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Diana Grant or Gloriousconfusion Book Collector

Updated on September 12, 2014
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I've always been a keen reader and have so many books that I couldn't hope to read them all in my lifetime. I love being surrounded by them

My Book Collection Started When I was Nine

Enid Blyton's Famous Five were my first loves

I would buy one book a week with my pocket money and soon went on to read the Magic Faraway Tree series, The Secret Seven, and as many of the boarding school books as I could lay my hands on. For some reason which I can't now recall, I always thought the Twins at St. Clare's were better than the Mallory Towers books, but I read both series avidly, and thus was I psychologically prepared for boarding school, where I wallowed in books during my formative years.

Image: - This is one of my antiquarian books - The Tales of a Grandfather

At School I Was Known as Bookworm

Our school library was awesome

I was seldom without a book - I would even carry one into morning assembly and sneak a few pages whilst everyone else was singing hymns.

I discovered Noel Streatfield and Lorna Hill - wonderful books about ballet school and families who lived in huge houses with a fleet of servants. I remember one family who fell on such hard times that they had to sack all their domestic staff except the cook. I read the Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott, and What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next - and I drank in their lives and all their earnest endeavours and misfortunes. Even being bedridden like Katy taught me what it must be like to be confined to bed for months. I loved Just William and the lithping Violet Elizabeth and collected and read much of the series. Then there was Jennings the naughty schoolboy and his cohorts. They came out a lot later than the Richmall Crompton's William books, and were therefore more modern, and caught the spirit of the era - my era.

Image above: Two Jennings books by Anthony Buckridge

Rupert Annuals, Beano and Dandy Annuals, Eagle, Superman, Captain Marvel - I loved the comics and comic strips and was naturally given annuals for Christmas

I lived in Africa at that time, and we used to get the American versions of the American comic strip heroes, like Mary Marvel, Batman and Robin, Superman and so forth - and i can tell you they were much better than the English versions at that time - when I went to England I found the English versions quite disappointing - I think the American ones were better colours, or more lurid or something (or maybe they were just not censored so much and were considered unsuitable for the sensibilities of little English children).

Image above: Rupert Annual 1958

If you would like to buy this vintage Rupert Annual for £25 using Paypal, you can contact me

Books About Books - See What Amazon is Offering

More lovely books - this time to assist you in collecting and valuing your own books

The Meaning of Home:

Shelves and shelves of lovely books waiting to be caressed and read!

I'm very cheap to entertain - just leave me in a room full of books and I'll say I've had a wonderful time

More About Books After the Intermission

I start on the adults's books then

You'll find a real trip down memory lane

I started boarding school in 1952 and I became an even more voracious reader - by the time I left school I had read most of the fiction in the library.

Take The Poll Below - Is Reading a Dying Form of Activity? - Do You Read Much? See How You Match Up to Other Pollsters

A modicum of reading will probably always be necessary, at least in the foreseeable future - else how would you read the instructions on your ready-made meals, or read the football scores, and a thousand other things like shopping on-line and choosing an Avatar or your Member of Parliament?

But how about reading a four-hundred page book like A J Rowling's Harry Potter or Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? And What about nine-hundred pages like Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, or Tolstoy's War and Peace?

Do you think that reading for pleasure or information is dying out?

See results

I Started Reading Adult's Books from the Age of Eleven - We had a huge number of school set books

We read most of the Dickens books and Shakespearean plays as set books, two or more a term. We also had to read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I really enjoyed them, sometimes with help from our excellent teachers.

Not only did we have two or three set books a term, but we were also expected to read classics during the school holidays. It was a bit of a chore at the time, but I am grateful now.


I also studied Latin books (in Latin, I'm afraid), like Caesar's Gallic Wars (and there were a lot, I can tell you), the poetry of Ovid and the speeches and poetry of Catullus (who was a famous Roman lawyer). Homer'sThe Odyssey and The Illiad. Some of Ovid's poetry was considered too rude for innocent schoolgirls, but, having learnt Latin for five years, I grabbed a copy of his Ars Amatiae (The Art of Love) as soon as I had left school. The school was right!

I Was at Boarding School, so Had Plenty of Time to Read Novels

It was the 1950's and I read many of the popular novels of the era

I loved Neville Shute who was very popular at that time - The Far Country, On the Beach, A Town Like Alice.

Then there was Richard Gordon's iconoclastic series about doctors - Doctor in the House, Doctor at Sea, and on and on. He was a doctor himself, so the stories had a ring of truth. Then there was Nicholas Montsarrat - the Cruel Sea and The Ship That Died of Shame - again writing from his own wartime experiences.

