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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

I Love Books - Sharing Memories

Lorine McGinnis Schulze at http://olivetreegenealogy.blogspot.com/p/sharing-memories.html is asking us to Share Memories for our descendants. . This theme here is Books

Books are food and drink to me - a habit which began early on. It was a treat to get a book at Christmas and birthdays and choosing a new book to take on holiday was part of the anticipation of the trip. I still have my first little white bookcase - although it is now confined to loft storage. I can remember my first visit to the local children's library and the first book I borrowed - an illustrated history of England with a picture of the young Queen Elizabeth I on the front cover. Even then I loved history, especially achildren's  book series called Quennel's History of Everyday Life in England which explored life down the centuries with lovely illustrations of costumes and houses.

As a child my favourite author was one much despised then by pundits but loved by her readers - in other words Enid Blyton, especially The Famous Five, Secret Seven and Mallory Towers, also remembering as a younger child Noddy and Big Ears. Enid Blyton's books could be fought over in the library, but we were less willing to raise our hands in class and admit we read her.

I loved school stories and got very involved in the long running Chalet School series, by Elinor Brent Dyer, with its foreign setting, odd phrases in French and German, the exotic names of the characters (Elisveta, Evadne, Gisela) and the exploits of the lead character Joey Maynard and later on her large extended family. Another favoruite author was Noel Streatfield with her tales of ballet school and skating success.

For lighter relief, I had my favourite weekly magazines - "Girl", with Angela Air Hostess, Belle of the Ballet, Kay from "the Courier", Claudia of the Circus, the Picture Gallery which I cut up and put in a scrapbook, plus a series "Mother Tells You How" on domestic tips!! If you wonder how I remember all of this - my daughter gave me a a nostalgic book on "The Best of Girl" last Christmas.

Classics featured in my reading, boosted by the BBC classic Sunday teatime serials on TV - Little Women and its sequels, What Katy Did, Heidi, Sarah Crewe and The Secret Garden, Jane Eyre, and Children of the New Forest; later on Charles Dickens novels - Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby, Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield and onto Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.

In teenage years, I was slow to move onto adult popular fiction - Agatha Christie I think was my route, though I have never been into crime novels where there is a sudden great denouement in the final pages; also Georgette Heyer's Regency romances, the novels of Daphne Du Maurier and Catherine Cookson, and the family sagas by Mazo de la Roche, set in North America.

My tastes haven't changed much - family sagas and historical novels by authors, Anya Seton (e.g. "The Winthrop Woman" set in early New England), Cynthia Harrod Eagles' family saga series "The Morland Dynasty" which relates the story of a Yorkshire family from the times of Richard III down the centuries, Catherine Gavin (my favourite "The Snow Mountain" about the last days of the Russian Czar and his family ), Philippa Carr's royal series and an American author I have just discovered Liz Curtis Higgs, who has set her latest novel in the Scottish Borders.

Other contemporary authors include Joanne Trollope, Rosamund Pilcher, and Libby Purves.

For my non-fiction choice - history, biography, music, ballet, costumes, and crafts pre-dominate and my collection of reference books is important to me to turn to, to answer all those odd questions that crop up - the Internet has not taken over yet!

I love curling up in bed or on the sofa, or or soaking in bath bubbles with a good book and can't see that an electronic book has nearly the same appeal. However I have moved on this a wee bit, and am quite taken with the latest Amazon TV advert for a Kindle.

Now my pleasure from books also comes from seeing the delight my little granddaughter gets from her collection - Touch and Feel books were a new phenomena to me, and now she is onto the "Aliens Love Underpants" series and "Hairy McClary of Donaldson's Dairy"  - very wacky and great fun!

It is never to young to start loving books!

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