I’ve always been a bit of a book worm so the idea of World Book Day really appeals. As a young girl, you’d find me curled up in my bedroom with the latest Hardy Boys mystery books. I loved the idea of escaping reality. Who doesn’t? Looking back, I treated my bedroom almost like a stairway to another world. The top of the Faraway Tree, or an escape to Never Never Land. As soon as I tucked myself under the covers and opened one of my books, I was away – and only came back to reality when called down for dinner.
We didn’t have “World Book Day” when I was at school, but I’d have loved to be Wendy from Peter Pan for a day, or Nancy Drew from the Hardy Boys. Maybe even Sherlock Holmes – why not? I had the fingerprint kit and everything.
So here’s 5 books that I would take to a desert island with me. 5 books that have shaped my imagination. That have taught me where I fit in the world. That teach me truth every day.
1 PETER PAN | J M BARRIE
Peter and Wendy, the Lost Boys, cheeky Tinkerbell and Nana, the loveliest family dog.
Flying to Neverland was my whole world for many years. “Second star to the right and straight on til morning”.
I still flick through my illustrated Nursery Peter Pan sometimes and remember how joyous it makes me feel. There was always danger. But with danger comes adventure. A ticking crocodile, a band of pirates. Captain Hook and the Jolly Roger.
It’s the ultimate escape destination and if I could choose one fairytale to actually be a real place – it would be Neverland every time.
2 HARVEY’S HIDEOUT | RUSSELL HOBAN
A lesser known children’s book but anyone who grew with an annoying brother or sister will get Harvey’s Hideout immediately.
Mildred and Harvey are sibling muskrats who between them learn that being selfish and inconsiderate (Harvey) or loudmouthed and bossy (Mildred) is not helpful behaviour. Being best friends in a secret club with just 2 members is much more fun.
I think it was the secret underground den that appealed to me. Having somewhere to hide away from everyone else. It must have had an impact because I still look for these places even now.
3 BILLY BULLRUSH & THE HOUSEMARTINS | JOHNNY MORRIS
If you’re above a certain age, you’ll remember growing up with Johnny Morris on children’s TV. Most notably Animal Magic and Tales of the Riverbank. I loved this book as a child and kept it for many years.
My most favourite moment with this book was on the morning of my wedding, sitting up in bed on a sunny June morning and reading it to my my toddler nephew while all the wedding hoo-ha went on around us. Happy days.
Billy was an loveable otter learning how to build his home with a little help from the local house martins.
4 THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER | AA MILNE
Winnie the Pooh is everyone’s friend – right? Until Disney got their hands on him and made him bright yellow and very squeaky.
Pooh is sometimes silly. Often serious. Full of his own brand of wisdom. Supremely loyal and the most comforting friend in pretty much any situation
My original well worn paperbacks will always be with me to cheer me along life’s pathway.
5 NEW MORNING MERCIES | PAUL DAVID TRIPP
Finally, a book that is rooted in some kind of reality. New Morning Mercies isn’t a fairy tale at all.
There are no fierce pirates, talking piglets or feuding muskrats. Just 365 soul-lifting gospel devotionals to peruse with your morning coffee.
Paul Tripp tells how he started with tweeting 3 bible thoughts every day and it was so well received that he set about turning it into 365 daily devotionals. It’s just a page a day, and takes about 10 minutes with your bowl of granola and morning coffee.
So now it’s your turn. Are you a reader? Which books would you take to a desert island. Of course it’s not just the books. I would need my reading specs, a comfy armchair, an endless cup of tea. A luxury hotel room with a view would be quite nice too.
I also write the occasional book review if you’re interesting.
That’s all for now.
Happy World Book Day.