Our school library was impressive, but although there was every kind of encyclopaedia and novel, we didn't do blatant sex. Gone with the Wind was passed round surreptitiously when I was about 15, and I read The Sheikh when I was 16 - all fluttering eyelashes and being swept off her feet in a tent - hot stuff for a teenager with a protected upbringing. I expect it would be considered very tame nowdays, when you see humping people on the cinema screen as a matter of course in many films. It was all more tastefully done when I was a girl - just a meaningful look and a boudoir door closing.

By the time I left school at the age of sixteen, I had quite an extensive vocabulary.

Then I discovered Historical Romances and Adventures - With my fertile imagination I lived these stories!

I read nearly all the historical romances of Georgette Hayer and, less well known, Rafael Sabatini and historical adventure stories - Baroness Orczy's Scarlet Pimpernel series ("They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere! Is he in heaven or is he in hell, that damned elusive Pimperne!").

These led on to other books about France - The Man in the Iron Mask, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Margeurite and Les Miserables. And, of course, Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities I still remember the opening and closing quotes - they made an indelible impression on my mind: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." and " 'Tis a far, far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before, 'tis a far, far better place where I go now than I have ever been before". And then he dies on the scaffold, a hero who has given his life in exchange for saving another man's life.

Then there were all the Conan Doyle books - not only the Edwardian Sherlock Holmes mysteries but his stories of Sir Nigel at the Crusades. And I loved Rider Haggard books - She, King Solomon's Mines and Alan Quartermain, and John Buchan's The Thirty Nine Steps. And The Prisoner of Zenda and Rupert of Hentzau.

Popular True War Stories

"Lest we Forget"

Then there were all the popular true stories arising from the War, like The Great Escape, The Dam Busters, Stalag Lufft, and The Wooden Horse.

I was inspired, and have remained so today, by Reach for the Sky, the rivetting story of Douglas Bader, the ace pilot who lost his legs in a flying accident and overcame his disability by learning to walk again and later to fly aircraft).

Then there was The Diary of Anne Frank, another inspirational story, and numerous books about very brave spies. such as Odette, some of whom were caught and tortured, and stories of separation and loss.

My Mother encouraged me, nay, insisted that I should read these books, so that I would know what happened and understand - "Lest we Forget", she would say. And quite right too.

In later years, the 1960's, I read Leon Uris's Mila 18 about the Warsaw uprising, QBII a court trial about about the role of a Polish doctor in a German concentration camp, and Exodus, a fictional account of the persecution of the Jews and how and why Israel was set up. I also read many other books about the consequences of the war and about war criminals, Indeed, when I was studying International Law, I was fascinated by the legal complexities involved in the hunting down and kidnap of the war criminal Eichmann, and his trial and execution in Israel.

By the time I had finished reading all those books, and more, I had some feel for what people had suffered. They were harrowing, but a necessary part of my education.

Image source: Wikimedia - Odette Sanson

Why not join an eBay Auction for First Edition Books?

If you haven't used eBay before, just sign up and register with them, and then you can start bidding.

Be careful to check the descriptions and cost of postage carefully to make sure that items are in good condition, and that the cost of post and packing is reasonable. Then away you go. You can pay by credit card, or PayPal. I always use PayPal for everything online. Again, it's easy to sign up for PayPal, and most online sellers now accept payments made this way.


What sort of books do you read or collect - or have you got any other irritating habits?

Come and Visit my Guestbook here - Leave Your Mark, Say Hallo, Shoot the Breeze

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    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I remember taking my daughter to the theatre when she was about 8. She started crying in the middle of the play and when I asked her why she was crying, she said it was because she was reading Heidi during the performance because the play was boring, and it was so sad!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      We had this wonderful collection of hardback children's stories, all the classics, when I was a child. I can still remember writing my name in crayon with backwards letters at the age of 4 on the page for the story Heidi. I had every story read to me in that series and then I read every volume myself (I think there were 15 volumes). That was the beginning of my world of discovery through books and I haven't stopped reading since.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      I have read my whole life also-have my special books that I won't part with and read at least for a part of each day- nicely done.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      There are some names up there I don't recognize, but I have always loved to read! I remember reading Gone with the Wind--several years younger than you I think. And Mary stewart, Helen MacInnes in young teens. I think kids will keep reading-it's so good for their imagination! So enjoyed your lens!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Some of my grandchildren are avid readers, some not. So all is not quite lost yet

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 4 years ago

      I love to read and there is somthing magical about having a book in your hands. I do have an electronic device but go back to regular books and mags. I am concerned that our young folks will substitute the Internet with games, chat, ? and they will not know what it is to stimulate the mind with a good book. GREAT LENS.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @AlleyCatLane: That's the trouble - too many interesting distractions

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @ComfortsOfHome: Funny how the memories come flooding back, isn't it?

