Reading is perhaps the most fond memory from my childhood. My dad had filled our bookshelves with loads of books, would take us used-books shopping to these tiny little stores on the weekend and patiently hang out while we’d take ages to decide the ones that we’d want (there was a quota on the number of books we could get on each trip so it was always a critical decision).
I lost touch with books somehow when I got into college and have only now made my way back to them over the last couple of years and can’t understand why I’d stopped (part of terrible life decisions).
I was recently trying to find book covers of my favorite childhood books for a DIY project and it suddenly became important and urgent that we talk about our favorite books from childhood. So here’s my top 5 (there are so many more but let’s control ourselves). I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without these books. They actually, truly, SERIOUSLY changed my life.
1. The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. This is a series and also my sneaky way of sliding more than just five books into the list. This series was about three kids, Jo, Bessie and Fanny (my brother and I actually named a few of our dolls/action figures after them, don’t ask how they were all in the same game together) who discover this enchanted tree that has these giant branches that reach into the clouds and you can get to strange, magical lands by climbing it. The lands would rotate every now and then so you had to come back down before that happened or you’d be trapped in a different land forever. The tree also had tiny houses and occupants which the kids hung out with. It was just the BEST. I’m kind of losing my mind just reliving it. HONEST. Cannot wait for the movie to come out, when is it coming man?! Hashtag impatience.
Image credit: Abe Books
2. The Five Find-outers by Enid Blyton. This was also a series and there were about 15 books in it and I read them all (my childhood was owned by Enid Blyton therefore 70% of my favorite books are by her). These five kids – Larry, Fatty, Pip, Daisy, Bets and a dog would solve mysteries in their town during every holiday (such eventful lives) and would always beat their local policeman, Mr. Goon, at it (I had my sympathies for him). I loved these guys SO much and the mysteries were actually so solid I could never crack them.
Image credit: Peakirk Books
3. St. Clare’s by Enid Blyton. These books made me want to just leave my home and go live in a boarding school. This was a series where two sisters were gradually moving through grades at their school, St. Clare’s, and it was SO GOOD, you guys. Their lives at the boarding school, their friends, dorm life, challenges, it was amazing. They practically grew up in the books from first grade to the sixth (?) and it was super fun to join a new class/graduate with them each time.
Image credit: Childrens Bookshop
4. Anne Of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (and sequels). SUCH a favorite. Anne is a red-haired orphan girl, who’s shy and awkward (initially) and gets sent to the wrong family by mistake, who were actually expecting an orphan boy to help out around their farm. The story follows Anne’s life as she moves in with her new family, her school, around town. She grows up from a kid to a teenager in the series and because I read these when I was slightly older (about 12 or 13?) it was an absolute blast having that age demographic to read about. This is also coming out in a movie, does anyone know anything about that, please? CosIwannawatchit.
Image credit: Amazon
5. Taleem-o-Tarbiat. This isn’t a book but an Urdu magazine but one that I was obsessed with and would read cover to cover as soon as I’d get my hands on it (my dad would get a copy at the beginning of the month without fail just for me). And because it would come out once a month only, I’d read the same copy many times in wait of the next one. My absolute favorite in it were the stories on Chacha Bhulakkar, I LOVED that guy. I wish I still had a couple of old copies of this magazine, *insert sad face*.
Image credit: Taleem-o-Tarbiat Facebook
I recently got a couple of these books for N’s niece because she’s in that age and I really want her imagination playing up the way that these books do. If you have kids, you should definitely get some of these on their bookshelves, they’re worth more than any other recreational activity you could work out for them. PROMIS.
There are so many more books from that time that I love, love, love. SO MANY. Sigh. Tell me yours?
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+ If you’re a fan, there’s an actual Anne of Green Gables clutch that you can buy. Here‘s the link for Pakistan (and everywhere else too because international shipping) on Polly & Other Stories.