I need to put my hands up and recognise that I have a problem.
Since childhood, I have adored Enid Blyton books, possibly more than is healthy.
I can remember curling up in my Granny’s high winged armchairs, spending hours devouring tales about fairies, elves, a girl called George, Faraway Trees and Wishing Chairs. They were books that my grandparents had found in jumble sales and charity shops, but had been published in the 60’s. These books smelt old, had previous owners names in the front cover and the line drawings coloured in, but I loved them from cover to cover.
I decided a few years ago that I wanted to hunt down the books I loved as a child for my (distant) future children. Thankfully I started now because it’s taking a LONG time. I know the books are reprinted and available in Waterstones and the like, but they aren’t the same. I want the covers I recognise from my childhood, I want the slight musty smell and not only that, I want a book that has been preloved.
I managed to hit the Blyton motherload last Saturday at the Car Boot sale, getting about 25 books for £5. All from 60’s and 70’s. I spent 2 hours on Saturday afternoon going through them, fixing the more delicate pages with sticky tape and reading some of the familiar stories.
Of course I’m still missing some of my favourites, but I did manage to get ‘The Boy Next Door’ which features a boy called Kit. P and my other friends have ridiculed me for loving this name, as they can only think of the Knight Rider car. For me, it reminds me of reading this book again and again, revelling in his adventures with Lucy, Betty and Robin, sat close to the Rayburn, smelling the smoke and the wood, happy even as the rain prohibited outdoor playtime.
These books have been put in storage, but when the time comes, I’ll be excited to share them with a new generation.
(Or I may get them out and read them as the wet weekends set in! :D)