Favourite Books Of Childhood
I think I was to an extent a, prolific reader:-), and used to buy at least 4-5 comics a week (which used to drive my Dad mad) . My aim was to exhaust all the books that were available, Champak, Tinkle, Nandan, Chandamama (With the vikramaditya stories) the comics, Diamond, Raj,Majoj :-) and Amar Chitra Katha . This was also supplemented by the Malayalam books, Poombatta and Balarama.
Along with the Indian books, I used to love the Batman(Allthe 'mans'), Thor, Tintin, and Astereix series, and was a avid collector of them. I joined a Circulating book library just to read the 'foreign' books, as buying them was not very economical. The rate was 10% of the cost of the book. The foreign books could be read anywhere between 5-10 Rs for a week.
About some of the books mentioned above
Nandan and Champak were somewhat similar, Nandan catering to bit mature people :-). There were lot of wisdom in these two books. I used to read the Hindi version of Champak. Nandan was available only in Hindi I guess.
Chandamana had lot of stories, particularly the Vikramaditya series that spanned many issues, and hence it enjoyed a lot of loyal reader. I don't remember the Vikramaditya series ending anywhere.
Basically a comic, with some of regular characters and some short stories. It was really fun. Some of the characters are mentioned in other reviews. Kalia was my favorite I guess.
Diamond, Raj and Majoj Comics
Again, the Hindi version were more popular with me. Diamond comics was the brain child of a popular cartoonist Pran , and some of his characters were Chacha Chowdery(Whose brain is faster then computers), Billoo, Samboo (the huge man from Jupiter) . Manoj comics also had some popular characters like Ram Rahim . My favorite Raj comics Indian super-hero was Nagraj .
Poombatta & Balarama
Probably the way to describe it would be its the Malayalam counterparts of Nandan or Champak. Some of the stories really make you think, and there used to be small crosswords, science experiments etc which used to make me think.
The next phase
I had built a huge collection of comics and story books, (around 400 of them!!) and my grandfather sold it for some 20 bucks to the 'Newspaper' wallah :-(. Boy was I mad at him!!!
Anyway, that might have been a blessing in disguise and I moved out from the comics genre and into books like hardy boys and secret seven. Yeah and I used to read Nancy Drew series as well. Reading some parts of Readers Digest soon started and also some of the magazines, as by this time I was in the Ninth standard. I think I stayed on at this phase for around 2 years.
Soon after that I started reading more main-stream popular fiction, my earliest discoveries were Desmond Bagley, Agatha Christie, Erle Stantely Gardner etc .
Nowadays, whenever I get a chance of going to my native place (Kerala) I make sure that I buy a huge bundle of comics for my cousins and nephew's and nieces (I have scores of them!!!). I feel that nothing pleases a young kid more then a very attractive and good comic or a story book, I arrived at this conclusion cos'.... I just know....
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