I started this book blog off with the intention of it being a place to review books but also to share my bookish memories. So today will be my first in this series. Some of these bookish memories will be very short and some will be much longer but they will be random snippets of my life. I intend for this series to be in no particular order but for my first post it seems only right to start at the beginning with how I came to be such a bookworm!
I was very lucky to be brought up by a mum who believed that I should be allowed to read whatever I wanted and she never allowed anyone to censor my reading material, regardless of what I picked up. Mum always knew what I was reading and she was always happy to sit with me and answer any questions I had but she never once told me to put a book down. I am sure this is what set off my life-long love of books.
As a very young child, when I was still learning to read, my favourite book was Miffy in the Snow by Dick Bruna. I loved this book so much that it became my equivalent of a comfort blanket! I took it everywhere with me, I slept with it under my pillow and I used to get distraught if my mum couldn’t find it. I still have my original copy.
I was also obsessed with Moschops (I’m really showing my age now!) and was so happy a few years ago to find my Moschops annual when clearing out my mum’s attic.
I remember one very exciting Christmas when I opened a gift from my cousin in America and found a copy of Snow White but it wasn’t an ordinary story because I was in the book, the house where I lived was in it too! It was like magic had happened, I still treasure that book now (even though I obviously now know that it wasn’t magic. *sad face*).
The last book that I’ve kept from my childhood that I want to mention today is Roald Dahl’s Danny the Champion of the World. I was 6 when I first read this book and I’ve read it many, many time since. I’m not sure why this book appealed to me so much over all the other fab Roald Dahl books but I absolutely adored it.
I could read on my own before I start school, and within my first year at infant school I was already reading books from the junior school’s library. Once I got to junior school, aged 7, the school had ran out of books for me to read. I had read them all! From this point on I was allowed to bring my own books in from home to read.
My mum used to take me to the local public library as frequently as she could, usually it was twice a week with extra visits as and when we had the time. I was allowed to take out 7 books on my child’s ticket, and my mum used to let me borrow a further 10 on her adult ticket. I had out-read the children’s section by the time I was 7 and this led to my mum asking the librarian to allow me to read books from any section of the library I chose. Unfortunately, the librarian was a real stick-in-the-mud and absolutely refused, she didn’t believe children should be allowed access to books above their age range. My mum was furious! She persisted until the library eventually relented.
That library was a magical place for me. I was very lucky that I had a lot of books of my own at home, I always got books for Christmas and birthdays, plus I saved my pocket money for books too, but at the speed I read I needed the library. It was a place that had a seemingly unlimited supply of books and I was allowed to read all of them, and I didn’t have to save money or wait for a special occasion to get them! i’m getting butterflies in my tummy now as I write this and remember that time.
I read a lot of fiction, I read books about space travel, I read biographies, and I even read the whole Encyclopaedia Britannica from A right through to Z (yes, I was that child!)… I had the world at my feet and it was just the most wonderful time. I would spend ages choosing which books to check out at each visit, I liked to get a few from each section so I would have a wide variety to choose from when I got them home to cover whatever mood I might be in.
I had a little Mr Men night light that was originally a light that was left on all night in my bedroom to keep the monsters away but as I got a little bit older I used to keep it under my duvet so I could keep reading after I’d long been told to turn my light off for bed. I would often be found on a morning asleep with my book still in my hand and my night light glowing away at the bottom of my bed! I’m sure many bookworms will have done the very same. It’s funny now that as an adult living in my own home, I now read into the early hours on my Kindle Voyage (which is front lit) so as not to wake my husband by having a lamp on.
So, that’s how my love of books began! I’ll be sharing more of my bookish memories very soon but in the meantime please share some of your book-related childhood memories in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!