My name is Abi. I’m twenty-eight. And I have two thousand books.

About nine hundred of the books are Girls’ Own, and I decided some time ago that it was time to spread the love. Elinor Brent-Dyer has her own enthusiastic fan groups and Elsie Oxenham and one or two of the others aren’t doing so badly, but there’s not really a lot out there for those of us who are general fans of the whole genre.

This is where I come in, because, quite frankly, I love it. I’m not really entirely sure why, but I can read ten variations on new-girl-makes-good and still come back for more. Maybe I’ll write a post on it sometime. Anyway, this blog is where I’m going to write about the characters, the authors, the plots, the themes and the books themselves.

As for the rest of my life, I’ve just started working in a call centre. A fairly acceptable call centre, as they go, but still. I like to read, watch films, listen to folk music and talk about pointy things. I have a random obsession with bagpipes (but don’t worry; I refrain from foisting this on unsuspecting innocents) and am writing a novel or two.

Is there anything else you’d like to know about me or the blog? Ask me in the comments section below or email me at abicadell@hotmail.co.uk and I’ll get back to you. You can also find me on facebook. And please do say hi and let me know what you think of any other posts – I’ll always try to reply as soon as possible!

Leave a comment


  1. MaryR

     /  March 3, 2012

    Have just found this blog, Abi, and love it.

    But – over 800 GO books! My goodness….

    • Abi Cadell

       /  March 3, 2012

      Thanks, Mary! People have been known to suggest that it’s an excessive number of books, but I never listen to such silliness… 😉

  2. Wow! I think I have about 100 GO books and prior to reading this, I considered that a pretty impressive collection… very jealous!

    • Abi Cadell

       /  April 1, 2012

      Lack of moderation in all things. That’s my motto… 😀

  3. Found you blog through Ya Yeah Yeah. I didn’t even know what Girls Own was but it looks like books that were published when my mum was a London school girl? She shared some with me and I love Sadlers Wells…..and wading in the sea fully clothed 🙂

    • Abi Cadell

       /  April 15, 2012

      Hi, and thank you for your comment. 🙂 Girls’ Own were books for girls published in the twentieth century, probably up to about 1960 – so probably your mum would have read some! I love the Sadlers Wells books – expect to see a post about them sometime soon. And congratulations on your excellent taste in sea-wading!

  4. Just discovered this from your sig over on CBB, and very glad I did too! I’m goggling at the idea of having 800 GO books though – I think I’ve got around 30. . . 😀

    • Abi Cadell

       /  July 1, 2012

      Well, 30 is a good start, and certainly a lot more manageable! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. 🙂

  5. Barbara

     /  July 2, 2012

    You’ve just been recommended on GirlsOwn so keep up the good work – haven’t had time to read your take on Girls of the Hamlet Club, one of my fav EJO, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did on first reading

    • I hope the blog lives up to the recommendation! I loved Girls of the Hamlet Club, so no need to worry on that score. 😀

  6. Janferie Westwood

     /  July 3, 2012

    Fantastic blog, thanks Abi!

  7. Hi Abi, I’ve just nominated you for The Sisterhood of The Word Bloggers award. http://bakewithbert.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/awards/

  8. Barbara

     /  November 26, 2012

    Must count up my GO books – all EBDs ,EJOs, most DFB, most Sadlers Wells, all LMM, several Pollyannas, all Katy books + a few others by Coolidge, some Jean Webster, a few Fantasy variations on the theme – must be more but can’t remember off hand – quite a few for sale but don’t count those

  9. Valerie, Dublin Ireland.

     /  September 27, 2013

    This site made me laugh…I have well in excess of 2000 books and find them comforting….like a well worn jumper or slippers after a rough day! I love your enthusiasm and have always found the “thoroughly sensible gels” highly entertaining so look forward to following your postings. I loved the Wells books!! I inherited them from my sister and they are stuck together with cellotape as I have read them so often! I am 38… so have several years on you….but still get confused by who Daisy Venables really was! Happy reading!

  10. Nick

     /  February 11, 2015

    Fabulous site. If you’re ever in Cambridge, you must visit The Haunted Bookshop and head upstairs to the first floor – it’s packed full of original Girls School books (I’m not the owner, by the way, I just live in Cambridge and share your enthusiasm for the genre).


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