........books are gateways to a magic world, where you can be anything you want to be ........
As I was reading to Raj last night and he was begging for yet another chapter it ocurred to me that it would be fun to do a post on books. We're a bit obsessed with books in our house you see. Well, actually I think it's ME that is obsessed with books.
There are shelves full of books everywhere. I won't bore you with all the photographs so I'll just focus on children's books. There is my collection of almost 200 ladybird books in the sitting room:
Books in Raj's room:
Books in Rohan's room:
and he's overspilled here:
Books in Amber's room:
More children's books here:
I just can't seem to stop buying them - thankfully most of the books come from ebay or the charity shops. I think my obsession - for that's what it must be stems from my childhood. OK I can hear groans and voices saying "I wondered when she'd start blaming the folks"
But it's true - it really is. We didn't have one book in our house - no that's a lie we did have one book and that was the Holy Book. As you know my parents are illiterate and with six children and my Dad slaving away in a factory there wasn't much money for anything but food and clothes. Having no books in the house was normal and it never ocurred to me to ask for any either. Which is odd because I LOVED reading.
I didn't learn English until I was about 6 and I started at primary school (slip in cute pic of me that I found the other day). I must have picked it up pretty quickly because a couple of years later I discovered the local library and an uncle took me along to join. After that I lived for Saturdays. After getting the chores out of the way I'd be off with my lilac and cream knitted bag full of books. Once in the library I would smile sweetly to the librarian who I imagined looked like Enid Blyton and then it was straight into the children's room. I always started at A and I slowly read each title and my joy at discovering a new one cannnot be described. Infact as I'm writing this and reliving the event I have goosepimples. Do you know I can still remember where CS Lewis was on the shelves, Enid Blyton and many others.
We were only allowed to borrow six books in those days (oh cruel restrictions). Once I'd chosen a pile I'd sit at the little table and flick through them. Then it was getting home as fast as possible. If I'd been to the library in the morning I'd read a book propped up at the table whilst eating my lunch of chappatis and dahl and then after that I was esconsed in my books ALL weekend and no-one could get through to me. I'd usually read them all by Sunday night.
Well, the pleasure of reading continued for many years until I grew up and graduated into the adult section. Sadly, there was no-one to advise me what to read and the likes of David Cassidy took over my desires so that I stopped reading for many years. English Lit at school didn't help either what with dissecting novels to nth degree - what is the sigificance of red in Tess of the D'Urbervilles for example. I couldn't care less.
So getting back to my current obsession I found that at first I was subconsciously buying books for the children that I had read as a child. Then I started looking out for particular titles and I've gone one step further and in some cases I've bought the exact editions I read too. It's amazing but when I open a book and see a picture I am transported back in time and I can still feel those feelings that I had originally. Take this one for instance. It's an extract from The Family From One End Street:
Here is the page that describes the scene. I can still remember how Kate felt waking up in the coutryside. Like her I was a townie and I longed for a time when I could wake up and have that sort of view. I looked at and dreamt about that picture many, many times.
Needless to say I have re-read many of these books again and again in recent years. I feel really blessed that my children also seem to share my love of reading - especially Amber who has been through most of the books in Raj and Rohan's room and her own.
So what are they reading at the moment? Here are some of Raj's favourites - just click on each pic for a bigger view:
Rohan's favourite book is Wolfbrother by Michelle Paver he says but he's reading these at the moment:
You just cannot beat Enid Blyton I'm afraid for excitement, great plot and great characters. Tom wasn't allowed to read any Blyton and I know quite a lot of people who weren't. I think it was the same parents that banned ITV and only allowed their children to watch BBC. Thank goodness my parent's were oblivious to all that.
Amber has moved on to grown up books now but she still delves into these which are amongst her favourite titles:
Now I know I've gone on long enough but I can't leave you without showing you some of my favourite children's books - the ones that bring back the most memories. Here are some just plucked off the shelves this morning:
The quote at the top of this post was so true for me - growing up in an immigrant family in a big City I escaped through my books. One day I was Diana in Anne of Green Gables, another day I was George in The Famous Five, then I was Randy in The Saturdays, Kate in the Family From One End Street and so it went on. Now I'm just me but it's great going back to visit my 'other lives' ocassionally.
If you've got this far - thank you so much for reading this very long post. I would LOVE to hear what your favourite books were as a child and who you wanted to be ..................