Books have always been a part of my life and feature in many of my early and most fond memories. Of course I will have begun with all the kids picture books and first word books, but those are from a time before my memory seems to kick in. The more memorable of my younger days would be those written by Enid Blyton. My sisters had had them when young and so they where still in the house and ready for reading. I spent hours sitting on mums knee in the rocking chair her dad made before he died whilst she read 'The magic wish chair' to me and my brother.
That is the cover of the book I had and a quick search tells me its from 1972. It was all about a magic chair that could fly and grant wishes. The other book I remember from the same era was called The Three Golliwogs. Which was about 3 naughty boys who used to play tricks on people as they all looked the same. Golliwogs actully used to advertise the English Marmalade, but they were later banned for being 'racist' But the stories from the Three Golliwogs, dad used to read me at bed time when I was small. Once I was a fluent reader I went back and reread them myself.
Aged 3 I began to pick up the letter sounds and could pick out basics words from text. By age 4, mum used to buy me a series of learn to read books, that I would practice with. Each time I mastered one book, I got the next book as a treat.
Once I started school aged 4 and a half, everybody in the glass were just learning their first letters, however, I already knew all mine and soon grew bored of the basic books, that I would race through quickly. Mum spoke to the school and they agreed that I could choose books from the next years shelf. Here I discovered Dr Suess. I soon fell in love with his funny words and characters favoring The cat in the Hat and loving thing one and thing two. I still greatly love Dr Seuess, with my favorite being the Lorax, closely followed by the Cat in the Hat.
It must have been around this time I discovered the tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and her other fun stories such as a tale of two bad mice. I got to visit the Beatrix potter Attraction in the Lake district where I saw all the characters come to life.
By the time I got into year one (Aged 5-6) I had free reign of the infants books. I quickly spotted Matillda on the shelf, by Roal Dahl. It had probably been put in the wrong section, but that did not stop me taking home to read. Dad perservered with my attempts to read the book, that was much to hard for me, but after a couple of chapters we agreed to give up on it for a while and come back, but I kept it in mind as a target to reach.
By the time I reached Junior school (aged 7-11) I was reading everything that I could get my hands on. I had already read through the entire set of Puddle Lane books.
A series of 54 books (plus two standalone volumes) was produced for Puddle Lane, published by Ladybird Books. The texts, based on the animated stories, were written by Sheila McCullagh. Illustrations for the books were provided by several different artists (Tony Morris, Gavin Rowe and others). There were five sets of books (different cover colour for each set), the first set (Stage 1) being the easiest to read and the last set (Stage 5) being the hardest. Since they were intended for children who are learning to read, the books with lower reading stages would present the text in two versions: the left page contained the full version, to be read aloud by the parent, while the right page contained a simplified version for the child. The books are currently out of print.
From there, I moved onto the american write Judy Bloom and from their, I was finally ready to take on Roald Dahl. Over a series of months I worked my way through most of his popular books from Matalida to the BFG onto Charlie and the Choclate factory and my all time favourite the twits.
And the row behind continues along the same theme. Some Terry Brooks (to be read) some psych books, Robin Cook and Phillip Pullman, which need to be shifted to the loft or charity shop. They were a nice read, though I struggle to finish the 3rd book as it started to drag and get silly so I wont be rereading them ones.There is also Robert Jordan, which I have been promised is a wondeful series. I have started it maybe twice and didtched it both times. Either my mood is not wanting me to read it just yet, or I jsut cant get into it.
I think my taste is changing once again. Just as I drifted from horror to fantasy, I feel perhaps now I have drifted from fantasy to vampires, but that I am drifting again. Who knows where I shall end up this time.
I can see this love being a long lasting one! Nothing will ever separate us, except maybe blindness, but that is not going to happen =]