I’ve been clutching books ever since.

I made a trip to the book fair in town yesterday. It opens once a year, and I always make it a point to visit it. Going to a single bookshop is one thing, but to visit a place where hundreds of bookshops are present… that’s just something else. I left with a number of bags filled with books. I think I spent a little more than I should, but I just can’t resist a good book when I see it.

In one bookshop, I found a collection of books I used to read often as a child. I plopped down before those shelves and started scanning them frantically, trying to locate that one book that will always mean a lot to me, no matter how old I get – the first book I chose myself in a book fair much like this one.

I still remember that day pretty clearly. It is probably my earliest memory. I was only four years old when my parents took me to a book fair for the first time. I had never been in a place with so many books before, and I was enthralled. I don’t think I had discovered my love for books until then, and I don’t think my parents realised it either. I timidly stood by my mother’s side as they scoured aisles with “grown-up” books until we finally passed by one place filled with colourful children books. They asked me I wanted something and I immediately said yes.

ThumbelinaMoments later I left the store clutching my first book – a Ladybird edition of Thumbelina. I wouldn’t even let the shop owner put it for me in a bag; I just clung on to it for dear life all the way home. I remember that’s when my “addiction” began, and I was pestering my parents for new books every week. I couldn’t get enough, but every once in a while, I would return to Thumbelina and read it all over again for old time’s sake.Β  It’s my favourite fairy tale.

I’m 24 now, and sometime between now and then, I lost my copy. Even my mother couldn’t tell me where it was. So yesterday as I leafed through the collection of the Ladybird Tiny Treasures, I was hoping against hope that I would find Thumbelina. I looked twice, but it just wasn’t there. To say I was disappointment would be an understatement.

I’m pretty happy with the books I bought yesterday. I even stepped into a store that sells used books for the first time and managed to unearth two books from a series (Sweet Valley) I used to like back in school. However, there’s no denying that hollow feeling I had over not finding that single important book. At least I have my memory to return to.

Do you remember the first book you ever bought/read? Do you still have it? =]

Yesterday's haul. :)

Yesterday’s haul. =D

This post is a response to today’s daily prompt, Childhood Revisited.

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27 thoughts on “I’ve been clutching books ever since.

  1. AH says:

    I remember the cover the blue, I think my mom gave it to me when we were in Kenya or something, of course it had pictures but that’s all i remember. great your memory is exact!

    • Maybe you could ask your mother about it? It’s possible she might remember! And I’m happy I managed to hold on to such a memory. πŸ˜€
      Thank you for commenting!

  2. Thumbelina was one of my favourite fairy tales while growing up. Even now when I see cartoon about the fairytale take me back to the memory lane πŸ™‚ Great post ! reminds me of my childhood πŸ™‚

  3. akosimacy says:

    Aah, I’m trying to remember the first book I’ve read, but I can’t! But I read a lot of Ladybird books when I was little, and I still have all of them, actually. I just can’t remember which one I’ve read first. The first chapter book I’ve read though was Full House Michelle: The Fastest Turtle in the West. And I still have it with me. πŸ™‚

    • Aww, you’re lucky to still have your books! I used to buy a lot of Ladybird books, but they’re all gone now. I’m pretty sure my younger siblings destroyed them. =[ I don’t remember my first chapter book, though… but I do recall that my first book that had more words than pictures was one by Enid Blyton, haha.

  4. Have you tried finding it online? There are many second-hand booksellers and they usually have old editions of books!
    I have no idea what the very first books was that I chose myself. We’ve always had books in every room of the house, even on the staircase… I still remember a lot of the books I used to read and love though, and they are packed away safe in boxes in the attic for the time when we have a new generation in the family. I’m sooooo looking forward to reading those stories to and with my little nieces and nephews and cousins! πŸ™‚

    • I will look into that, thank you for the tip! πŸ™‚
      You’re lucky to have lived in such a house. My parents didn’t have many books, and I was the first one to start collecting books in the house. That’s nice though; I imagine it would be lovely to open those boxes and reminiscence about these books. Among the second generation in the family, nobody likes to read, can you imagine? I’m practically an oddball in the family, haha.

  5. Thumbelina was my favourite fairy tale too. My grandma always used to read it to me. I can’t remember the first book I’ve ever read though.
    Love your post:)

    • Thumbelina is lovely. I don’t know what draws me to it so much, but I’ve always liked it. =D Maybe you could ask your parents?
      Thank you for the comment!

  6. I like your haul from yesterday. Was the Oz book in your lot, too? My mother had a lot of little books around the house for us to look at, and I remember a little Whitman book of Little Red Riding Hood. The wolf scared me so much, but I couldn’t stop “reading” it. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you had a fun day, Zen!

    • Yep! It’s a Marvel comic book. The art was so pretty I couldn’t resist. πŸ˜€ Little Red Riding Hood is one of my favourite stories! I remember mum used to tell it to me as a bedtime story often, haha. It was definitely fun, thank you, Maddie!

  7. I can’t remember the first book I read or bought. The book fair sounded like lots of fun. Glad you found a few things, even if it wasn’t exactly what you were hoping to find.

      • More than likely it was probably a Garfield comic book. We used to have monthly catalogs from Scholastic publishing handed out to us in school so we could order books to read at leisure. I think at one point I asked for my allowance to go towards that even though my mom would order books for me anyways.

        If it wasn’t a Garfield book, then it would have been some type of mystery novel bought at a thrift shop.

        • Garfield books are great, and comic books in general are. =D I didn’t get any allowance as a kid, but my parents bought me books anyway.

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