24th October 17

I’m a massive hoarder and I’ve got the bookshelf and under-bed storage to prove it. I like to keep EVERYTHING that has literally any sentimental meaning to me, as well as a good 50% of the things which mean nothing, but I just can’t bear to get rid of. I have polaroids up on my wall which feature people who I don’t really know anymore, because throwing away a photo seems like a sin to me. I have about 40 empty ASOS bags under my bed because they’re good for returns and I don’t want to get rid of them. I have empty perfume bottles in my draws because they’re just so pretty I can’t let go. So, it probably won’t come as a surprise when I say I still have a huge collection of books which were my favourite reads when I was a kid. I’ve got rid of a lot of them, but there are a few which I really can’t let go of.


I think books have a lot of sentimental value, especially ones from your childhood. These are the ones which helped to shape you when you were growing up. The first bits of information and life morals which you ever read and started to store up in your head. I’ve kept quite a few of the books which I loved when I was a kid because they feel special to me. They’re all fantastic stories which made my childhood a little brighter and taught me some really important life lessons which I still apply today.


Love Lessons – Jacqueline Wilson.


Jacqueline Wilson was absolutely my favourite author when I was growing up. Her stories always made me feel so much older than I was and some of them tackled some really important issues, which, looking back, I was lucky to have been exposed to at an early age. The Jacqueline Wilson book which I used to read over and over was Love Lessons. It tells the story of Prue, who falls in love with her high school art teacher. I honestly used to obsess over this book because I felt like such an adult reading it. I’ve kept a lot of books by Wilson because they were important to me in a time when I was developing from a kid into a young teen.


Matilda – Roald Dahl


The first time I read Matilda, I was probably about 8 years old and I truly felt like I was reading a book about myself. Matilda is inquisitive and loves to read and discover new information, and this is exactly the type of kid that I was. Always shut away with my head in a book. Roald Dahl’s books always gave me a sense that I was normal and that I was doing okay. They taught me that it was okay to be different and that creativity and kindness were key. Matilda still has a place on my shelf and a place in my heart.


The Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton


The Faraway Tree book that I have is a huge hardback collection of all of The Faraway Tree stories. Because they’re all packed into one volume, the book is pretty big, and this felt even bigger to me when I was younger. I can remember reading this book multiple times and each time feeling like I was the coolest kid going for managing to read such a huge book. The Faraway Tree stories were honestly so magical to me when I was growing up. I used to adore every single character and the worlds that they’d find each time they went on a new adventure. I can remember so desperately wanting the stories to be real so that I could go and find the tree and go on an adventure too. This is a book I’ll definitely be passing on to my own children one day.


The Chronicles of Narnia – C. S. Lewis


The Chronicles of Narnia books, as with Blyton’s books, had me pining for a faraway world to appear and be my very own secret. I loved the idea of stumbling upon a world which was all your own and making new friends there. I fell in love with Narnia as a kid and I really feel like reading books like these ones helped my imagination to grow. I was always creating new worlds in my head for myself to disappear into, and later, I was writing about them.


Harry Potter – J. K. Rowling


How could I not mention Harry Potter on this list? I started to read the Harry Potter books a little later into my childhood than all of the other books mentioned, but I fell in love with them just as much, and they helped me to develop in the same way that all of my childhood reading did. The Harry Potter books offered a home to me when I was growing up, and became another world which I could wonder into from the inside of my head. It’s main characters became my friends and I fell head over heels for them. I still have every book lined up on my bookshelf and continue to read them often. I could never part with them.