Ah, nostalgia. There is little that sparks off a conversation between strangers quite as effectively as harking back to shared childhood memories.
There is the inevitable ice-breaker of children’s television. Or, in the case of a newly trending hashtag on Twitter, beloved children’s books.
Simon Smith, headteacher of East Whitby Academy in North Yorkshire, began it all, with a call to Twitter users to tweet their favourite children’s books under the hashtag #favechildrenslit:
Immediately, Twitter users – most of them teachers – were volunteering the obvious choices:
And then there were the equally obvious – but more parent-pleasingly literary – choices:
As quickly became clear, books can be loved not merely in the abstract – words on a page, any page – but also in very specific, well-thumbed editions:
After all, for teachers of a certain vintage, nothing says “Edwardian classic” quite like a 1980s cover design:
But books have sentimental value not only because of when and where we read them, but also because they may have been read before by people we love:
In fact, with so much influencing their choices, many teachers found there was no shortage of books about which to wax lyrical: one tweeted 11 entries in her list of top-10 books. Instead, they were faced with another problem:
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