My Dad introduced me to books & reading. I’d sit on his knee & he’d read to me Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling & other Kipling books suitable for my age as I got older . I remember loving Just So Stories. I must have been 3 or 4 at the time. Then at school I discovered pony stories & as I was horse mad they were great books. I also loved Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, Secret Seven & Mistletoe Farm. My Mother was very scathing said to my Dad,‘she always has her head in a book & it’s all your fault!’. She got annoyed because she’d ask me to do something & I’d be so into the story I didn’t hear her.
I don’t remember ever seeing her read a book, fashion magazines,yes,a book not.
I never did take any exams in literature but guess I could have done.
I went on from there to Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. Terry Pratchett/Anne McCaffrey, my favourites. Romances, Jilly Cooper, in fact any book with horses in them, particularly Dick Francis.
So in conclusion I’d like to say a huge Thank You Dad, wherever you are now after all these years, for giving me the gift of books & reading from a very early age. I should have thanked you while you were still with us.
Me receiving a school prize aged 11.
I walked passed a little library the other day and that was full of Dick Francis.I’d forgotten him he was very popular.I remember being very proud getting a library card when I was about 8/9 I think.I usually got book tokens as gifts in those days too.
Good someone else likes reading Psmith. I got book tokens too.
The first books that I really connected with as a small child were by Enid Blyton. Not very popular today I know but I loved them, imaginative and sometimes vaguely scary.
There was something about those inkline drawings.
I wasn’t a great fan of Enid Blyton though I did read Noddy. A girl in my class at my primary school sent a story to her and received a post card from the lady herself.
Personally I loved the William (Richmal Crompton) and Jennings books (Anthony Buckeridge) then I started on the Swallows and Amazons series ( Arthur Ransome) but no boy’s literary life would be complete without BIGGLES (Capt W E Johns). I read every book in all those series.
For reasons I can’t remember when I was at the Grammar I started reading all the Dickens books, I quite enjoyed them too, though I have reread them all over time.
Being a girl, Biggles & Just William didn’t interest me much. I did see the TV adaptations though, Bruce.
I had some Dickens books as set books at school.
I went through a phase of reading horror too, they scared the life out of me.
Edward Rackhams Alice in Wonderland. Wish I still had it, it’s worth a lot now.
I too started with Enid Blyton and Beatrix Potter. I also remember receiving Tinga and Tucker annuals at Christmas
It was my dad who was the reader too. Mum didn’t really approve of reading, she thought it was a waste of time and always said I was shorty sighted from all the staring at books!
I was a right bookworm and read everything I could get my hands on, my granny had loads of old books on her bookshelves and I read all of the Charles Dickens before I was 9
In those days libraries were very strict about children not reading adult books so my dad would take me in with him, let me choose books, and then check them out as his on his library card
I discovered science fiction short stories that way and can still remember when I was about 10 being blown away by the ending of The Nine Billion names of God
I’ve remembered another book from childhood. Princes Mary’s Gift Book, think it was my maternal Grans, she lived with us. Hardback with different stories in it, like an annual.
Gran aged 21
Brer Rabbit and Winnie the Pooh still love them to this day.