Sooty's Annual 1963

My First Book

  12+   To celebrate International Literacy Day 2017, Penguin Books Australia asked on Facebook: What is the first book you remember reading?

I don’t remember my first book, but it must have been a Sooty or Joe 90 Annual - I still have the former, but sadly the latter has long since gone missing.

I lived with my grandparents as a kid, and they had kept my father’s Film Fun Annuals from the 1940s. And I recall reading the comic-book style stories about Laurel and Hardy, and Abbott and Costello et al.

Enid Blyton Inspiration

As for “chapter books”, I read my father’s Biggles’ adventure stories (“Chocks away, Algy!”), and I loved reading Enid Blyton‘s Secret Seven and Famous Five series.

In fact, Enid Blyton’s books inspired me to write (and illustrate!) my own adventure book as a ten-year-old, Sand Island (on RobertFairhead.com). And I still have treasure first-and-only edition!!

So while I don’t remember the first book I read, I remember the first book I wrote, 45 years ago! 

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What about you? What is the first book you remember reading?

© 2017 Robert Fairhead

N.B. Originally published on my blog at RobertFairhead.com. You might also be interested in this blog post, The Gorilla Hunters by RM Ballantyne (March 2018). It’s about one of my father’s first books.

Grammarly

Robert Fairhead

A middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert Fairhead is an editor and writer at Tall And True, and blogs on his eponymous website, RobertFairhead.com.

His favourite pastimes include reading and writing, walking his dog, and watching Aussie Rules Football with his son. He is also a part-time dog trainer and runs classes at his local dog training club and through Robert's Responsible Dog Training.

Robert has worked as an electrician, a computer programmer, and a sales and marketing consultant, and he is the principal copywriter at Rocher Communications.

His book reviews and writing on dogs have appeared in newspapers and online. And in 2020, he published a collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story.

Robert has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.