I've always loved books.
My mum told me I could read a book from cover to cover at 3 years old. I'm not sure that's completely true. Just the feel and look of a book and the act of turning the pages as I read makes me happy. One of those electronic book readers doesn't have the same qualities.
When I moved house recently, I donated loads of books to the annual Library Book Sale, but I kept all the precious ones.
Victorian author George Manville Fenn (1831 - 1909) wrote this Tale of the North Shore in 1886 when my father was four years old, so it's unlikely that Dad was actually a model for the boys in the book, however, he had three older brothers who would have been close to the right ages. The story is definitely set in the area both my dad and I grew up, and my dad used to tell a story of boys playing with gunpowder with an unfortunate outcome, and a similar incident occurs in the book.
I wanted to find a copy of Devon Boys for each of my sons and I haunted used book shops and junk shops for years with no luck. Then one day I noticed a battered copy squeezed between old books on a shelf at an antique market. How much? Only $5.00. SOLD! Oooh! Such excitement! Finding the prize after searching for so long.... woohoo!
If the seller had known how long I had been searching for that book, he would have charged me more than double.
Now there are three copies of the book on my bookshelf. And if I come across another one, I'll probably buy it. I can't stop myself now.