Literature& Independent Schools

What books did you read when you’re growing up? When I was a little girl. I did not exactly have the privileges of being showered by loads of books and toys at my every whim and fancy like kids these days does. I was born when my father was still a university student, and raising me was quite a task to my parents. We’re always on budget, and I grew up watching my father juggling his time being a student, a husband, and a father.

I grew up in a place called Coventry. A small town in England and was not easy for us as there’s always strain on money. But we were happy. I was happy, though I was not showered with material possession at my every whim and fancy. I did not feel I lacked anything, though. I was quite a docile child. I did not throw tantrum often, pretty easy to reason with and I don’t demand for things that I want, so, if my parents says I can’t have something because they don’t have enough money, I will forget about it.

Once a week, my father would bring me to those Boot Sale… where people sell their goods straight from their car boots. Most of the times, those goods are second hand goods. 😀 I loved this time of the week the most, because my father would buy me those second hand toys and books for me. They were very cheap. One could get a teddy bear at as low as 20p each, and second hand books at 10p each. That was a real bargain to us, considering all of the goods are usually in tip top condition.

I can still remember. My father bought me A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster, Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers, St. Clare’s and many more books by Ladybird’s Publication. My father bought a lot of books for me to read from the Boot Sale. And I would be really ecstatic because I don’t need to return them to the library once I finish reading them.

I love A Little Princess and Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers and St. Clare’s the most. Do you know what these books have in common? The plot of these books are set in boarding or Independent Schools. Books that’s centered around boarding schools really intrigue me. They’re usually very descriptive, and gets my imagination goes amok. I could wonder all night long on how huge and castle-like those boarding schools looks like and how ancient their libraries are.

Sometimes, apart from imagining how beautiful their school is, my mind would also stray to their libraries, where thousands of books and scriptures are kept for the benefit of the students.

Boarding schools’ libraries are always a mystery to me. I always imagine the characters in the books walking around in the middle of the night with a torchlight or a candle to look for some books to solve some mysteries or a murder.

I also admire the characters in those stories. School is always a part of their lives, and there will be a lot of adventures and misadventures in those Independent or boarding schools. I love to read about the characters’ antics during their term in school, and it really amaze me on how independent they can be.

And like many boarding school students… the students are usually smart and studious…well, they are, most of the time… when they’re not up to any mischief, that is.

I wonder if parents these days still buy classic story books for their children to read? I did not see much parents encouraging their children to read classics. I wonder why? Classics are a part of literary component and I think classic stories such as these instill great moral values to the readers too. Apart from high moral values, these classics too, emphasize on how important it is to be well mannered, having structures in their life and also how crucial it is to have a disciplined life.

Cleffairy: I don’t get it. Why…classics seems to be forgotten by today’s parents and teachers? Education is not just about exams, you know?


  1. claire says:

    U know something..last time when i was a teenager, I fantasized myself studying in a boarding school in England..never in US… why? cos i read a lot of Enid Blyton books on Malory Towers, Darell, The Twins in dont know what school.. and I love to read them over and over again… do u have those books? Wonder kathy got or not.. i love to read them again.. never mind my age!

  2. Elina says:

    I love Enid Blyton books and I’m trying to encourage my kids to read them. However, books these days are sooooo expensive.

    Just about a week ago, I went to the 2nd hand booth near my office, where they sell 2nd hand books from US but all Enid Blyton books were sold out. Proves that classics are still popular 🙂

  3. Cassie says:

    I love them!!! I love Malory Towers, St Clares.. and I adore Little Princess.. and a lot more.. secret garden, jane eyre.. blah blah blah.. I’m fortunate enough that I’m showered with books whenever I wish for it during my childhood.. I still remember the 1st ever book I learn to read by myself is Tom & Kate..(if I remember correctly..^^”) and I still have them with me.. all those children books as they are my treasure. I read and re-read many many times.. But I just don’t get those people who doesn’t like reading.. They miss out on so much things.. haha..

    • Cleffairy says:

      Cassie, I keep getting error when I try to comment in your blog. I don’t know why?

      Hahahaha… those books are irresistible, and once we finished reading them, we can read them over and over again. So different from the modern genre, right? Some books we’ll just put them away after finished reading them for the first time… but some of these classics… we won’t even get bored after reading them. 😛

      Yea… I dun get them too…they don’t know what they’re missing. It’s the best form of escapism!

  4. mnhl says:

    During my time, Sweet Valley was a hit. Most of my classmates have the collections but ONLY ME don’t because dad do not agree to buy. Both my parents are not RICH. Money was hard to earn and at the end, I think this lead to what I’m now. LAZY to read. hehe….I can sleep in a book in my hand.

  5. suituapui says:

    Car boot sale… If you come to Sarawak and speak to a Melanau, you mustn’t mention a car boot sale…because “kabut: in the ethnic language means “backside”. Muahahahahaha!!!! My daughter did not like Enid Blyton so much and Sweet Valley was a definite no-no! Not into romance at all! She read all kinds of other books though…and Archie comics. LOL!!!

    • Cleffairy says:

      Hahahahah… learn another word today. Hahahahahha….Eh… your daughter did not like Enid’s books? Oooo… I dun like Sweet Valley High too… I prefer Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys… along with The Babysitter’s Club.

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