Musing Mondays – Early Reading


Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to  you, as a young child? (question courtesy of Diane)

The first book I read was The Little Red Hen. I still remember sitting on the couch in my parents’ room, as my mum made the three-year-old me read it out loud. I had inherited a great collection of Ladybirds, from my older brother, so I lapped them up pretty quickly, with my mother helping me out. 

As soon as I was done with the Ladybirds, I was introduced to a series and an author that pretty much got me addicted to reading, and I think I’ve almost read practically every book by her, over the years. Yup, you got it – it was Noddy’s adventures in Toyland, and Enid Blyton. 

I mean, as a five-year old, how can you not love a fantasy world, called ‘Toyland’, where a nodding doll drives a yellow car, and lives next to a family of bears? I was completely enthralled, and for the longest time, I actually believed that I could catch a train to Toyland someday. I also believed in the tooth fairy, and Santa Claus, so…. 

And then there was the Amelia Jane series, the Faraway Tree books (which is probably my favorite series from my childhood), the Galliano circus books, and a couple of more ‘real’ books like Those Dreadful Children, The Put-Em Rights and The Three Naughty Children.  

Giving a little child a series like Faraway Tree is surely the best (and worst) thing you can do to her (in my case!). I spent ages imagining myself as one those kids, and going to The Land of Do-As-You-Please, and having friends like Silky and Moonface. I envied those fictional characters, and sometimes asked my mum why we didn’t live near the Enchanted Wood. I think she got quite annoyed with me by the end of it… 

I moved on to  The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, The Five Find Outers, The Secret series, Snubby’s Mystery series, Jack’s (and Kiki’s) Adventure stories, and I think that led to more fantasy adventures. I would’ve done anything to be a part of The Famous Five, to know a dog like Timmy, and to know someone who had their own island, or their own lighthouse! 

And finally, I read all of St. Clares, Malory Towers and The Naughtiest Girl. I tried modeling myself on Darrell from Malory Towers – she was just so…. perfect! I think I learnt a lot from them, and quite wanted to go to boarding school, just to re-live some of their adventues – like playing pranks and having midnight feasts. 

So, I guess I have Enid Blyton to thank for my love of books, for ’til I was eleven, that’s all I read (and re-read). I haven’t re-read a single book by her in about three years, but I still remember the characters and the books, and it still makes me so blissfully happy. 

I should also mention Roald Dahl, for I think as I started running out of Enid Blytons to read, and was in denial, my mum took me to the library, and checked out  The Witches, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Both were amazing, and I recently bought the box-set of Roald Dahl books, just because they were very enjoyable. 

So yea, I actually remember most of the books I read while I was growing up, and I think I have my mum to thank for getting me hooked! Wouldn’t have it any other way. :)

How about you? Who were your favorite authors / books while you were growing up? Any you read and re-read over and over again? 

6 Responses to “Musing Mondays – Early Reading”

  1. 1 caite is amazing that you can remember all the books you read as a kid…either you are very young or have a great memory.

  2. 2 Emily

    Raising kids has been fantastic because I get to revisit all those old classics! Like Robert McClosky


  3. Yay, another Enid Blyton reader. I’ve never read St. Clares, Malory Towers or The Naughtiest Girl though. Hadn’t even heard of them, actually, so I’m going to have to go borrow them from the library to have a look-see.

    I always loved the Magic Faraway Tree best, and the Travelling Chair.

  4. 4 judys424

    I haven’t encountered the Malory Towers and St.Clares either here in the Philippines. Thank you for sharing this, even if I’m 37, its nice to know I can still read those “new” (to me) Enid Blyton, just in case they get around to reprinting it. :)

  5. 5 MOG

    My daughter’s favourite book was and still is (and she’s 23) The Magic Faraway Tree. My reading didn’t take off till I was in my teens .

  6. 6 uncertainprinciples

    @caite : I realized how many books I had missed out after I published my post. There was The Chronicles of Narnia, Little Women, Wizard Of Oz, Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, The Secret Garden etc. All the classics, basically! God, life was so good as a child :)

    @Rebecca & judys424 : Malory Towers and St. Clares (and Naughtiest Girl) were the school series. If you can, do read them. In fact, during my first year at University, I was so depressed without my Enid Blytons, that my friends bought me the whole of Malory Towers as a birthday present. It was the best present of the year! Naughtiest Girl might be the most fun though!

    @Emily : …. and to not feel guilty about enjoying the children’s books!

    @MOG : I turned 24 just under a week back, and the Faraway Tree series is still one of my favorites. It’s actually ‘enchanting’ (no puns intended).

    This was a real fun topic! Taking a trip down memory lane, and remembering some of my favorite childhood memories.

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