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 4 years ago

      Ohhh, Rupert - I'd forgotten him!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. We're a family of readers so we know how you feel! My wife still loves Rupert and I try to get her the new annual every year...

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      I was an avid reader from childhood until about my fifties, then I became more involved with computers and now I only read a book occasionally.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @anonymous: me! But as a TV programme, not a book

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nice lens, anyone remember Muffin the Mule?

    • Keith J Winter profile image

      Keith Winter 5 years ago from Spain

      I used to get a Rupert Bear book every year for Christmas when I was a kid. I wonder what happened to them all. Nice lens.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 5 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love my book collection too! Enid Blyton's Famous Five were also among my first loves.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed reading about your book collection. Thanks for sharing. I loved the movie Empire of the Sun.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Elsie Hagley: Yes, those little stories were very enjoyable - I used to read them too. You might like my lens

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. Brought back memories. I Love Rupert the bear. In the 1950's the local newspaper used to run a little story six days a week, every morning when the daily news arrived, I made a bee-line to read it. Thanks for sharing Blessed.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 7 years ago

      Thank you for het angel blessing. I have lensrolled this lens to my Antiquarian Authors lens.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 7 years ago

      You and I are so much alike except that I was born after 1960. I too grew up reading Enid Blyton's Famous Five, Secret Seven and I loved the Adventurous Four books as well. Now about the school series. My preference was for Mallory Towers.The main reason was that St Clare books were a lot harder to get hold of.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @mugshot lm: There is also another book called The Rise of the Third Reich by Richard Grunberger, which I have read. I knew him and he was one of the children on the first Kindertrein out of Germany - knowing how unsafe Germany was for Jews, children were sent out of Germany by their parents - and he was adopted by a Jewish family in London. Most of his family in Germany did indeed perish during the war. He started work as a tailor in the East End of London, and educated himself to become one of the most erudite people I knew. As a social historian he was well respected and wrote several books.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      "Rocket Moms is a gathering of the smartest women on the web, working together to make Squidoo lenses"

      I'm glad you are modest!

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 7 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Such a personnal and interesting lens! I am now going to take your Book Quiz: - Which Country or Place?...lets see how I do:)

    • mugshot lm profile image

      mugshot lm 7 years ago

      Im currently reading the Times History of the World (latest edition) and Warriors: British Fighting Heroes by Ross Kemp. I also just bought an 1876 Bible which I plan to read (Ive never read the Bible in full!).

      My main love is military history and I have quite an interesting collection of new and old books. My favourite is The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L Shirer (I have the first edition).

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @anonymous: Why be modest when, with a little bit of chutzpa, you can be outrageous?

      I am a great believer in aspirational affirmations.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Stazjia: Thank you for the Angel blessing.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @kimmanleyort: Thank you so much for the blessing

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      A fellow book lover! I really enjoyed reading about your life through books. Excellent and blessed.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      I like to read biographies and an occasional fiction if it's really good!

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

      Hi Diana, I've been away for some time and just came back this week . I've been through tons of reading phases during my life, from Agatha Christie to Herman Hesse...but don't have time for much at the moment. I do collect Rupert annuals as I love the illustrations, especially the one's by Bestall. Am going to check out your childrens book lens.

    • jp1978 profile image

      jp1978 7 years ago

      I love all kinds of books, but children's books are my favorite.

    • KeemaWolf profile image

      Fiona Findlay 7 years ago from Queensland, Australia

      I ADORE your lens! I remember when I was 8 years old, I really got the hang of reading, and from there, there was NO stopping me! My first full time job as an adult was actually in a library! Have you read Elsie J. Oxenham? She wrote an extensive series generally referred to as "The Abbey Girls". Check her out, if you haven't already!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Amazingly, I think I read every book you read at about the same ages. This page really has brought back memories for me. Reading has been my favourite pastime ever since I first learned to read. I go into panic mode if I don't have a book to read. When I go away for a weekend, I always take a minimum of 2 books. Lensrolled and blessed by an Angel.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      Oh, I have a terribly irritating habit ... I collect books and then can't bear to sell them. Really enjoyed reading your story and visiting your website. Did you ever read the Anne of Green Gables series? It was one of my favorites next to the Little Women books. I read so much science fiction during high school that my English teacher wrote on my report card that I had a fine mind but was going to ruin it by reading all that science fiction. Very nice to meet you in this lens; I totally share your love of books.


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