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Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Rudyard Kipling was the first author I recall reading and Kim was the first full length book I got through.

How old would I have been? No idea. Seven? Eight? I'm hopeless at guessing - I either guess too old and sound a very late starter, or much too young and seem to be making myself out to have been an early genius (albeit one whose early promise was clearly unfulfilled on every front).

We were living in Mountain View and my bedroom had a view down the Peak to Hong Kong harbour.

I was ill and my mother asked me what she could get me and I apparently said "a book". Up to then it had been comics - Eagle, Beano, Dandy, not forgetting all those Marvel marvels that I could only see at Hamish's and John Soong's.

Mum came back with

I devoured them. I remember sitting up in bed and being surprised at my parents' surprise at how quickly I had got thru them.

And it was overnight: one day I was flipping thru comic albums with no interest in boring old words sans pics, the next I was on the rampage - Blyton, Dickens, Haggard, Buchan, Verne, Scott, all those lovely green and orange Penguins - and barely raising nose from page.

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