In honor of Halloween this weekend:
What reading skeletons do you have in your closet? Books you’d be ashamed to let people know you love? Addiction to the worst kind of (fill in cheesy genre here)? Your old collection of Bobbsey Twin Mysteries lovingly stored behind your “grown-up” books? You get the picture … come on, confess!
I don't think I have any reading skeletons hidden in the closet. Most of them are sitting quite proudly on my bookshelves and I'm not ashamed to display them. There might be people who think I should have outgrown them but that's really their problem, not mine!
Referring to my love of certain children's books, still, at age 55... and having no children or grandchildren to blame it on. :)
But that's no secret to anyone who knows me well, nor to followers of this blog.
I do have one shelf of childhood favourites behind a curtain, but that's for practical reasons, not because I'm ashamed of them.
Since that's the closest I get to books kept in the closet, though, I'll have a peek behind that curtain. Most of them are real classics, like some beloved books by Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren; and a couple of other Swedish authors probably less well known to readers from other countries. Also my childhood Swedish copies of Winnie-the-Pooh, The Borrowers (Mary Norton), Little Women by Louise Alcott and Anne of Green Gables. And some girly books that once belonged to my mother and my aunt; and one that was even my grandmother's.
Here are three less well known, which I also decided to keep, when going through my bookshelves in my childhood home in my late thirties (before my parents moved away from that house):
Poo-Poo and the Dragons by C.S. Forester. Quotion from a web page I just found : "It was published in 1942, before the war impacted book production. Forester came up with the premise for the book while he was at home in the Berkeley hills, minding his two boys while his wife Kathleen was away. The younger of the two, 8 year old George, went on a hunger strike; he refused to eat. Forester made up the stories to tell during dinnertime, but would only tell them if George would eat. If George stopped eating, Forester stopped talking mid-sentence. By the time Kathleeen returned home and everything returned to normal, there were a number of Poo-Poo stories, and 3 dragons. Forester collected the stories in manuscript form and Little Brown published it." - My copy is a well-worn one in Swedish from 1952. Possibly it might have laid a foundation for a continued love of dragons...
Freddy by Miriam Mason. My Swedish translation is from 1958. I can't find any info about this book on the internet. Freddy is a rainbow rabbit. He runs away on adventures and keeps shifting colours, that's just about all I remember...
William the Superman by Richmal Crompton. Oh, I read lots of William stories as a kid. In Swedish he was called Bill. Most of them I probably borrowed from the library. There might also have been a few old ones that belonged to my father. Wikipedia enlightens me that the first book was written in 1922. The one I have kept is from 1968, and in English. I think I probably bought it in London on our family holiday there in 1969. (First time we went to Britain.) I reread this one a few years ago because there was something in one of the Harry Potter books that made me think of it.