A while back I gave you detailed tours of my main bookcases. First up were my Blytons in parts one, two and three, Blyton and Malcolm Saville in part four, miscellaneous children’s books in part five and my collection of grown-up books (and more children’s books) in part six.
And now we are on part 7. How many more bookshelves do I have, I hear you ask. Well, if we ignore the stacks of books in my wardrobe (primarily Nancy Drews, Buffy and Angels, Point Horror and Crime) there are a couple in Brodie’s room.
He has a unit in the living room with a load of toddler-appropriate books, and a unit in his bedroom, plus two shelves on the bookcase in there. But near the top of the bookcase are two shelves full of my books. (The middle shelf holds his trousers, don’t ask.)
Most of these books are in his room under the pretence that I am keeping them there for him when he grows up. Really I just don’t want to part with them and don’t have room anywhere else… But if he wants to read them later then that’s fine!
The Blyton overflow
Starting at the left are The Amelia Jane Bumper Book and the Noddy Classic Treasury which I used as my modern copy to compare older texts to.
Then a couple of non-Blytons, The First Margaret Mahy Story Book and Centuries of Stories.
Then there’s a boxset of the first three Adventure Series books (obviously I have these in hardback but I was given these at some point and they’re too nice to chuck).
Next, some Dean editions of Tales of Long Ago, Stories for You and Tales of Brave Adventure. These were once my mum’s, but as they’re Deans they’re relegated to the spare room. I have a bit of an irrational dislike of Dean editions, partly as they try to pass themselves off as first editions far too often! There’s also a World Distributors Now For a Story – a 1960s reprint of an earlier book.
After that are two of the Hodder Short story collections, the only two out of the 20 or so that exist – Christmas Stories and Christmas Tales, and All Aboard which is an omnibus of some of the Caravan Family stories.
Then a hardback of Five Have a Mystery to Solve, there because I bought a first edition a while ago so this one is surplus, a paperback of The Folk of the Faraway Tree, five duplicates of Noddy titles, a paperback of The Enchanted Wood (which I should do a text comparison on), another duplicate Famous Five, this time Five Run Away Together, two more Noddy duplicates in paperback, and my Red Fox paperback of Five Have a Puzzling Time and other stories. (And yes, writing that out makes me realise I really need to reorganise those to put like with like, but I’m not willing to wake Brodie to do it right now).
The pig bankie contains various foreign coins as I went though a phase of collecting them (without ever leaving the country!), the bear one is empty but I’ve had it since I was a baby, and beside those is where we keep Brodie’s dummies so he can’t reach them.
The other children’s books
This is a total mishmash of things. Some I’ve read and don’t want to part with, but quite a lot are waiting for me to get around to reading them!
On the far left is The Velveteen Rabbit, The King the Mice and the Cheese (a very Dr Seuss-ish story but by Nancy and Eric Gurney), Gobbolino the Witches’ Cat by Ursula Moray Williams, four of Beatrix Potters’ Peter Rabbit tales, an omnibus of The Spiderwick Chronicles, Find the Phantom of Ghastly Castle (a puzzle book full of pencil notations, which I remember my dad helping me with and I’m still not sure we managed to solve it…), four Tashi and the Ghosts books. Then there’s three of the Princess Diaries books, Ella Enchanted and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry (I should have handed this back as it was a school copy…) Charlotte’s Web, some Jacqueline Wilsons and Ramona Quimby books, and War Game by Michael Foreman (I have War Boy and After the War is Over in hardback on the bottom shelf).
Stuart Little, Dirty Gertie Mackintosh (silly poems), The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler, The Demon Headmaster (the first in the series), Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories, four Gemma novels by Noel Streatfeild, The Family from One End Street, The Arbradizil (actually this one is Ewan’s, one of the only children’s books he still has!), Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Madame Doubtfire (enjoyable but quite different from the film which I absolutely love… “It was a run-by fruiting!”), The Haunted Island, and two of the sequels to The Animals of Farthing Wood.
The slim volumes are mostly Ladybird classics, several dating from the 1960s, the last one is The Cabinet of Calamari, a short novelisation of an episode of The Real Ghostbusters TV cartoon (I knew of the cartoon long before the films, and was rather in love with cartoon Egon as a child. I was very disappointed when movie Egon didn’t have this ludicrous hair.)
The last book is The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.
And this concludes the tour of my bookshelves!
Ah, another grown up who has Ladybirds, I’m not on my own.
These are all ones passed down from my mum, so I’ve had them all my life. The more modern ones I left in her house when I moved out! I’d quite like to buy more older ones but I think it’s a slippery slope and I have enough obsessions.