A Summer holidays’ afternoon and there I was sitting silently on the bed with a Famous Five in hand. My mom slept in peace for a few hours since her naughty girl sat quietly in a corner, for a change. If not for the book, she would try to cook and make a mess in the kitchen or try to cut her hair or make her doll take bath some 5 times in a day and apply powder to the doll. She would put loud songs and wake the whole neighborhood or just bug her mom to play with her. I suddenly went into a flashback mode, when I got hold of some of those old books, courtesy: Mith (thanks so much girlie :)) Back then, I used to borrow those books from a public library and later on, exchange for some new ones. But at a later point, I felt that I should have collected these books since they can be read again and again. I started collecting the hard copies of these books, but before I could succeed, I had to leave home 😦
I am not sure how many people have read this “Famous Five” series but it was/is and will be my most favourite book series. No other book (not even Harry Potter) can replace this. Famous five is about 4 kids, Julian, Dick, Anne and George and of course, Timothy the dog. George is the cousin of Julian, Dick and Anne. Julian is a responsible elder brother and Anne is a kiddo. But my most favourite character was always George. She changes her name from Georgina to George since she always wanted to be a boy. She is a perfect tomboy and I always wanted to be like George. She was so bold and was never afraid to tell the truth, even if it meant scoldings from her short-tempered scientist dad. Each story was filled with adventure to the core. Timmy is such a helpful doggy. One place I wanted to own was an island like the one George’s father gifts her. When I was a kid, my dream was to become a detective and solve mysteries like this gang. I wanted to go picnicking in a forest like them, next to a stream sleeping in tents. But I did not want to take care of cooking food like Anne did. Instead, I always wanted to become an accomplice to George and Timmy 🙂
I liked this series much more than Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew (even though I have read them).
Malory Towers was another most favourite series of mine. I really loved this series because this was only about girls. This was the story of a school girl Darrell, who is sent to a boarding school. It is completely a girls’ school story and about her friends in school. I have not been able to find copies of these books so far. 😦 I also liked the Secret Seven series. It was again a detective series. Enid Blyton will always remain as the best children’s author. Nobody can replace her.
But I feel sad for today’s kids. They have no idea what they are missing as a kid. They are glued to the TV all the time, watching Pokemon or Scooby-Doo or Spongebob. They have no idea about the role such books can play in a kid’s life. It stimulates our imagination. No game or cartoon can replace books. I can re-read Blyton’s books again and again, even today. That is the impact those books made on me. Even though I remember the story, I do not mind reading them again. One of my most favourite Famous Five book was the one in which George’s dad loses some important document, right under his nose and the team investigates it. I still remember the story even after sooo many years. But I don’t remember Angels and Demons’ story properly. Do you see the difference? Wish I could go back to those days 😦 Now I hardly find time to read books and I miss books the most in my life, currently. Those of you who are unaware of these books and have never read them, you are seriously missing something in life!!
I always find the writings of British authors better than those of any American author. I like the British English more than the American. Probably, this was the reason why I did not even feel like re-reading Twilight series again. It was not a literary masterpiece, the way Blyton’s or Rowling’s was.You would not believe this, I found not a single book written by Blyton in any American bookstore. There are all kinds of silly, stupid books everywhere, but not even a single book written by her anywhere. Kids really are missing something good. These days there are so many books on Vampires, werewolves, witches and other magical creatures, that I feel like tearing them down.
Other than these, my most treasured book was Pinocchio. I had re-read it atleast 100 times and it used be one of my favourites. Even before Blyton’s books entered into my life, I would read stories from magazines like Champak, Gokulam, Chandamama and Tinkle. I had once sent a story to Champak and they had even published it. My happiness knew no bounds then.
Do you have any memories of a childhood favourite book, which you cherish even today?
Updated 18/11/2009: My mom bought all those Famous five and Malory tower parts that I did not have. So now I have the entire collection. Still need to get the rest of the Enid Blyton collection.