Friday, May 16, 2008

Weekly Geeks #3: Childhood Books

This week's theme is childhood books and the task is to write a bit about them. I obviously started reading with picture books but I don't really remember those. When I think back on the books I loved as a child, The Chronicles of Narnia is usually one of the first ones to come to mind. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, will probably always be my favourite for being my introduction to that fantastical world. I don't know what the assignment was anymore but I remember once in elementary school, drawing a picture of a lantern in the middle of a snowy forest and being very disappointed that the teacher didn't seem to understand the significance of it.

I don't have many of my old books anymore, the result of too many moves and crucially one or two of them as a teenager when I figured I didn't need those kids books anymore! Of course I regret getting rid of some of them now! But I've always held on to my old battered Puffin box set of The Complete Chronicles of Narnia. I reread the entire series a few years ago, in 2003 to be exact, so before blogging. As a child I hadn't noticed or paid much attention to the Christian allegory present in the stories, but reading them again as an adult, it came across much more obviously. But I still enjoyed losing myself in the world of Narnia again and in that sense, revisiting my childhood.

Some other random books that were childhood favourites are Winnie the Pooh, Pippi Longstocking (I loved Pippi's spirit and independence!) and The Neverending Story which completely captivated my imagination. The Neverending Story, the movie, was also a favourite. We lived on a farm outside a small town when I was young, but I do remember borrowing books from the small library whenever I could. I made my way through many (if not all) of the Nancy Drew books that the library had. And I lived for the Scholastic book catalogues we got from school every so often. I'd pore over those for hours, reading the blurbs and trying to choose which ones I wanted. We also watched Little House on the Prairie religiously, and of course I read many of those books as well. Unfortunately those are among those that I don't have anymore.

And of course I wouldn't be a good Canadian if I hadn't read Anne of Green Gables! I went through a definite Anne phase and devoured as many Lucy Maud Montgomery books as I could get my hands on, but I especially loved the Anne books. And I had a huge crush on Gilbert! I still have these books as well. A sure sign that they meant a lot to me.
One summer we took a family vacation to the east coast of Canada, visiting Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Of course we had to visit Green Gables and see the musical while we were there! Other than the Narnia books, I don't recall re-reading any of my other childhood favourites, but I think it would be fun to revisit Anne someday. This year is actually the 100th anniversary since the original publication of Anne of Green Gables. Visit the website to find out about the events being held to celebrate the anniversary.
Thanks for sharing my stroll down memory lane.


  1. It was wonderful taking a stroll down your memory lane! And (except for the Chronicles and Neverending Story) your lane looks a lot like my childhood path. I really enjoyed the photos of your books, esp your Chronicles set. I did read Chronicles when my son was reading them, and he still has his set. I know he'll never get rid of those.

  2. Oh, I should have read your post first - I forgot the Little House on the Prairie Books and Winnie the Pooh! This was fun, wasn't it? I have to go back and add Little House on the Prairie...thanks for the nudge :)

  3. I totally forgot the Little House books; now I have to go and edit my post :-). Thanks for reminding me!

  4. I totally forgot The Neverending Story. The book was SO much better than the movie.

    I forgot Anne and Nancy Drew as well. So many favorites from childhood...

  5. I just got around to reading Anne of Green Gables. Can't believe I didn't read it when I was a kid!

    Another set of books that I completely missed when I was a kid (but am reading now) are the Narnia books. Again, how in the world did I miss these?? So great that you still have your set!

    Still have my Little House books and my sister and I used to watch the TV show too.

  6. I love your photos (especially the one of the Narnia books). I've seen the first Narnia movie and plan on seeing the second one, but I've never read the books. Maybe I'll have to give them a try.

  7. I am getting nostalgic memories of childhood books, after reading this. Like most Indians growing up in the eighties, I read a lot of Enid Blyton as a child. Never felt like reading them again.

    I read Narnia and the Anne books as an adult, and loved them.

    As always, your photographs are too good!

  8. Oh, the the exact Narnia box set I had as a child too. The box is long gone, but I still have all the books.

  9. Hi Nat :)

    You know I do understand how much can be lost with many moves, I lost so many things, books, photos the list goes on. I guess when you travel the world, travel lightly.

    You did keep quite a lot of books from your childhood, i do not have any, my parents also traveled so much and left many of my and my brothers things behind, I wish i had some now...oh well

    I hope you are having a restful Saturday

  10. You were a very well-read and well-traveled child!

  11. The Neverending Story movie was a favourite of mine as a child too. I only actually read the book last year, and I loved it.

    PS: I tagged you for the 6 Random Things meme...don't feel obligated to do it, though :P

  12. Teresa- Glad you enjoyed the stroll and the photos even though they were a bit dark. :)

    Wendy- It was fun, and you're welcome. :)

    Florinda- I'm too lazy to go back and add anything I've missed, like Judy Blume. :P

    Heather- The book is of course way better but it was still fun. I've been remembering a few more since I wrote it too. Fun to reminisce.

    Terri B.- I wish I still had my Little House books. Oh well. I know that a lot of my enjoyment in rereading the Narnia books was because it reminded me of reading them as a child. I'm not sure they would have the same appeal if I read them now for the first time.

    Stephanie- I'm always behind on movies but I'll have to see the Narnia movies at some point. They are short, quick reads if you do give them a go sometime.

    A Reader from India- It was fun to think back on some of the books I loved as a child. In Canada we did get some British books, like Roald Dahl of course, but I never did read any Enid Blyton.

    Kerry- Fun that you had the same set! :)

    Madeleine- Yes, things get lost or given away and even still we have so much stuff now. There are others I wish I still had but there's not much we can do about it now. I hope you had a restful weekend too. :)

    Nancy- LOL, I suppose so.

    Nymeth- That's one that I'd really like to reread someday. I'm behind on blog reading again but will be by tomorrow, and will try to think up 6 random things... :P

  13. The Neverending story was my favorite movie as a kid! I still have a special place in my heart for Falcor.

  14. Nyssaneala- All this talk about it is making me want to see it again. :)

  15. I love your Narnia books, those are beautiful. I feel like I go through an Anne phase almost every year as different things about spring and fall remind me of the films and of the books. I'm definitely going to have to do something this summer to celebrate the 100th anniversary.

  16. Carl- Talking about them here and the anniversary is making me feel like reading or watching Anne again sometime this year too.


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