Last weekend I came down with some kind of summer crud, which means I've spent this week basically wacked out on cough medicine. But when you work for a small business, if you don't work, you don't get paid. As I was watching the clock and trying not to hack up a lung the other day, my mind drifted longingly to more carefree times when being sick meant I could just stay home in my PJs and read a book all day. Let's revisit those times....
Oh, so many of my childhood lie-ins involved my good friend, Nancy Drew. These are my actual books from those days. I didn't own many (the whole collection had 56 titles at the time), but thanks to the library I probably read all of them.
Love the artwork on these covers. I've seen the covers of more recent reprints, and some of them tend to be more menacing. They show Nancy running from someone, or someone stalking her. In these ones, she's heading fearlessly into danger or uncovering important clues using her own cleverness. Rock on, old-school ND.
Now here's an adorable artifact. I taped these little slips into some of my books when I played "library" (which mostly involved stuffed animals selecting books and moving them to the other side of the room). I see the "10" has been changed to an "11," so it looks like this one might have been renewed. Stuffed animals aren't fast readers.
I looooved Nancy Drew. She was smart and brave, drove a cool convertible, and used her natural curiosity for the greater good. Nobody ever called her nosy, they just thanked her for her help and complimented her on being so savvy. She was living the dream!
Of course, when I look at these books with a more cynical eye now, I know Nancy couldn't have had all these adventures if she hadn't been a rich white girl. And I see that she was kind of a goody two shoes (even when in hot pursuit of a suspect, she drove that convertible "only as fast as the law allowed," and the sexual chemistry between her and boyfriend Ned was basically nada). And I know that author Carolyn Keene wasn't even a real person, but a rotating stable of writers penning these mysteries under that name to make a quick buck.
But to my girlhood self, Nancy was a heroine. In her own privileged, prissy way, she kicked ass. These books made me fall in love with stories and made me want to write stories of my own. (Sure, the latter is both a blessing and a curse, but that's not Nancy's fault!) Who wouldn't want to escape to that world when they're feeling a bit puny?