If I were to make a list of favourite/most memorable/most treasured things about my childhood, my Enid Blyton books would make it to the top three.
Those enchanting book covers, the simple yet magical titles, that beloved signature I grew to love and admire.
I collected the paperbacks, buying them from old book stores and jumble sales, the guy who sold battered books off a cart down the street every week. I borrowed them, and even rented out my own during the summers, strung out on a line tied to the backs of two chairs outside my house. I’d use the money to buy more of every Enid Blyton series and add them to my collection. Mallory Towers, The Five Findouters, Amelia Jane, The Adventure series, St. Claire’s, The Secret Seven, and of course my favourite of them all, The Famous Five.
As a kid, I didn’t like the world all of the time. I knew early on that everything wasn’t sunshine and rainbows, that people were flawed and sometimes terribly so, and that being a child wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. But, when I read, and specifically anything by Blyton, things changed, at least in my mind. Between the age of 7-10, her books became my escape, my refuge, a companion I sought above more or less everything else. By reading those books I learned that magic could be found in the most unlikely places, that every adventure was a journey where you discovered a lot about others, and mostly about yourself; your strengths, your weaknesses, your abilities. Most importantly, I learned that there is a lot children can endure and overcome however harsh life may sometimes be, and there is nothing they cannot do once they put their minds to doing it.
Enid Blyton was not a childhood phase, nor was she just an author of childrens books. How can that be if I and countless others can still as adults pick up one of her books and get lost in the magic of her words? Why did the lessons we learned in those pages still resonate with so many of us even now?
She was incredible in shaping the minds of millions of children, and she continues to be till today. She was an original, the original. A beloved author and friend to scores of us.
I spent a good deal of time just last week on chat with Chani, reminiscing about when we were kids and how much we adored reading Enid Blyton books. We laughed and traded quotes, favourite titles, adventures, food!! So, I know she’ll be chiming in soon with some of her EB memories, and I will too in the weeks ahead. We’ll be featuring our favourite books and characters, as well as the many series written by one of the most loved authors of all time.
Stay tuned for our Enid Blyton Celebration Series, if you’re a fan (I know some of our readers definitely are) do join in on the posts via the comment box, and if you’re not, you’re invited to stay anyway and join in the fun.