Inheritance Books: Suzanne from Lavender Librarian

Children Reading by Valerie Everett

It’s a huge pleasure to have one of my favourite book bloggers on Inheritance Books. Suzanne’s Librarian Lavender blog not only showcases great books, she also showcases some amazing Etsy shops on her blog. (I blame  her for my out of control Etsy habit).

Hi Suzanne, welcome to Inheritance Books. Would you like a biscuit – fresh from the oven? While they cool down, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?

SuzanneMy name is Suzanne and I’m 34 years old. I’m living together with my husband in a seaside town in the Netherlands. Books are my passion which is why I studied Literature and Marketing of Culture/Books. My biggest wish is to become an author one day. It has taken me a while to find my own voice and to discover what kind of stories I’d like to write, but I’m doing exactly what I want to do now, which makes me very happy.

Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special? 

My maternal grandparents used to have a lot of books. Whenever I was there they always encouraged me to read something. My parents both like to read and when I was a child I was allowed to read whatever I fancied. I was read to a lot and could already read when I was four years old. I didn’t have the chance to buy any books of my own though which is something I missed.

These days it’s no problem to get books. I’m Dutch, but mainly read English books and I can find whatever I fancy online. When I was younger I had no such luck. I lived in a village where there wasn’t a decent bookstore and at school it depended on the teacher if there was anything that was worth reading. I was usually bored and in my last year of primary school there was nothing left for me to do. Fortunately my teacher had a large collection of brilliant children’s books and I devoured them all. A year later I already moved on to adult literature as there was no YA for me to read, so I’m forever grateful that I had the chance to catch up on children’s books before it was too late.

My father’s mother used to work at a pharmacy. She was a great student and completed the training to become an assistant in six months instead of a year. When she was pregnant of my father she had to leave and as a goodbye gift they gave her a book. When she was 80 years old she passed it on to me, because I love books and she knew I would treasure it.

My mother’s mother gave me several sets of The Famous Five books. I loved them when I was a child. As soon as I was considered old enough to read thrillers she introduced me to books by Robin Cook and Elizabeth George. I started reading them when I was fifteen years old and couldn’t get enough of them. I still like to read them, but there are also other genres I enjoy.

I loved the Famous Five as a child and enjoyed them all over again when reading them to my daughter. I love Robin Cook’s books too.

Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why? 

IMG_5218[1]Volken(1)I would like to let the future generation know that reading is fun. As I have a lot of books I can leave them whatever they fancy. Showing them how much joy books can bring them would be my main purpose. I’d love to take them to a bookshop and let them wander around to choose whatever they like. Of course I’ll also pass on my grandmother’s book and my treasured signed copies eventually. Several of my friends have children and I like to give them books. I don’t have any children myself, so I’m hoping to be the auntie who spoils them all with great presents and lots of amazing stories. If I’d have to choose one book I’d leave them The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt.

Everyone needs an Auntie like that (or an Uncle).

Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Suzanne. All the best with your own writing. Also, I love the idea of your Happy Mail project and I hope it goes from strength to strength.

You can find out more about Suzanne and read her reviews of books and other book-related things on her website and blog. You can catch up with her on Twitter (@scintillatingsz) or Facebook.

Inheritance Books: Romy Somner

Children Reading

A rather different Inheritance Books today from Romy Somner. She asked if she could have three copies of the same book. I thought this was really charming. So, instead of the usual style, I’ll let Romy explain. (While I have a nice sit down on the sofa).

Inheritance Books: The Enchanted Wood a blog post by Romy Sommer

Romy 2014Considering how our bookshelves are overflowing, it seems unreasonable to have three hard cover copies of the same book. But when you look closer and see that the books in question are Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree series, you might realise that these books represent three generations of our family.

For three generations of women in our family, The Enchanted Wood was the start of a love not only for Enid Blyton’s books, but for reading.

Enchanted Wood

The cloth-bound version dates back to the early 1950s and belonged to my mother when she was a child. Then there are the books from the early 80s which I grew up with – their black and white line drawings exactly how I still picture the characters.

Line drawingThe newest versions are the set I picked up off a bargain books table on a whim for my own daughters. Even though they hardly needed another copy, I wanted desperately for them to love these stories as much as I did, and the full colour, glossy pages were too attractive to ignore.

New colour versionI’ll admit, these newest books disappointed me. It turns out they aren’t Enid Blyton’s original words, but rather modern re-tellings of the stories. They might make the stories more accessible to today’s children, but I far prefer reading to my daughters from the earlier books. It has lead to some fascinating conversations, including what the purpose of a handkerchief is or how clockwork toys work. We go off on tangents, exploring how children lived decades ago.

So not only are these books treasured for their memories, but they’re still very much in use today. While I read from one of the older books, my daughters get to sit with the newer one and look at the corresponding pictures. And in the process we’re making a whole lot of new memories to pass on to the generations to come.

What a lovely post. I have a set of the new ‘updated’ (I call them sanitised) versions, but I remember reading ones with line drawing in when I was younger. 

Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us Romy. All the best with your new book.

Not a Fairy Tale_SmallerRomy’s latest book Not A Fairy Tale is published by Harper Impulse and is available to buy now. You can follow Romy on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads or on her website/blog.