The wonderful world of Enid Blyton

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Enid Blyton has been a great influence in my life. Yes, she’s a children’s writer but still I cannot put down her books. I read my first EB book at the age of 16 which was very late. I feel sad and frustrated for not knowing about her books in my childhood days.

My first EB book was an EB Omnibus consisting of the following stories:

  1. The Yellow fairy book (aka The Queer adventure)

      2.    The First Green Goblin book and The Second Green Goblin book (aka The Green Goblin book)

It was by accident that I stumbled upon this book at a second-hand book shop. I was rummaging through a pile of books when a big red book caught my attention – it was a magical moment – and there started my Enid Blyton journey. I loved that book as soon as I started to read it. At that time I didn’t know anything about the number of books that EB had written and so I had no idea of pursuing her other books. My frenzy for EB started when one of my best friends presented a ‘Famous Five book – Five get into a fix’ on my 17th Birthday. I totally fell in love with that book. That book had a listing of all the Famous Five books – 21 books in total. And needless to say I decided to savour each and every book. After completing my first Famous Five book I went to The Landmark, a bookshop near my house to buy another FF book. As soon as I went into the Kids section I knew that I had hit the jackpot – there in a big rack were stacked many of EB’s books – the Famous Five, Five Find-Outers, Secret seven, Adventure series, Barney Mysteries and much much more. In that shop, EB was the only author who had a whole rack dedicated to her. I am now 23 years old and so far I have read 20 FF books and many other EB books (more than 60 books). I have decided that I will read the 21st FF book only when I am on a happy holiday tour (just like the Famous Five) or at a point in my life when I feel very happy.  I never knew that books could give me warmth and pleasure until I read EB’s books.

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Other than EB what do I read?

I read almost every type of book – history (I love history), self-help books, fiction books for grown-ups, classics, comics, fiction for children and young adults by other authors, biographies or autobiographies (once in a blue moon) and books on science. In a year, 60% of my reading would consist of EB books and more than 25% on fantasy books by other authors (I love fantasy) and the other kind of books would fill up the remaining slots. Other than this I do some internet reading. I don’t read poetry, though I very rarely write some when I am strongly inspired by something/someone.

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 The magic of Enid Blyton:                                                                                                                                               

So what’s so special about EB? I’ll do a small comparison.

Enid Blyton vs. J.K.Rowling

I’ll first try to explain how Rowling is superior to EB and then how EB is superior to Rowling.

Rowling:

Needless to say, the Harry Potter books are absolutely fantastic. A special treat for book lovers. Rowling’s imagination and description are certainly superior to that of Blyton. The books are super fast; contrarily Blyton’s books move on a slower pace (I really shouldn’t say slower because some chapters are slow and some are fast). If you are going to give me a cup of tea while I am reading Harry Potter, it’s going to be a hindrance to my flow of reading. The books are magic. Rowling is really a wizard! (Or should I say witch?)

Blyton:

So what did this lady write in comparison to Rowling’s HP books that have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide? Well, she just wrote books that have sold more than 400 million copies. 400 million?!!!  But the difference is that Rowling’s books sell at a faster rate. So she would catch up. Enid Blyton died in the year 1968, but still 11 million copies of her books are sold every year. Enough with the statistics. I like her books not because of these stats. I came to know of these stats only after falling in love with her. So why do I love her?

Her books give me warmth, pleasure and happiness. I never knew that books can give these until I started reading EB’s books. My heart smiles with content when I read her books. Her books transport my mind to beautiful picturesque villages and towns of Britain. Reading a FF book with a cup of tea in hand is a great pleasure that only Blyton fans can understand.

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In 2008 I came across two Enid Blyton websites that were simply smashing!

They are – enidblytonsociety.co.uk and enidblyton.net. I jumped with joy when I learnt that there are people like me (and even older than me – in fact, Grandpas and Grandmas) in this world who are mad about Blyton.

Sometimes I post messages in the message board of both these sites and I also join some of the discussions in the forums of the Enid Blyton society site. From this site I came to know of the Enid Blyton Day that takes place every year in England. I have taken it in my head to attend this celebration sometime in the future. The members and moderators of these sites are very friendly, good natured people, just like the characters of Blyton.

                                                                                                                                                      

 Update (30/5/2014): It has been more than two years sine I touched an EB book! Reading a lot of other stuff; but EB, I’ll come back to you!

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7 thoughts on “The wonderful world of Enid Blyton

  1. Nice to see a post on Enid Blyton! You have mentioned the Five Find-outers (led by Fatty) and the Famous Five in your posts – but have you read her books on Mallory Towers and St. Clare’s? Yes, I know these are girls’ boarding schools, but there are many interesting student-student and teacher-student situations, and I was wondering if you had a comment on them.

    On another note, apparently shops like Landmark now no longer stock new EB books, and one has to get them second-hand in Chennai. Is this true? What are the best places in Chennai to get EB books today?

    • No, I haven’t read either of those series because of its girls-centric content. I did buy a Malory Towers book, but I never read it. Maybe I’ll give it a try sometime.

      Landmark has fallen under hard times. Out of their three outlets in Chennai, only one remains now and even there the collection is getting smaller and smaller. There was a time when you could buy computer science books there, but not anymore. I did see EB books about two months back; not sure if this is still the case. But we can still buy EB books from other bookshops like Higginbothams, Starmark, etc. I felt really unhappy as I saw the decline of Landmark. They sold a lot of books at 70 to 80% percent discounts before shutting down their outlets. It used to be my favourite bookshop.

  2. So sad to hear of Landmark’s woes. It’s always bad when bookstores shut down, particular ones as prominent as Landmark. I had not heard of Starmark previously.

    If you already have a Malory Towers book, you could give it a read if you ever find yourself with time on your hands, especially as you are a fan of EB. As you said, Malory Towers and St. Clare’s are ‘girl-centric’ but they are also school stories, just like the ‘boys-centric’ Billy Bunter stories and Anthony Buckeridge’s marvellous Jennings series. I remember there was much speculation that the incidences in Malory Towers could have been autobiographical, because the main character there is called Darrell Rivers, and EB’s (second) husband’s name was Kenneth Darrell Waters. But people could be reading too much into this. She could have just chosen that name because she was very, very fond of her husband and nothing more than that.

  3. Yes, it is sad and it worries me when I think if this trend will continue as more and more people are relying on the Internet to buy books. Browsing books in a bookshop is such a pleasurable thing.

    I will give Malory Towers a try 🙂

  4. Thanks to you, I discovered Starmark yesterday. The manager admitted it is getting harder and harder to sell books these days. They do have many EB books.

  5. Pingback: The Mystery of the Hidden House – Dexternepo's Blog

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