This week we could either be kids or poets, and I’d rather be a kid because I’m definitely not a poet. I chose to talk about my favourite books as a kid. This is actually a good time to choose to do this, because I’ve been re-readingInkheart and Inkspell, and just finished Inkdeath for the first time, and all the quotes in the beginning of the chapters kept reminding me of all the books I loved as a kid.
My first books that weren’t picture books were all from the library. My mom sometimes would take me to the British Council Library with her and I would be allowed to borrow one book or tape using her card. They didn’t really have a lot of books for children, but the books they did have were wonderful. The most memorable were Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien and E. Nesbit’s Five Children and It. I loved those books! My mom even borrowed the tape for BBC’s Five Children and It a couple of times, because my sister and I liked it so much. I haven’t seen the new adaptation, though. My cousin had the tape of the animated movie for The Secret of NIMH, and we watched that a lot, too.
We didn’t go to the British Council a lot (and sadly the library is no longer in existence today), but every weekend my dad would drop me off at the National Library. The children’s section is separate from the rest of the library, so he’d just drop me off there and pick me up after an hour or so. I discovered a lot of great books there, too. One of my favourites was this old children’s book called The Cat’s-Eye Lighters by Anne Lake. I still wish I could find my own copy of this book, but it’s sadly out of print. I also fell in love with Dodie Smith’s One-Hundred and One Dalmations, which I still haven’t been able to convince friends to read because of the Disney movie. I went through most of Roald Dahl’s books during those library days, as well as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princessand The Secret Garden. I read a lot of other books that I only remember bits and pieces off, that I know I loved but I couldn’t recall the titles and/or authors. I’m still keeping an eye out for these books, in case something would trigger my memory or I’d find them in secondhand bookstores and just recognise the covers.
Other favourite books from my childhood were Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows (my mom’s), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (my mom’s), several Jules Verne titles (my brother’s, all of them) and I remember reading Asimov’s robot city books.