Carnival Of Genealogy 118:Reading

As I sit and write this post I am in my study surrounded by books and genealogical papers. There are other things too of course, but books and genealogy are my main passions.

I can’t remember my first book. I ponder that I might have had one of those cloth books that children get, but I can not be sure and when I asked my Mum if she could remember she didn’t give me an answer, just that look, the one that says “don’t be ridiculous!”

I have fond memories of sitting on my Grandmothers knee as she read my various Enid Blyton books again and again – Noddy books written before Political Correctness appeared. Books with Noddy, Big Ears and the Golly. I still have those Noddy books, with the 12p price ticket on and I can see them from where I am sitting, writing this. I remember those wonder Mr Twiddle books and Famous Five and lots of others by Enid Blyton and I was also a proud owner of a set of Rupert Bear books with their bright yellow covers.

I recall reading and sharing the various Mr Men books, when the series was just Mr Men, before the series expanded in view of equality and created Little Miss books! I had a small collection of Ladybird books and the small Observer series of books and I seem to recall that I had the book on stamp collecting.

I was not much of a comic fan, but as part of my pocket money treat from my Grandmother I was a reader of  several comics. Lamb Chop, Little Star and Twinkle. As I approached my teenage years I seem to think I read another, but can not recall its name. I do remember reading Smash Hits magazine when I was about 14. There was also Christmas Annuals produced to accompany the comics.

Into adulthood, and my reading is very varied, much like this blog. My personal book collection comprises of mainly historical texts – general history, or history relating to specific areas, times, people and includes historical fiction. I also have collated quite a few novels over the years and like to read sets in order.

The Alphabet Series written by Sue Grafton a favourite and in complete contrast novels by Jennifer Chiaverini featuring Elm Creek, a fictional quilting community.  I also have lots of genealogical books and various autobiographies. Upon the shelves there are books relating to the day job, pharmacy, education and management.

I love reading, and of course books in general. I love bookshops and can not walk past one. If I wander pass a charity shop or selection of stalls I always head to the book stalls and shelves. A few years ago we had a wonderful weekend break in the Welsh border town of Hay on Wye. Home to at least 30 bookshops. It was wonderful!  You can see a selection of photos HERE.

It was those early days of sitting with a book on my Grandmother’s knee that created my real love of reading and books. My Mum is a reader too and even now we trade books and chats about our current reads. So as I sit in my study, surrounded by all the books, papers and what my beloved husband would call chaos I can, for lots of those books remember the where and when and how much!

We are in a digital age and as such even books are not exempt! – now the owner of a Kindle and iPad and various applications for reading books upon I can add to my book library in a virtual sense. That said, there are simply some books which have to be bought, held and enjoyed.

Over the last 4 or 5 years I have parted with some, either given them away to charity shops or sold via eBay and Amazon. The books I have now are like old friends and I am busy cataloguing them via LibraryThing.

Taking part in Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia at CreativeGene

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, avid note taker and journal writer. Lover of Books, Stationary & History; Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, Pharos Tutor for all One-Name Studies and surname courses.
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5 Responses to Carnival Of Genealogy 118:Reading

  1. Hi Julie,
    Great post! I've enjoyed your site so I've nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award for informative, illuminating, blog content. It’s a pay-it-forward sort of blogger to blogger award. If you're interested, you can check out the details at the award’s site: You can also read what I said about your site and why I nominated you on my blog at Hope you're having a great day! -Peggy


  2. cassmob says:

    Isn't it interesting that so many of us mad geneabloggers are also reading addicts?! Also interesting how formative it can be, having one's grandmother read you stories…my grandchildren climb up to be read to and I sit surrounded on all sides. I must tell my quilt-mad friend about those books too. Agree that holding and reading a book is an extra treat and really special books must be in print not e-books…probably why those bookshelves never empty.


  3. J.M. says:

    ENid Blyton, Jennifer Chiaverini – a, the joys of finding others who like the same books! Great post!


  4. Jasia says:

    I missed that treat of being read to by one's grandmother. Lucky you. As I read through the entries for this edition of the COG I find that many more people seem to identify early reading with a grandparent than with a parent. It's lovely that you have those precious memories. Thanks for sharing and for participating in the COG, Julie!


  5. Joan says:

    Julie, seems like we get to know one another well by what, when and how they read books. Thanks for the invitation to your life in books. Also related to paring down the deluge of books to those that are now my friends, that have guided me to this time and place.


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