My grandmother is extremely protective over her possessions, in particular those from the past with sentimental value. Therefore, I am unsure how my Dad managed to extract a series of Puffin children’s books from the family home (pictured left). I’m glad he did, though, as they’re marvellous (I’m not sure how I feel about using that word). I was flicking through them today – very gently as they seem to be falling apart – and looking at the annotations at the front. I love it when people write in books; it adds so much character and a real personal essence. I do it all the time, although I’m not sure if my notes will be particularly interesting to read in the future. Generally I just scribble exclamation marks or smiley/sad faces, depending on my thoughts towards the writing.
I’ve included a few photos in this post of some of the books for anyone who is interested. Most are from 1950-70 I think, and belonged to my Dad and his siblings. The majority of the books belong to my aunt, who sadly died some time ago. It’s quite strange to be reading the books of a family member I never met, with her address written in the front (she must have been sensible and very protective over her reading material, like me.) I’m sure she’d be glad that her books haven’t been sold or binned.
It would be so much nicer if children had books more like these nowadays – the modern alternatives are so garish, Disney-esque and either fuchsia or blue. I’ll have to write a post about my own childhood books at some point, although I’m not sure if that would bore the people who bother to read this half to death. It will be Winnie The Pooh and sheep themed.
I particularly love the photo below, of my uncle’s copy of The Story of Football. He is still a crazed Tottenham supporter, and so it’s quite funny looking at the circling he made in this book, alongside the validation of his name and his favourite team. Some of my own books have similar annotations in a felt-pen that my mother definitely wouldn’t have approved of. However, they will be the books that I’ll look after best, for certain.
The Story of Football
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Founder of Tolstoy Therapy and a few other projects. Adventurer living in the Swiss Alps.
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