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Sunday 3 December 2023

Curling up with a Good Book - Sepia Saturday

What can be more relaxing  than curling up with a good book - as in this week's Sepia Saturday prompt photograph?   I have an ideal match!

My granddaughter enjoying a  book with her Papa

Books are food and drink to me - and what did I become?   A Librarian of course!   After an early  school visit to the local library, I played at being a Librarian. I remember one Christmas being delighted at getting in my stocking a date stamp. I made up issue labels for my books, and dragooned my family into being customers, so I could enthusiastically stamp away. 

Now I do my best to convince people, librarians do more than just stamp  books. 

Girl, Books, Stack, Read, Stack Of Books, Learn, Study As a child, 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 can remember the first book I borrowed from the library  - a children's  illustrated history of England with a cover picture of the young Queen Elizabeth 1 In all her 16th century  regalia. My love of history began early!

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 favouritism 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, etc., the Picture Gallery of the Royal Family  or cute animals, which I cut up and put in a scrapbook, plus a series "Mother Tells You How" on domestic tips - I very much doubt if that column continues today! If you wonder how I remember all of this - my daughter gave me a  nostalgic book on "The Best of Girl" one 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 onto  Charles Dickens novels - Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby, Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield.  Some of these titles have now fallen foul of  the "snowflake/woke" generation, but  I never felt I needed a  "trigger warning" about them.  

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. My tastes haven't changed much - family sagas and historical novels 
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 - even though the Internet has really taken them over. 

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 Kindle did come  into its own when my local library was closed in the extended Covid Lockdowns. 
My  own pleasure from books has also come  from taking my daughter  and then granddaughter to the Rhyme Time sessions  at my local library, and seeing them browse through the picture books  collection in the low shelves.
Touch and Feel books were a new phenomena to me, and then granddaughter  was  onto the "Aliens Love Underpants" series and "Hairy McClary of Donaldson's Dairy"  - very wacky and great fun!   Later of course it was Harry Potter.  

 It is never to early to start loving books!


(The cartoon image above is courtesy of Pixabay.

Sepia Saturday  gives bloggers an opportunity
   to share their family history through photographs

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to turn the pages to other  Sepia Saturday bloggers 



  1. An excellent entry! Funny - I didn't realize how much I liked reading about history until I started writing historical fiction stories and needed to know what was going on in the period I was writing about and found my research quite fascinating to the point I began reading history books just for the pleasure it gave me - my research no longer being the only reason. As for the photo of granddaughter and papa reading together - bingo! :)

  2. I wish I could remember the first book I checked out from a library. As I spent my early years growing up on military bases, the post library became a special place to explore the world of literature. Books on science and history were my first favorite choices, and later science fiction and short story collections. novels. Most of my reading is now mainly eBooks and just histories and nonfiction. I like being able to "carry" around a collection of 100 books that weigh nothing. However I must confess that in the past decade I have let my library card lapse, mainly because I've never been able to return books on time. Too many fines and now I wonder if there might even be a book hidden away that I've forgotten about.

  3. I love this history of your love of books. I was also a big reader from a young age, and well remember visits to our local library in a former mansion with an incredible spiral staircase to the children's room on the second floor. Much as I love books, I adore my Kindle -- how else could I carry my library around with me wherever I go?


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