Friday Five - Books from my childhood on the Kindle

Published September 7, 2012

When I was posting Trailer Tuesday a while back, the Paddington poster made me want to read the books, so I had a peek on the Kindle store and found many of them (perhaps all?) available for the device. That got me thinking, what other fab books of my youth are also available for the Kindle?

  1. The Worst Witch was one of my favourites as a kid, probably because I could relate. Not being a witch, of course, but being terribly clumsy and not that popular at school. I also quite like witches and wizards as a subject, what with Harry Potter and Buffy’s friend Willow and more.
  2. It doesn’t surprise me that Jacqueline Wilson has embraced the Kindle age, she always seemed a very forward thinking, “make books accessible every which way” kind of person. There’s a staggering number of Wilson books available in the e-format. As a kid, I read Tracy Beaker and the Bed & Breakfast star and that was about it. Many of the newer ones have passed me by, although there are still a couple awaiting me in the Big Read List.
  3. There are Enid Blyton books by the bucketload, although there is talk that they are not the books of old. Some of the reviews suggest they have been amended for a modern audience, and I am not down with that at all. I can understand a name change here or there, although it still seems weird to think of Franny in the Enchanted Wood. If more of it has been altered, then that’s a real shame. While I was browsing I saw that someone has written more books in the Malory Towers series, but a quick peek proved disappointing. I don’t know why, but reading the “frightfully delightful” style of writing but knowing it was written by a modern author took some of the shine away.
  4. The Adventure stories by Willard Price were some of the books that got me into reading action and adventure novels. From Price, you move up to Cussler and from there, the world is your oyster. In my mind, I have the image of the boys scuba diving down to a lost world under the sea, and coming up in a hut where the air pressure was such that you could breathe happily. I may have made that up, but it’s enough to make me remember the books fondly.
  5. Roald Dahl! Of course. The books are surprisingly expensive, but I’m gradually building up my Kindle collection. I would have read these all again anyway, but it’s good to get a nudge from my reading list. I also listened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory via audiobook, read by Eric Idle. This stuff just never gets old.

Honourable mentions have to go to Paddington, obviously, as he kickstarted the entire thing. Also the Choose Your Own Adventures, which I was staggered to find on the Kindle. However, as my previous review suggests, they just aren’t as good as I remember. The format is workable, although does avoid the flipping back and forth and holding pages and suchlike. It’s just the writing is nowhere near what I remembered it to be.

It’s very interesting how you can hold books in such high esteem, remembering them fondly from your youth, and then find they are nothing like as good as you thought. On the other hand, and to end on a slightly happier note, there are still classics that will always be brilliant, no matter what age you are. And the more available on the Kindle, the better.

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