Over on the Enid Blyton Society forums, Poppy asked a question about what your top ten books would be to save. I did list ten, but of them all, only three books would be irreplaceable. You may be thinking that they are pristine first edition books worth lots of money, but no, whilst one may be a first edition I doubt anyone would buy it and the other two are 70s reprints. Why would I save these over all the others, including my lovely Banshee Towers mentioned in an earlier blog? They are all very unique in different ways and could never be found again.
1. Hurrah for the Circus
This book I got for my 11thbirthday and it has an inscription inside written by my Mum. Although I now have an older Newnes edition, I couldn’t sell this copy.
2. The Mountain of Adventure
This book was bought because I won a prize at the church for, I think, reading the most number of books in a fortnight. I still remember going to Wardleworths book shop in Accrington with the £1 book token and looking at the bookshelves full of lovely books. I decided that I would buy an Enid Blyton book and couldn’t decide which one to pick.
After looking at all the books on the shelf I chose The Mountain of
Adventure, as the cover showed pictures of animals. There was some change from the book token and I also bought a pencil, but where that is I have no idea. I couldn’t even tell you what colour it was.
3. Mr. Pink-Whistle’s Party 1955
This book was originally my Mum’s and when I got hold of it the dust-wrapper was long gone and it was a little tatty.
I wasn’t very impressed with Mr. Pink-Whistle and his ability to go into your bedroom unseen to check up on you and much preferred the Mr. Meddle stories. My copy of Mr. Meddles’ Muddles remains uncoloured, proof that I had more respect for the book unlike Mr. Pink-Whistle’s Party, as you will see from the pictures.
Not only have I written inside it but my Mum has written the correct spelling of my name in pen next to my very untidy scribble. She obviously thought it was fine to scribble on books as well. I have no idea who Carol is though who joined in with the book scribbling party that day.
The book also has rips on more than one corner with some loss of text. I remember the page ripping when I went to turn over the page. The paper is very fragile in the book and I wasn’t being overly forceful with the page. When I told my Mum what had happened she very kindly wrote the missing words on the bottom of the page.
I always felt that books should have coloured pictures in them. I had A Story Book of Jesus with some lovely coloured plates by Elsie Walker and this spoilt me a little. Where were the lovely coloured illustrations in my other books? I chose to rectify this problem and coloured in the pictures myself. I only managed to colour in the first two stories before becoming bored but it is quite neat!
There is also a page missing which I didn’t realise until a couple of years ago when I read the stories to my children. When that page was ripped out I have no idea and I don’t remember it happening. Maybe I could blame it on the forgotten Carol? Oh and by the way this book is a 1955 first edition, it may be worth more if I hadn’t got hold of it but then it wouldn’t be able to bring back lots of happy memories.