse And His Boy and that's the one I've read the most often as an adult.
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby narnia fan 7 » May 15, 2018 7:06 am

When I was growing up I pretty much always know what Narnia was. My older siblings had read the books and I remember them watching the BBC series on one occasion. But I was never really interested in Narnia until I was 9 years old and saw the LWW film in theaters. The idea of Narnia completely captured my imagination and over the next year I read all the books and found them even better.

I had a hard time reading when I was younger so I tended to avoid it, so the first time I went through the series was by borrowing the audiobooks from the local library. Because of that I didn't read them in any kind of order, the first book I read was ether Dawn Treader or Prince Caspian I can't really remember for sure which one it was.
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby Valiant_Nymph » May 15, 2018 10:34 am

Varnafinde I'm glad Norwegian children aren't deprived of Narnia anymore!!

King Erlian, that's hilarious that you thought the BBC series was trying to mock the books! Personally, I found them a bit charming when I first watched them, but when I rewatched it recently, I did find the bad special effects a bit distracting :ymblushing:

Narnia fan 7, yes the books really captured my imagination as well!
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby DiGoRyKiRkE » May 15, 2018 6:38 pm

My 3rd grade teacher (a truly horrid woman who ought never had been a teacher) read LWW to our class during class reading time. She read it over a period of a month or so, and I instantly fell in love with the story. I read the book again and again and again.

Shortly thereafter, I watched the BBC version, and also loved that. For some reason, although I watched the rest of the BBC films, I didn't realize that they were based on books, and as such, never got more involved with the series.

That year, for Christmas (I must have been nine or ten) Mom and Dad got me a copy of the Magician's Nephew. I remember reading one chapter on Christmas Day and getting frustrated because "Narnia" was nowhere to be seen. I lost interest in it and didn't go back to it for a year or two and when I did, I loved it! Shortly after finishing that book, I went out to our local Parable Christian Bookstore and purchased the entire series. I read them over the next few days.

The Focus on the Family Radio Dramas came out shortly thereafter and I then saved up my money again (working odd jobs to get the money) and purchased those. They were approximately 100 bucks, which was a LOT for a 12 - 13 year old. . . but I got them.

A few years later I found NarniaWeb and the LWW Walden film. . . And the rest is history.

Narnia has been a huge part of my life since I was 8 years old - over 21 years. There's not a day that goes by when I don't think of the series, and what it has meant to me over the years.
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby Valiant_Nymph » May 22, 2018 1:00 pm

DiGoRyKiRkE, I'm glad that you had one good thing come out of having a terrible teacher at least :/

Your account is very touching! I also feel Narnia has touched my life in a profound way that has effected me to this very day!
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Re: Describe your first Narnia reading experience

Postby jewel » Aug 18, 2018 2:05 pm

I read all 7 Narnia books with one of my sisters at a Narnia club about 8 years ago. That was terrific.
We'd get with other homeschool kids at our local library and discuss once a month each book we went through. Most of them, accept me and my sister had never read the books before.
The lady who led it, I also never knew before, and she had never read the whole series.
We'd get together like I said about once a month and have snacks in a private room at the library.
It was just a very easy going book club. Not lecture at all, pure fun.
The kids were all pretty easy going too. I had the read the entire series, as had my sister one time before that, but I can always reread Narnia.
It was also fun to discuss it with others.
Obviously, if Narnia wasn't fun to discuss we wouldn't be on here now would we? :)
Anyways, the book club also discussed Christian symbolism, and when it was over we all wrote a short fantasy story.
Great times. B-)
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