Monday 8 July 2019

Rediscovering old books from my childhood

I wrote recently about how Harry is always reading the same books over and over again, and that I remember doing the same when I was little.

Recently I was thinking about some of the more obscure books that I used to keep re-reading, and I wondered if it would still be possible to buy copies. One book that I loved was Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer, a story about a girl at boarding school who falls asleep at night and wakes up forty years in the past during the First World War, while at the same time a counterpart from the past is living in her time. They alternate for a few weeks, then Charlotte ends up trapped in the past and has to find a way to return to where she belongs. I was pleased to find that this one is still in print and readily available, and enjoyed reading it again.

Then I got to thinking about another book that I enjoyed which was about a teenage girl that moved to Australia, New Patches for Old by Christobel Mattingly. I've always been fascinated by Australia, I've read many books set there, and this was probably the first. It's set a few decades ago, and I found it amazing to re-read it and see just how much of a change a move to Australia was back then - the family moved to the other side of the world expecting to never see their friends and family back home again, and international phone calls home were expensive and had to be booked in advance. It reminded me just how much smaller the world has become over the last few years.

This particular book has been out of print for a long time, but I was really pleased to find a copy from World of Books available on eBay for just a few pounds. I'm not sure why I'd not ordered from World of Books before, because they are based close to my home, and almost every time I go out I pass one of their vans! But I didn't really know what sort of books they sold, and I discovered that they sell some more obscure second hand books for a really reasonable price, along with free postage. I've been buying through them on eBay, but you can also buy direct from their website, and the books arrive within a few days. I'd definitely recommend giving them a look if you are after something that's out of print!

Buying old out of print books

Most recently I remembered another book that I enjoyed as a child, The Silver Crown by Robert O'Brien. Again, this one has been out of print for a while, but World of Books came through with a cheap secondhand copy. It's a story about a girl who wakes up one morning to find a silver crown on her pillow. She leaves the house to go for a walk, and returns to find her house burned down and her family gone, with mysterious characters chasing her as she goes on a journey to reach her Aunt's house. I was really surprised to find that the book is set in America, as I was sure that I remembered it being set in England. It just goes to show how unreliable your memory can be!

I've been enjoying re-reading some of those books that made a big impression on me when I was little. I'd love to know what books you would like to read again!

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