I started buying the books I read as a child on Amazon. Each one has brought a page from my own book. They've become more important to me the more I've begun to read them again.
The first one I decided to get was “How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found" by Sara Nickerson. I know that sounds like a mouthful, but I would rent this book constantly. As soon as I discovered it, I read it cover to cover by the end of the week.
This story has a theme of depression, angst, and mystery. It was perfect for a moody 13-year-old. Once I re-read it, I felt like I hadn't read the same story, but I had a greater appreciation for the story and its characters. That's what happens when you turn back the pages in your own book. You find your old self and you meet them after years they've sat dormant.
Another book I bought was “Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver. This book was recently turned into a movie for the Sundance Film Festival. With that said, I didn't watch it because we all know what that could do to the story you already treasure. So instead of watching, I just re-read it again. This book's theme has to do with not taking anything or anyone in your life for granted. Especially your family, friends, and maybe the love interest you should have seen years ago.
This book became the book I read throughout high school. I wanted to be more humble and focus on those around me because I didn't want to end up regretting it later. It definitely made me look at people differently, including myself.
That's the real importance of reading books from your youth. You rediscover those feelings you had when you first read it. There's that familiar unfamiliarity that we all love to feel. It's such a subtle tribute to your past self because now you're older, wiser, and different. With that said, the moral of this story is that you can still learn from your past self, no matter how long it's been.