The altar I worship at

I still remember that day. I was ten, perhaps. I had arrived at my grandparents house for vacation and was sorely missing my home, my street and my friends who were, at that very moment maybe, playing a round of “hide and seek” or “lock and key” or “crocodile”, without me. I was fuming at the unfairness of it all and had already begun counting down to the day I went back. To distract myself, I started going through my grandparents shelves looking for something that I could play with. And that’s when it happened.

An old, dust covered book caught my eye and I took it out to examine it. I opened it and saw the words “First Term at Malory Towers – Enid Blyton” written in bold across the sheet. Since I had nothing else to do, I sat down and started reading. And the rest is history. I fell in love. With the book. With the author. With the characters. With the wonderful, exciting lives they seemed to lead!

I finished the book in a single day and I went back for more. I finished the rest of the “Malory Towers” and moved on to “The Famous Five” (Julian might have been my first ever crush), “The Five Find-outers and Dog”, “Secret Seven”, “The Adventure Series”, “The Magic Faraway Tree”…!!! I even devoured all the Kiddie Series…It was sheer bliss!

With every new book, there was a new person to meet, a new adventure to go on, a new mystery to solve and I got to be a part of it! I hunted for clues, went on hikes, rescued kidnapped friends, entered strange lands and put the bad guys in prison. It was a different world, a world of unparalleled imagination and I loved it! I remember forgoing plans with family or friends and sitting curled up on the couch with my nose buried in one of Blyton’s books. A perfect cure for all those bad days. I must have read all her books a thousand times.

Even to this day I will gladly sit down to read one of her books and grin with pleasure everytime Mamzelle Dupont bungles up her english or Kiki saves the day or a new land appears on top of the Faraway tree. If you have never read an Enid Blyton book, then I really feel sorry for you. You have NO IDEA what you’ve missed. She has and always will be my favourite author (Rowling comes a very, very, close second). She introduced me to, and made me fall in love with, one of the greatest pleasures in life – Reading.

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