Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Book-a-Day 24: Hooked me into reading

I count my reading history in two distinct phases, so I have two books for today.  The first was bought for me for Christmas by my late Uncle Stephen, and is probably the first book I enjoyed reading that wasn't forced upon me by my school.  I was 5 or 6, and the ladybird books that the school had weren't much of a challenge or particularly interesting.  Five Fall Into Adventure by Enid Blyton.  I don't know why he started on book 9, but it was enough to get me hooked.

Last week I was in Corfe, near the castle and they have an Enid Blyton shop.  I found some 1950's editions, for a fairly reasonable £10, but sadly no first editions :-(

The second book I bought nearly 30 years after the first.  Between the ages of about 11 and 32 I read mostly romance and chick-lit.  At 32 and living in Australia I had to change my reading habits.  Thanks to the bookstore across the road (Angus and Robertson) having a Top 100 list I was able to pick books pretty much guaranteed to be good.  Books are very expensive in Australia and you feel like you have to treat each one as an investment, especially if, like me, you don’t have much disposable income.  A book you could buy for £8 in the UK would be at that time about £20 in Australia!  A new release could be more like £35!  

I decided to try a classic, for one thing they were slightly cheaper (maybe £16), plus for a book over 150 years old to make a modern top 100 list I figured it had to be worth a try.  I picked Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  I loved it, and ever since I've focussed on reading anything but chick-lit

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