Like many girls, and particularly girls who were avid readers, and even more particularly girls who grew up to like historical clothing, I love Anne of Green Gables and L.M. Montgomery.
I either owned or had the Anne books on constant loan from the library, and I read, and re-read them, until I knew every detail of Anne’s life, and that of her children.
Then I availed myself of Hawaii’s wonderful state public library system, which allowed you to order books from any library in the state, and moved on to Anne’s other heroines.
I got to know Pat (whose devotion to cats I shared, but whose devotion to a house seemed a tiny bit excessive), Jane (who I admired for her kind heart), Marigold (too young, but loads of fun), Emily (who, to be perfectly honest, I thought needed a good slap, and who I still have trouble reading about without rolling my eyes and thinking “seriously girl, just get over yourself”, but who is probably responsible for my tendency to over-use italics), the Story Girl (interesting, but the first book too fragmented, the second, too sad), Kilmeny (man, that book is problematic!), and finally, Valancy, whose story I found deliciously risqué, because I was the most widely read but determinedly innocent teenager to ever exist (see, I told you, Emily’s fault!).
As an adult, I’m determinedly refusing to give up the things I loved as a child and grow up and read “adult” novels (mostly). So I’m having a lovely time assembling a full collection of Anne books – in glorious hardcover (like technicolour, but stiffer, and on a book), because I like my books to be as book-ish as possible.
The collection was going slowly, until a stop at a junk shop manned by a hairy Viking in a kilt* on the way to Art Deco Weekend (true story) yielded almost the entire set of Anne books, and The Golden Road, and Magic for Marigold.
The hairy Viking said “Oh, I’m glad to get rid of these. They are so outdated and no-one reads these anymore”, thus earning himself a glare and a muttered “that’s what you think” as I snatched my precious. If no one reads Anne anymore it’s a sad, sad world!
This does mean that I now have duplicates of a couple of the Anne books, so have to decide which ones I want to keep. Oh stress!
But look how cute they are! Particularly The Golden Road, with it’s great ’30s cover:
It also means that my bookshelves are starting to overflow. I really hate when I have to start stacking books on top of each other. It feels so disrespectful. Books should never be tossed or put on the floor or have their pages folded, and ideally, they should all have their own little spot on the shelf to stand in.*
Yep. I have book issues!
But oh, such lovely books! How could you not want to take the best possible care of all of them? How can you not want to love them and pat them and tell them what good little books they are and that you are going to read them over and over again?
Any other Anne fans? Surely we can prove the hairy Viking wrong?
And if not Anne, are there any childhood books you hold dear and are collecting?
* does not apply to rubbish books. Certain popular novels can be folded, flayed, dropped on the floor, in the bath, and have food dropped on them with abandon.