When I was a kid my favourite books were the encyclopaedia and the dictionary.
I kept two children's encyclopaedias under my bed as a child, and would read them and try to spot the inconsistencies between the two.
My parents also bought the whole family a multi-volume children's encyclopaedia. My favourite volumes were about space, mathematics, culture, and the human body (in that order).
I was looking in my old bedroom recently and also found a huge fact book filled with random facts about the world and science and the arts, which I remember liking a lot. The cover is missing now.
I didn't read a dictionary - school had plenty of them, mostly with the rude words underlined (mostly by myself
). I did have a thesaurus, however, which was handy. Not Roget's Thesaurus
, but I did like that too.
My other factual obsession as a child was atlases - atlases of the world, and of other things. My favourite was a big book called "Atlas of the Solar System" which I would read at any time.
My parents also bought a series of Time-Life books about the paranormal, which I also remember flicking thorugh and not quite understanding.
As I got older, my parents gave me a family encyclopaedia of medicine and health. The chapter on reproduction is particularly dog-eared.