Remember my post last week about our "haunted clock" and the pictures I posted of the first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock?
I read that book when I was ten years old. I read a few more of the old hardcovers, too. But my Nancy Drew gateway drug? Hey, I was an '80s kid. I was an avid reader of The Nancy Drew Files.
Look at Nancy, a modern '80s teenager. Look at the romance novel covers, with a hunky guy always posed behind her. (It was seldom Ned Nickerson, although he is still her boyfriend through most of the series.) The modernized series made its debut the summer of 1986. Published by Archway/Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, the series lasted through 1997.
I was addicted to cheap series paperbacks. I was nine years old and in the fourth grade when this series launched - the same year as The Babysitters Club - and once a month, I begged my dad to take me to the mall to buy my books. There was a B Dalton downstairs and a Waldenbooks upstairs, and if one didn't have them out yet, we raced to the escalator to try the other. It sounds expensive, but when I first started reading my series, the prices were $2.50 for a BSC and & $2.75 for a Nancy Drew File. (I had that memorized, but I just checked my books to confirm it.)
The first thing I would do was read the back of the book. Ooooo, what's this one about?
|Back Cover of Nancy Drew Files, Case 30: Death By Design|
Then I opened the front cover. It was always the same: "From the Nancy Drew Files..."
|Nancy Drew Files, Case 30: Death By Design (December 1988)|
|Nancy Drew Files, Case 15: Trial By Fire (September 1987)|
Then I would read the list of books in the front, mentally checking off in my head which mysteries Nancy had solved until now.
|The Nancy Drew Files, Case 13: Wings of Fear (July 1987)|
When I was in fifth grade, 10 years old, I went as a book for Halloween. I made myself a sandwich board out of two pieces of poster board and did my best to recreate the front and back covers of the latest Nancy Drew Files installment, Case 17: Stay Tuned for Danger. If I knew where any pictures might be, I would post one, I assure you.
The books were such trashy fun. Romance, danger, fashion, thrills... I read my series until I was 13 and in the eighth grade, then decided I had "outgrown" them. Series books about teenagers were only fun when I was a preteen. I think it's because my own high school experience was so far removed from Sweet Valley High... I stopped reading in 1991, on book 50-something, maybe 60-something.
You can still find used copies of the books at Amazon, among other places. You can read more at this Nancy Drew website and here on this series book fan site.
One More Unrelated Piece of Nostalgia:
My daughters have discovered Pound Puppies, the newish Hub series, on Netflix. Of course, I had to find this:
("That's just weird, Mom.")
which led to me showing them this:
("I wish they still made Pound Puppies!")
which somehow led to this:
("Mom! I saw one of those at Grandma's!
I saw the last one at Grandma's!")
When Mr. B and the girls went to my grandma's yesterday to check on Mabel the kitten, I asked him to bring me back a handful of my Nancy Drew Files books to blog about.
The girls brought home this:
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