Enid Blyton is responsible for this!

Monday, June 14, 2010
When I was 10 years old I wanted to be a spy. I wanted to dress up in disguise and spy on people and take down number plates and have suspicions about the next door neighbour, and write coded messages in invisible ink. My friends and I even made up a group called the "SIA". The Secret Investigation Association. We had exclusive identity cards, a password, and scanned the newspapers looking for mysteries to solve. It was a lot of fun.We did get into trouble once for making annoying phone calls to unsuspecting people in the Blenheim phone book, and we got into huge trouble at school for writing up our own SIA newspaper when we were supposed to be doing our studies.

These obsessions with spies and mysteries I credit wholly to Enid Blyton. She is responsible.
Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon and others were added, but Enid Blyton started it all.

She also started my obsession with children's books. When I got married, I nearly added, "and all my books' to the end of the 'worldly goods' part of my vows.
I collect old children's books. I have done since I was a teenager and earning my own money. My Dad used to despair everytime I came home with bagfulls brimming of old books from second hand shops. I still collect them, I just don't have so much time to get to the shops now.
Because we've had so many moves in our married life, the majority of those books have remained stored in cardboard boxes in the attic.

Until now.

Until I gave birth to a boy. How well do I remember those days when I agonized if he would ever learn his ABC's, let alone how to read. Well, something has happened in the last year, and he now has a voracious appetite for reading. He'll go through a book in 2 days. And I can't keep them coming to him fast enough.

And suddenly I find that history has repeated itself. Lying in reading in the mornings. Staying up late reading under the bed covers, and funny looking characters are starting to appear in my yard. I mean, who are these strange-looking people....? And what funny looking eyebrows they have.

At the weekend I got Robin to climb those steps into the attic and bring down those old boxes that haven't seen the light of day for 13 years. And we dived into a ton of Enid Blytons, much to Hugh's delight.
It was like meeting up again with old familiar friends for me. All those trips into those second hand bookshops were worth it.

I suspect we're going to be seeing more of these strange-looking characters hanging around until the Enid Blyton mystery series is used up. I do get a good deal of pleasure knowing that my investment of years ago is getting good use again and reliving some exciting times of my childhood through my children, who are repeating it.

This following series are the most popular at the moment.


Ann said...

Your Enid collection is fantastic... I wish I'd had the foresight to do that as a teenager. I was looking at them in the bookshop the other day and the new paperbacks are just not the same are they? Great blog too, thank you for having me. Ann x

Anonymous said...

That's so great that he loves to read! My kids do a pretty good job reading but we also love to read together. We have gone through some wonderful series with me reading to the kids.
I love those old mysteries. Nancy Drew was one of my favorites.

Sandy Addison said...

I hope you have included Anne of Green gables in that collection - I will be surprised if the are not there.

Cate said...

I have my mother's old books that I devoured as a teen (following my Secret 7 / Famous 5 obsession) - and then all of my books were likewise devoured by my daughter. Her favourite was Trixie Beldon, and we ended up tracking down all the newer books in the series to add to my originals.

Heather L. said...

I SO wanted to be a spy when I was young. My sister and I also played spy and had our own little spy song we sang. Have you ever read any of the books by Aline Countess Romanones? The Spy wore red is one of them I think. She writes books about her life as a spy during WWII. I loved her books!!!

Must check out Enid Blyton from the library for my kids.

Jackie said...

ooh how we loved the Famous Five. Enid Blyton's nature books are also fab, mind you. And then there was Swallows and Amazons (I had pirates in my back yard!) and of course, in our case, the shed loads of pony books!
What a lovely time you are having. Treasure it!

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