I must have been eleven years old when I read a full-length novel, for the first time. I remember it was on of those Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton. Though others of my age had a craze on Famous Five, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, I regarded Secret Seven closer to my heart. In the years that followed, Agatha Christie's were my second memorable collection of fiction.
I wonder how rich my dad should have been to have taken me to Nungambakam Landmark and Mount Road Higginbothams every weekend in the 1980s! Ages eleven to seventeen were when I have skipped food, remained awake through nights and talked insanely about the crush I had for a few of the characters. However, until recently, I didn't know Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie were women. Yes, I assumed them to be male authors all along.
For all the memorable moments of imagination, such authors have blessed me in my formative years, I dedicate this post on World Book Day, by bringing up their faces for readers like me who often overlooked the person who held the pen behind our childhood reads.
My very first reads were your's. I owe everything I know and feel about books to you!
Even now, sometimes I plot a murder tale in my mind when I am doing nothing and lost in thoughts. When I come back to my senses, I laugh at myself of how a writer I read in my childhood continues to inspire me after years.
We were in class XI, the first year of schooling when a Non-detail section for English language was introduced. Oliver Twist was the first tale our class read together for a year long. Hugely memorable! I remember the times when a classmate cried when Oliver was beaten for asking more porridge and the whole class observing mourning when Nancy, our favourite character, passed away.
How did you create history with a single novel?!!! I don't exactly remember the story of Wuthering Heights today, but the sadness that I felt for Catharine is still deep within me.
I am not going to tell you that I remember you for reading Malgudi Days. I am here today to confess that I've missed to read your books inspite of hearing the legendary tales about your writing since childhood.
Glad to have shared my recollection of the authors who I've heard most during my childhood on World Book Day. Will be interesting to know similar childhood book memories from all of you.