Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Discussion : Childhood Books That Stood The Test of Time - Part I

Nothing is black and white is a new irregular book-ish discussion post at Say It With Books. 
Every once in a while I suffer from severe bouts of nostalgia and this is one of those times.
I did a bit of book-shelf cleaning recently and came across a couple of books that I read during my childhood(Just in case you are wondering I'm not that old. Hmph.). These books bring back fond memories 'cause they did cultivate my love of reading. Some of them were not the best choices but like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts there are no right or wrong books. 
There are a few books that still remember so vividly and am willing to re-read even after all these years. These are the books that have stood the test of time.
Childhood Books That Have Stood The Test of Time - Say It With Books Book Blog
Enid Blyton is one of the authors that I can remember loving since forever. Before the whole vamps and wolves craze hit town I devoured her Famous Five and Secret Seven series. The whole concept of ordinary children doing extraordinary things by having all those amazing adventures and solving mysteries was something that had me wanting more. 
I was in love with boarding schools thanks to the St.Clare'sMalory Towers and The Naughtiest Girl series. The crazy pranks that the girls pulled on their teachers and on each other had me grinning from ear to ear! The midnight feasts, the free-spirited girls and ginger beer only added to the allure of boarding schools! The Wishing Chair and The Faraway Tree series too bring back some fond memories of goblins, fairies and witches.
I know I know Enid Blyton sure as hell didn't mention the downside of boarding schools and she may have glossed over a few facts. And there's also the issue that she included some very blatant racist comments in her stories(not going into that right now). 
So if I could back in time would I read Enid Blyton's books?
Heck, Yes! I don't regret reading her books despite her unrealistic portrayal and alleged racism because they were a magical escape. I was enchanted by her books and I still am. So yes, Enid Blyton's books have definitely stood the test of time.
I was a total mystery buff back then so I was also a huge fan of  Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys! The MC in Nancy Drew is a super sleuth who can solve any mystery no matter how cold the trail is. They were basically good at everything and had skills ranging from sewing to marksmanship! And the titian-haired teenager always got brought down the bad guys!
Despite the too perfect protagonists and unrealistic situations I'll always love these books 'cause it's nice to know that good always wins over evil. At least in books. ;)
And here's what Rachel, my awesome-sauce co-blogger had to say about her childhood books that still hold a special place in her heart....
As far as I can remember, I read the Little Prince when I was in the sixth grade. Honestly, I didn’t love reading at that age. I just read it for the sake of completing the requirements but I was surprised because when I finished reading it, I ended up liking the story.
I love the innocence of the prince and how the story was written. Just simple words with simple meanings and I think that it will be a good read for the kids out there. And also, it is just a short story, with less than a hundred pages, (but back then I thought that was soooo long) so I think younger teens will really like it. But I find the story kind of weird, but in a good way, because the first part is about a young boy who drew a boa constrictor with an elephant in its stomach and probably, when I read this back then, I would say, “Oh okay… what was that?” but I think it will be different if I’m going to read it again in the present time. So yes, I’d be willing to read it again because I believe that we will have different perspectives regarding some stories depending on what age you are when you read them
So...I was browsing through some quotes on Goodreads and I think these are the ones that I liked when I read it during sixth grade: 
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart.” 
But when I started browsing some more, I discovered new quotes that I like, now, in the present time:
“But the conceited man did not hear him. Conceited people never hear anything but praise.”
“No one is ever satisfied where he is.”
“I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings."
See? This is what I’m talking about; we’ll have a deeper understanding of everything as we get older maybe because we have more experiences and more knowledge. Or maybe because we see things differently as we age, do you agree? ;) 
                                         ..............................................
I couldn't agree more,Rach! There are some books that you love as a child so much that they are unforgettable and they'll always be a part of you regardless of how much you've changed or how cynical you've become. And every time you re-read a book you realize that there are a few things you missed at first... a few things that you'll surprise you every time you crack open that dusty old book. Most of us are no longer are the same starry eyed kids who fervently hoped that one day they'd see the Tooth Fairy or discover a lost little elf in their backyard(guilty of doing both of those!) but I'd like to believe that no matter how old we grow we can still hope for a little magic....
So tell us what are the books that you treasure even after all these years? And what do you think of magic? ;)

9 comments :

  1. i think i read everything that enid blyton ever wrote when i was younger! i did find them in the loft a little while ago but i haven't re-read them yet, i'm sort-of scared to incase they don't seem as good now i'm a grown up!

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    1. Read them again,Sarah! It feels amazing to get lost in that magical world all over again! :D

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  2. “But the conceited man did not hear him. Conceited people never hear anything but praise.”

    Whoa, what a true and lovely quote.

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    1. Hi! Have you read The Little Prince? If not yet, you should give it a try :)

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  3. I used to read a lot of Nancy Drew and R.L.Stine. I can still get lost in the thrilling mysteries of the Fear Street books.
    And before I forget, Full House Books are something I will never forget.

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  4. I loved Enid Blyton and fully acknowledge that I am the reader I am today thanks to her. For a while libraries wouldn't stock her books as they were considered inferior and badly written. I think that's shocking, any book that gets a young person reading and helps them discover what pleasure, excitement and comfort can lie between the pages is a good one in my opinion.

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  5. Oh yes to Nancy Drew. I also read a lot of The Baby-sitter's Club. I can't remember really much of them, but I wouldn't mind rereading one to see if any memories come back for me.
    Really, for me, all the magic lies with Dr. Seuss. His books were the only ones my dad liked and when I was really little, that was a big deal to me. Even now though I think they're amazing books.

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  6. Enid Blyton, despite what many people may think of her as a person, was the author that first got me into reading. Oh wow, I absolutely adored the Malory Towers series! I have all of the books neatly arranged on my bookshelves. I can still remember when I was younger, reading Darrell's adventures at the boarding school. I was dying to enroll in a boarding school after reading those books :P And then there was The Famous Five, such an amazing series. :)

    Thanks for sharing this great post with us. I really enjoyed reading it. :)

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  7. I loved Enid Blyton when I was younger, my favourites were The Mysteries Collection and The House on the Corner. Out of my collection I devoured those books so many times! I didn't even know about the alleged racism until now and as a child I didn't care about realism in a book. I don't remember reading Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys, I was obsessively into R.L. Stine's books as a kid.

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