Yesterday I was in the children’s section at Foyles, the famous bookshop. One of the things that continues to fascinate me in London is the way children’s sections are decorated to make the young readers feel relaxed and completely at ease. While I was studying the layout of their shelves I heard a girl’s voice utter the words “Malory Towers”. Wasn’t that the name of the series of boarding school stories written by Enid Blyton?
I found them sitting on the large couch in front of the bookshelf crammed with paperbacks, the girl who was about 12 years old and her grandmother. Indeed almost the entire display rack was occupied by books written by Enid Blyton. The grandmother was suggesting titles which the young girl was then looking at. “I read them when I was growing up,” the lady told me “then my daughter read them when she was a girl and now my granddaughter is reading them.”
That is something amazing! In a world which is so completely changed children still enjoy reading about the Famous Five and the girls at Malory Towers. I would never have imagined while I was reading those very books in the early 1970s that I would still see them on bookshelves in the year 2008. Just goes to show that it isn’t what you write about that really matters as long as you know how to say it. Perhaps it also shows that the inner world of the child is still the same even though the outer world has undergone a sea-change.