Friday, May 14, 2010

Where Does The Journey Really Start

Coming home from an appointment this morning I was diverted by a visit to my favourite second hand book shop, where I discovered an absolute treasure. A large hardback volume entitled: Who's Who in Children's Books, A Treasury of the Familiar Characters of Childhood, by Margery Fisher. (1975)

Leafing through it I discovered long forgotten friends. Swallowing the lump of nostalgia in my throat, I purchased the book and brought it home to devour.

Who remembers Captain Pugwash? Paddington Bear? or the Magic Pudding? What about Christopher Robin or Little Lord Fauntleroy?

The love of books and reading, which led to a love of writing, began here, amongst these classics.

My fondest memories are of Mum reading to me at night. When I was little it was Willie Winkie, and The Faraway Tree. As an older child, from about 8, she would read the first book in a series, or the first chapter, just to get me started, and then leave me to it.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett was the first chapter book I read on my own and I still adore it with a passion. (I own at least 4 different copies.) I then proceeded to read it every summer holidays until I was 13 or 14. I read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's, Little House books until they fell apart. Ballet Shoes by Noel Stratfield was another favourite.

As an adult I continue to love books. Birthday's and Christmas's are book giving occasions in our family and I'm happy to say my 3 children have inherited my love of books. Their shelves are full of Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, Deltora Quest, Judy Moody, Clarice Bean and of course the classics.

 And that's one of the greatest things about being a writer, we have to read and read and read!


  1. Being married to 'JTWebster', I now have the challenge of finding room on our shelves for these new treasures. At least I still have the garage!

  2. Being a writer is a hard road littered with books we've read and loved.

    My Dad was one who read aloud to us while Mum hid in a corner and devoured books one after another. C.S Lewis Narnia series, The Magic Pudding, Berr Rabbit stories and Asterix comic books (he was always randomly bursting into gales of laughter as he read these - I understand why when I read them again as an adult).