It is the books that grip us as children that stay with us as adults

I am a reader, this does not come as a surprise to people that know me – in real life or online. Even people that just meet me and find out what I do automatically assume that I must love books because I am a Librarian proving once again that stereotypes are alive and well and that many, many people do not have librarians in their personal lives – because there are loads that do no read much or at all.

I used to be surprised that I was a reader as when I was just starting school I had to ‘learn’ to read with

Unlike a number of people that claimed that Dick and Dora put them off reading, these books only made me hungry to read more challenging literature!

These are (in no particular order) the books that made me a reader:

The Tim books by Edward Ardizzone – I read the entire series thanks to my local Library. For the small child I was, they were a thrilling read and incredibly believable. It has been over 30 years since I read them, but I can remember the characters and stories fondly.

The Adventures of Tintin was the first series of books I can remember owning, as well as being a joy to read the books also cemented my love of the comics medium. The stories are still as good as I remember when I was a child!

Blade of the Poisoner
was the first book I stayed up all night to read, well this one and the sequel Master of Fiends. Douglas Hill had quite a large influence on my reading tastes as a child, this is the book that awoke my love of fantasy.

The second book by Douglas Hill, and this time science fiction. It is the second part of the ColSec trilogy, my younger brother had borrowed it form the library but I nabbed it before he could read it and it was one of two books that turned me into a scifi nut.

Norby the Mixed-Up robot was one of the first books by Isaac and Janet Asimov that I read. I enjoyed it enough to track down as many as Isaac Asimov’s books as I could over the years and devour them.

I was heartbroken when as a newly minted librarian my library manager told me that Franklin W. Dixon was a construct of the Stratenmeyer Syndicate a book packager that produced books for young readers. They did a good job as The Haunted Fort was the first book (apart from comics) that I compulsively read and reread, usually on a Friday night until I fell asleep.

I seem to have been a bit of a book kleto as a child, as I nabbed this one from my older brother, he had it as a reading book for English when he was 12 or 13 and when he was telling our mother about it I liked the sound of it. To this day it remains one of my most recommended books for people looking for something to read. The rest of the Dark is Rising series is brilliant as well, it did not even matter that this is the second in the series.

These are books I read in my formative years, all genre fiction and all books I can remember as vividly as if I had only finished them yesterday. I can recall other titles; the Vampire and Zombie short story collections, edited by Peter Haining, the Doctor Syn series by Russell Thorndike tales of smuggling and derring do on Romney Marsh. I am proud to say that I am a genre fiction man – and always have been going by my recollections of being a young reader.

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