I finished reading this a few week’s ago.
It had been on my to read pile for ages. I bought it soon after it was published, but, as usual for the last few years, I ended up reading more books from the library that came with a deadline to return them, and the books I own took a backseat. I’m now sad that I didn’t read it earlier! Mangan is a few years older than me, so the books she recalls from childhood are pretty much what I remember reading too.
And, she followed a very similar path to me, nose always buried in a book, and preferring that above anything else – I particularly remember being forced to attend a school disco and a friend and I hiding under the piano in the school hall so we could carry on reading our books! I think we must have had to take torches with us too! The books she mentions are very similar to the ones I enjoyed too. I think I was more into horse stories than she was (I was horse obsessed and went riding as much as I could) and there are a few I don’t remember reading, but it was wonderful to recall all those hours spent curled up with a book. I seem to remember getting 12 books out of the local library every week (really, every week?! Or was it fortnight?!) and spending long summer days reading them lying in the garden or somewhere in the house. Oooh the luxury of all that free time! And a few of the friends I had (and still have – at least one of them will probably read this! ) who similarly loved books and the joy of lounging around reading away with someone else around too without having to make conversation. I’ve always been an introvert…
Of course, reading this now also means that I’m reliving some of the books I enjoyed all those years ago now with LO. There are many more that have come along since – such as all the Julia Donaldsons, which LO loves but which didn’t appear until the 1990s, when I was at secondary school – but the old favourites are still good too.
It’s definitely worth reading to rediscover old favourites, and maybe some books you didn’t come across at the time. It also reminded me of how hard it was sometimes to get hold of books if you wanted to read all the ones in a series, for instance, and how dependent you were on the local library’s stock. Oh the excitement when I started secondary school in a different town to the city I lived in, and could use that town’s library as well as the ones nearer home! Of course, now they’re all available at the touch of a button. I must admit that I have bought a few of my old favourites via Abebooks over the last few years!
What are your favourite books from your childhood?