Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First Love

I was luck enough to have contact with my first love from a very young age.  Regular contact helped to strength our bond together and with the support of my familiy our love soon expanded. We would spend hours alone together, always there telling me what I needed to hear. Be it comfort, understanding or humor. This love still stands today, though it has gone through some major changes and periods of neglect. There is a downside to this love, mainly a financial thing, but if kept unchecked it could turn into an addiction.

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 MorrisGavin 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.

My year 5 (aged 9-10) teacher picked up on my love for Roald Dahl and shared her love of him too. Subsequently, she leant me a couple of his more adult based books, such as Danny the Champion of the World, Henry Sugar and Boy, though I struggled at the time to read Boy.

By this stage of school, I was permitted to read any books I wanted as my 'homework' and I used to find many varied books in neighbors and families houses. I read a whole series of 'Liverpool' books by Helen Forrester, depicting life in Liverpool during the war and post war years.

I would also read any magazines that mum had finished with and I read my first real fantasy series, the Deptford Histories by Robin Jarvis before developing a love for 'horror' in the form of RL Stein and then the Goosebumps series of books. During Summer break between changing school (aged 11) I continued with the historical books and read The diary of Anne Frank, which shocked my beliefs in the safety of the world around, yet opened my eyes none the less.

Once I changed school, my tastes also changed from childhood books to more adult genre. After getting a copy of The Gift by Danielle Steel free, I quickly lapped this book up, to this day it still remains one of my favorites. A story about fate and happy endings from bad beginnings. I read a few others by the same author, but soon got bored of the similar themes that ran through the books, (broken homes and unwanted pregnancies) Choosing a book from the Library one day, I decided I wanted a challenge. I wanted to read a thick 'real' adult book. I chose to begin with Stephen King, but started on a shorter book of his so I had a chance to get through it. That night I began reading the Running Man. I couldnt put it down and finished the book in a week or so. Then came my obsession with Stephen King that lasted a couple of years. I read the majority of his popular work, staying up until the early hours of the morning to finish Fire starter and Cujo.

School reading also had to fit in here and books such as Lord of the Flies and Romeo and Juliet once again whisked me off to other worlds. But by the time I finished school at 16, I had grown bored of Stephen King. He had great stories and a wonderful way of telling them, but they began to make me mad. I would get so engrossed in the story only to find that they seemed to end suddenly with no real ending. I liked al the lose ends to be tied up neatly and explained, which he never did.

So after much thought, I moved onto James Herbet. Hoping that keeping to the same genre would keep me interested. I was so engrossed by his Rats series and the magic cottage. I read a fair few of his books. During this time, my nephew recommended and leant me the Harry Potter series to read. I demolished these books pretty quick and was always egar for the next one to come out.

It was around this time I got sick and reading was pretty much forgotten about for a while. Once I began reading, I went back to the comfort of my old favorites again. Then one year, before going on holiday, I decided to treat myself to a couple of new books from a whole new section. I had heard a lot about Terry Pratchet so I picked up one of his books and another one called Wi'itch War by James Clemens that sounded good. I couldnt take to the Terry Pratchet one, but I couldnt put the Wi'tch one down. Here came my love for fantasy books and introduced me to all their charcters such as Elvin, shape shifters and ogres.

And my taste now? Well it changes a heck of a lot. I literally have mountains of books to read. I tend to go through phases with my books. I can go weeks without touching a single one and then I can suddenly read a load in one go.

Lets have a look at my current books shelves. Now only my 'current' books are on the shelves in my room. I have a huge book shelf of read and waiting to be read books in the loft.

At the very left hand end are a couple of music books (I used to play flute) followed by some drawing books. Basic drawing, fantasy art drawing and Disney drawing and coloring ha, so mature. Then is my prized possession coffee table book of Frank Lloyd Wright. I fell in love with his architecture in year 10 and based a wood work project on his work, such as the Guighiem museum. Mum bought me the book. There is then a couple of Tarrot books. I used to do a lot of tarrot and got fairly good at it at one point. 

I have maybe 5 sets of cards, the last set I bought would have been in Simione in Lake Garda. There is a shop there that has over 100 different sets and I bought a pixie set, though the set I really want is the viencian set. Then we have some camera books and a complete works of Shakespeare. I do like his work, but it can be difficult to read. Next comes a Stephen King book that I was attempting to reread out of the dark tower series.

Next is a Robin Hobb book. This is a to be read book, but my favourite series of all time s by Robin Hobb. The Farseer series and The Tawny Man captured me by the second chapter. I literally couldnt put them down. I fell in love with Fitz and the Fool time and time again. I have read my copies of these books so many times that the pages have all come lose, in fact it might even be time to reread these. This book on my shelf is the second book in a newer series called The soilder Son series. I am yet to be pulled in by this book. Bring back Fitz and the fool!!

I am sure most people will recognize the next set of books. The twilight Saga, which I absloutly adore. I also have The Host by the same aurthor, but I have not yet been able to get into this book, I will try again at some point. And lastly on that shelf, Dreamsongs by George RR Martin. It has been recommend to me to read his series Ice and Fire, which is sitting waiting for me, but I bought dreamsongs by him as it is a series of his short stories that I have been reading off and on.

Yes, my book shelf s a mess and I am not going into detail of all the books here, but this is a double row. But of everything, from nursing fiction and non fiction books, Camera book (The bright green one) Some Non fiction books such as Cathy Glass and Out of The Dark. If anyone ever wants to know how on earth therapy can help a person, I would recomened Out of the Dark as you get a view from the patient and the therapists situation. And them my newer phase of vampires. There is the Charlene Harris set of True blood books and well as the Anne Rice set (Interview with the vampire, The vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned) there are also a few other vampire ones there, that are not as well known. And a couple of lighter reading books such as Cecclia Ahern.

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.
Though I do have a love for Tim burton! Maybe its just the silly rhyme things I like. They seem to be present in Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl and Tim burton.

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 =]

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