I’m going to take you back a bit… let’s say about twelve years. I was always a bit of a bookish kid and I have always been lucky in the sense that I have always been surrounded by books. My parents are readers and because of that, so am I.
Anyway, it was Christmas morning and I was practically vibrating with the amount of chocolate coins I had just consumed and I had almost finished opening my presents when I found one more present, hiding under the tree. Just waiting for me… to open it.
I’m kidding, I’m not sure whether I opened it first or last… but it sounds much more romantic if I had opened it last, right?
I probably don’t need to tell you what was inside.
I’d never heard of these books before. This was the Before Harry/Twilight era when children’s books weren’t talked about that much and there weren’t book blogs and blog tours to tell you what books you should be reading. I didn’t know anyone who had read these books but I think that made them all the more special. As much as I love talking about books and you know full well I don’t shut up about books I love, there is always a part of me that loves discovering new book on my own. That way, I can make my own mind up about it, come to my own conclusions about things and… well, become best friends with the characters.
There is nothing better than accidentally discovering your favourite book, new worlds and new characters.
If you’re a book purist and don’t even like putting books in your bag without wrapping them in cling film you should probably look away right now.
My copies have got sand in the spine, the pages are scuffed, they’ve got pen marks on them and I think they’ve even got the remnants of a poor green fly that got caught in my page-turning frenzy.
I mean, they won’t even fit into the box set they came in because they have been read so often!
And let’s not forget the tear stains.
And they are loved.
Those are the ones that I lend out to people.
This one, however…
…is staying with me. My brother gave me a book voucher for Christmas and I used it to buy this version. It’s one of my ultimate treasures and I love it completely.
Also, the fact that it’s signed helps too.
Where on the shelf?
I wish I had enough room for a shelf just of Philip Pullman’s books, but until then…
Also, as you know, His Dark Materials was hugely influenced by John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
If you didn’t know that, you’re obviously blind or you were so giddy about getting to the story you skipped over this page.
I’ve only ever read the first book of Paradise Lost for one of my modules at uni but I have always wanted to finish the whole book. I didn’t think I’d like it at all because I am not the biggest fan of classic books… mostly because they go way over my head. But I absolutely loved Paradise Lost and I’m desperate to read it in its entirety.
Here’s my copy of Paradise Lost in the pile of all my other uni books… or, well, the ones I didn’t fling out of the window. Looking at you, Heart of Darkness.