A Childhood Gift

As far back as I can remember, I loved books. My favourite past-time was taking the book I was reading and finding a quiet place to read: my bedroom, the shade underneath the tree in the garden, the sofa in the lounge. I would turn the pages for hours, engrossed in the story and the lives of the characters on the pages.

Cover of "The Secret Seven"
Cover of The Secret Seven

As a certified bookworm, my favourite gifts were those that gave me the written word. My mother and grandmother understood my desire to receive stories – especially the series’ written by Enid Blyton: The Famous Five and The Secret Seven. Β Between them, my collection expanded each year. I had many hours of enjoyment reading these stories again, and again … and again. I looked forward to December as this was a time when my collection was added to: from both Christmas and birthday gifts. I would open these presents knowing I would unwrap a book – it was just a question of which title.

The gift of books encouraged my desire to read and has helped with my reading fluency. The gift of reading is one I am always thankful for as my fluency has stood me in good stead during my school career, and even during my life as an adult. It is now a gift I wish to pass onto my own children.

What was your favourite childhood gift?

(This post was inspired by Kellie Elmore’s FWF promptΒ and Miz B’s Musing Mondays)

Β© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

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58 thoughts on “A Childhood Gift

  1. I grew up loving Enid Blyton and read all her series. Such a long time ago, I loved those Secret Seven, Famous Five, Faraway Trees, St Clares and I cannot remember the rest now.. just too long ago. Was going to do a post on that in my childhood memories category, perhaps on day. Thank you for sharing this, brings back my childhood memories. πŸ™‚

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    1. The games we received as children were the board games we played often: Monopoly, Scrabble, Cluedo, Spill and Spell. Those games bring back memories of times spent with my mom and sisters.

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  2. I too loved books, and any gift wrapped object in the shape of a book made my heart jump…I couldn’t wait to tear open the wrapping paper to see which book I was getting. Nancy Drew was my favorite series.

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  3. Thanks for reminding me of Enid Blyton — I hadn’t thought of those books in years! Living with my grandmother, I had access to piles of books in the room long closet that was part of my aunt’s old room.
    Winnie the Pooh (all hardcover), Nancy Drew (as you mentioned!), LL Montgomery — especially the Ann series. If I close my eyes, I see the closet — shiny walls (insulation?), a single light bulb with a string pull, pile upon pile of books — including some of my dad’s.
    There were two tall book cases with glass fronts in the upstairs hallway. Fitted with locks that were never turned, these also contained tales of adventure, stories of far away lands, fairies, British boy’s series. I can’t remember most of the names of the books or authors, but I do remember the feeling of exploration — finding then reading.

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  4. I also loved receiving books as gifts when I was young–and I remember the times when, as an extra special treat, my parents would take me to the bookstore and let me pick out my own book! Thanks for sharing such a nice memory!

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  5. Books are also dear to me. In std 5(grade7) my neighbour who was headmaster gave me a book Alice in Wonderland and also My first Fairy Tales. I still have both I brought them with me to NZ. The date in the front – 22 Februarie 1958

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  6. Books, books, books. πŸ™‚ An addiction that never expires. In addition to the already mentioned authors and books I would like to mention Joan Aiken. Especially Night Birds on Nantucket made me want to travel to New England some day. Only snowstorm Triton kept me from boarding the ferry to Nantucket. πŸ˜‰

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    1. My addiction to books and their stories did continue into adulthood πŸ™‚
      I have never heard of Joan Aiken’s tales. I am wondering whether I can find any of her stories.

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      1. Joan Aiken’s books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Titles (among others) The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Go Saddle the Sea, Black Hearts in Battersea, Dido and Pa, The Cuckoo Tree, The Whispering Mountain. Not all of these titles are adventures for children (as of 10, 12; some of them are for teens and/or adults). To get to know her books for minors you might want to start with Night Birds on Nantucket. You might also like the Whispering Mountain. πŸ™‚

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  7. I see you commented that you liked Nancy Drew. I loved that series too. I love books and the Libraries were my most favourite places to visit and as a loner I preferred to spend time in the library at school as well during breaks. Much more fun and entertaining indeed. πŸ˜€

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  8. Super post Colline ! I’m with you on the book front … I’ve collected a few of my old favourites over the years .
    I loved Enid Blyton’s Adventure Series .. particularly The Castle Of Adventure and The Malory Towers Collection .

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  9. I also loved getting books, Colline. I read just about every “Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” I could lay my hands on – mostly from the library. I then moved on to reading the “William” books and Nancy Drew πŸ™‚

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  10. πŸ˜€ Wonderful… we shared the same passion growing up. My favourite gift was and still are books. I remember teaching myself to read when I was 4 years old by listening to records and looking at the picture books with my favourite fairy tales πŸ™‚ I am sure your children have inherited the same interest.

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    1. Oh yes they have Paula. They learned through example – and of course I encourage them to read everyday.
      I enjoyed those listening records too – and collected quite a few CD stories for my own kids when they were younger.

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  11. I didn’t read this series as a child…but we are definitely bookworm soul mates. My wish pot is only filled with books on the list. My daughters always say to me, MOM…there is only books on this list to buy from…Yes, it is the only thing I want for Christmas…they sigh☺

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            1. As girls, my sisters and I never played games like this. We spent our childhood sometimes playing with dolls but mostly outside on our bikes exploring the growing neighbourhood.

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  12. I love books and one of my favorites are The Reader’s Digest and a local series “The Barrio Breeze” – a series of spoofs about village life in the Philippines. It saddens me a bit however that none of my children would keep books now. They say “you can find almost everything on the internet now”. It may be true but a book is always a priceless possession that you can always hold, hug and pass on to the next generation.

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      1. Fiction.. yes, they are very rare, if ever, on the internet. And books – aside from their imposing presence, they also serve not only to decorate a portion or two in the study room but they also stand as beacon of light, knowledge, education and power.

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  13. Wow I can’t believe it. I haven’t actually thought about those endless hours of pleasure I used to get as a child reading “The Famous Five” and ‘The Secret Seven” in years. That really has turned over a memory for me.Thank you.

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