Every so often, when I am feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by all the reading I must do for work, I stop. I pull out something beloved, something from childhood, and I read that instead.

So a few weeks ago I was trying to decide between William Saroyan’s “My Name Is Aram” and Eleanor Estes’ “The Alley” when your e-mails came pouring in about books you loved as children, and I found myself instead rooting around on my shelves for Elizabeth Enright’s “The Saturdays,” which at least three of you recommended.

In that book, the four Melendy children pool their allowances and then each child takes a Saturday to head out alone into Manhattan to spend the money. One reader said that book made her fall in love with New York — “or at least the idea of New York.”

Others recommended a different Melendy book, “Then There Were Five”:

“It is full of descriptions of fun kids’ activities,” wrote Karen Wallgren of Wadena, Minn. “But it also has a mystery, a huge old house to explore and, finally, fitting a new member into their family of four children. It is the story of the children on their way to adulthood with great adventures along the way.”

With her e-mail, Barbara Ankrum of Vadnais Heights included a photo of a very tattered old boxed set of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia novels. “The magic of the books is different for a young girl than it is for a teenager than it is for a grown-up,” Ankrum wrote. “But still magic! I turned 50 in May, and reading my most cherished books is one of the things on my to-do list for my yearlong celebration.”

Kurtis Scaletta of Minneapolis wrote, “I always like to go back to Klickitat Street with Henry, Ribsy, Beezus and Ramona. As a parent I appreciate those books on a new level; there is a lot of insight into the emotional lives of children and wisdom in the way the Hugginses and Quimbys deal with their children.”

Tara Pilipovic grew up in La Crescent, Minn., reading “The Saggy Baggy Elephant” and, later, “A Wrinkle in Time.” “Our grade school librarian opened the library at the school every Wednesday in the summer,” she wrote. “I grew up in a town without a public library, so those Wednesdays were a big deal. The lights were always off. I realize now that it was because there wasn’t air conditioning. It felt kind of creepy and special then.”

Here’s a blur of other suggestions from e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. See if they don’t send you instantly and intensely back in time — and maybe rooting around on your shelves for something old to read:

‘The Changeling,’ by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I read it completely differently as an adult, and in many ways it’s even better.”

“I was crazy for horses and loved the Black Stallion series as well as Marguerite Henry’s books, especially ‘King of the Wind.’ That book took a little girl in Bloomington to the old Middle East.”

“ Bridge to Terabithia,’ although that book destroys me now in a way that it couldn’t when I was a child.”

‘Charlotte’s Web,’ ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ ‘Anne of Green Gables,’ a hundred others. And, yes, I still love them.”

Louisa May Alcott. When I volunteered at my kids’ school, they assigned me to the library and I read my way through all those books again. ‘Eight Cousins’ and ‘Rose in Bloom’ were my favorites.”

“ Half-Magic’ by Edward Eager, as well as his other books. I sometimes feel that no one else has read them.” (Au contraire! I have read them all.)

“I was an early reader (age 4) and haven’t stopped (I am now 69),” writes Jennifer Galovich of St. Joseph, Minn. “An elderly friend of my mother gave me ‘Ozma of Oz’ in 1957 and I have read it and reread it several times. Thanks for the memory lane trip!”

Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune’s senior editor for books. On Twitter: @StribBooks. On Facebook: facebook.com/startribunebooks