Sooty's Annual 1963

My First Book

  12+   Penguin Books Australia asked a good question on Facebook to celebrate International Literacy Day: What is the first book you remember reading? I don’t remember my first book, but it must have been a Sooty or Joe 90 Annual - I still have the former, but sadly the latter has long since gone missing.

I lived with my grandparents as a kid and they had kept my father’s Film Fun Annuals from the 1940s. I recall reading the comic-book style stories about Laurel and Hardy, and Abbott and Costello et al.

As for “chapter books”, I read my father’s Biggles’ adventure stories (“Chocks away, Algy!”) and I loved reading Enid Blyton‘s Secret Seven and Famous Five series.

In fact, Enid Blyton’s books inspired me to write (and illustrate!) my own adventure book as a ten-year-old, Sand Island (yes, I still have the original copy!).

So while I don’t remember the first book I read, I do remember the first book I wrote, 45 years ago! 

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What about you? What is the first book you remember reading?

© 2017 Robert Fairhead 
(Originally published on robertfairhead.com September 2017)

Robert Fairhead

A middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert Fairhead is an editor and writer at Tall And True, and blogs on his eponymous website, RobertFairhead.com.

His favourite pastimes include reading and writing, walking his dog, and watching Aussie Rules Football with his son. He is also a part-time dog trainer and runs classes at his local dog training club and through Robert's Responsible Dog Training.

Robert has worked as an electrician, a computer programmer, and a sales and marketing consultant, and he is the principal copywriter at Rocher Communications.

His book reviews and writing on dogs have appeared in newspapers and online. And in 2020, he published a collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story.

Robert has also enjoyed a one-night stand as a stand-up comic.