Long, long ago I discovered Biggles and was hooked from the very first chapter. I think I already loved planes but then reading Biggles and his tales of derring-do simply hammered it home. I recall the first one I read was fittingly, “Biggles Learns to Fly“, and set in the days of biplanes in WWI. The second I think I read was “Biggles Defies the Swastika” set around WWII. I’ve never ever managed to complete the set but I think I managed to acquire 70-80 of them over the years. That includes a bunch of first editions, both first Australian editions and outright first editions. I tried some of the books by Capt W.E. Johns such as Gimlet and Worrals but always drifted back to Biggles.
Also on this shelf is a christmas card from the State Library of NSW. I was working vendor-side at the time, and a friend there got me on to the Library’s christmas list. It’s a beautiful card, featuring a scene of Sydney Cove on a Chinese punchbowl.