I have recently started listening to a new podcast, What Are You Reading. In all of the episodes I’ve listened to so far the host, Matt Debenham, has asked his guest about what they read as a child. This got me thinking about my reading history and I thought it would be something interesting to share here.
When I was very young I progressed from picture books to audio books (or story tapes as we called them then). I wasn’t a big reader at all, instead I would listen to one side of a tape before I fell asleep at night. My favourites were the Asterix books (read by Willie Rushton), later I moved on to some classics; Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and The Little Princess (read by Maureen Lipman).
I get easily hooked on things and this is the reason I rarely read standalone books. I much prefer series or at least books with a recurring central character. When I think about it now, this started when I was a kid first with the Hardy Boys (I clearly remember the distinctive covers) and later V.I Warshawski (I read all the available titles in the school library). Here clearly also began my love of crime fiction.
The other recurring theme in the books I read as a child was the ancient world and specifically the Roman Empire. I have recently re-read a childhood favourite, The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. It is still fantastic and I would recommend it to children and adults in equal measure.
Somewhere along the way I also dabled with vampires (didn’t we all?) reading Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire series. I have a very vivid memory of finishing the last in the series on a plane! Today I discovered that three more books have been added to the series since then. Don’t think I’ll be going back for them.
What happened next? Well nothing much really. I’m still reading lots of historical fiction (mostly set in the Roman Empire) and detective novels (they’ve got a bit darker though).