Friday, September 27, 2013

Ned Nickerson and a Powder Blue Mustang

Day 12 - My Favorite Childhood Book

How does an avid reader choose a favorite childhood book?  Well, she asks her mom.  When starting this challenge I knew what books I wanted to write about but I didn't know what books were my favorite when I wasn't quite reading on my own.

I read my first book, by myself, when I was three.  I remember the morning it happened. It must have been the weekend, because both Mom and Dad were home and I was sitting on the floor in their room, in a sunspot.  Morgan was an infant and was in bed with them.  I sat down and announced that I was going to read them a story.  It was a story about a goat and a mountain.  I can still see the book cover in my head.  It was green and there was a goat standing on top of a mountain on it.  Shocker.  I'm sure that I had memorized the book after mom and dad read it to me often enough.  But isn't that what reading is at first?  Memorization.

Mom and Dad read to me all the time.  Mom says that I loved Goodnight Moon, Mother Goose, The Jolly Postman and How the Sun Was Brought Back to the Sky.  I remember loving a book called Geraldine's Blanket.  It was about a pig named Geraldine that didn't want to give up her pink baby blanket.  I have a pink blanket that I slept with until I got married and it looked exactly like Geraldine's.  I'm sure that is one of the reasons I liked it so much.  I read that book to PJ and still pull it off of the shelf every once in awhile just to read to myself.

I'm not sure anyone ever really forgets the book that turned them into a reader.  I was obviously always a reader but it takes a certain book to turn you into the kind of reader that sneaks a flashlight under the covers so that you can read when you're supposed to be sleeping.  The kind of reader that would rather be reading than playing outside.  The kind of reader that gets grounded from reading because it's the one thing her parents know will make the most impact as a punishment.

The book that turned me into a reader was The Nancy Drew Files: Secrets Can Kill.  I don't know where I bought this book, but I still have it.   It was published in 1991 so I was nine or ten the first time I read it.  I remember sitting in my room all day one weekend finishing the book.  I couldn't put it down and didn't want to.  In this particular story Nancy Drew has to go back to high school to catch a thief and ends up having to solve a murder.

There was nothing about Nancy that I didn't love, she was strong and smart and could solve any mystery that was put in front of her.  She drove a Mustang, which quickly became my dream car.  Her best friends George and Bess were funny and always helpful.  She had a boyfriend, Ned, who was kinda dumb but still a great boyfriend. I wanted to be Nancy Drew.

After reading the first book in the Nancy Drew Files I couldn't read the rest fast enough.  I devoured them. There are 124 books in that specific Nancy Drew series and I'm sure that I read most of them.  I also became a bit fixated on the old ones.  I own twelve first edition Nancy Drew books and I still have about fifteen of my favorite paperbacks.

I still want a Mustang and I still love to read mysteries.  I feel like Nancy Drew helped me learn to analyze and quickly asses any situation.  So, thank you Nancy, for helping me be the person and the reader that I am today.

1 comment:

  1. Just to clarify... It was a goat with a boat. :) However, there might have been a mountain on the cover - I don't recall.