A clockwork tortoise, a magic tree, and The Beano

I’m not usually one for sentimentality. Most of the things from my childhood have been thrown away, lost, or have otherwise disappeared along the way.

Saying that, while digging through boxes I came across some old books. These are books that are old enough, or memorable enough, to have survived the great Kindle purge of the early 2010s.

I thought it would be fun to show a few here.

First up is Johnny The Tin Tortoise.


This was given to me by my grandparents and the main attraction is obviously the name of the tortoise. It’s a simple book with simple pictures that somehow managed to explain what an idiom is. It didn’t make a lot of sense to my young brain, but is the first thing in my head whenever I hear that word.


Next is an old encyclopaedia. I believe it was owned by an uncle and has always been in a bad state. I used to pore over this as a boy, mainly for the pictures. It’s fun to look back and see the state of the world as it was then.



Another book is the Magic Faraway Tree. Mine is a big hardback edition with lots of lovely pictures.


How many times have I read this book? Well, enough that I decided to mark the number of times I’d read each chapter. Apparently I got to four before giving up on that idea.


This was actually the very first book I read by myself. We were being babysat by a neighbour, and I asked them to read the book. They replied that I should read it myself. And so I did.


It’s surprising how antiquated it feels, casual racism and sexism aside.


Finally is a copy of the Beano annual I picked up from a flea market a long time ago. I also wanted a sword, but my parents wisely wouldn’t cough up the money for that.


I believe it’s the first edition, printed in 1939 or something. It smells like chocolate and the pages are cardboard.

It’s a big tome of a comic annual and some of the characters have survived through to this day (except the overtly racist ones).




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