Honestly, I’m not sure of exactly when I began reading or what types of books I began reading, I just know that I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember. I have some vague memories of fairy tales, bible stories (one of which had an illustration of the devil offering Eve the forbidden fruit that gave me nightmares!), and other books like this:
This set came with our Collier Encyclopedias. Remember encyclopedias? They were like the internet of our generation. Anything you wanted to know about everything was in the encyclopedias. When I got bored, I actually read them! But I digress…
Back to books, the books I feel set me on the course I’m most completely set upon now. The Happy Hollisters! Remember The Happy Hollisters? You don’t? Really? Well, honestly, I vaguely remember them but when I would stay after school, waiting to be picked up by my parents (I was still too young to walk home), I would help Sister Edwards and after I got done erasing chalkboards and cleaning erasers, I’d get to sit in her classroom and read. There weren’t many books in there but I latched onto the Happy Hollisters. These were mild mysteries involving a family of five kids, Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, and Sue. The kids ranged in ages from 4 through 12 and they were all amateur sleuths. I thought they were cool. I don’t remember how many of these books I actually read, maybe only one or two, but I was hooked! Mysteries were destined to play a huge part of my life and I didn’t even know it yet.
If you do remember The Happy Hollisters and if they bring back good memories for you, you might want to take a minute and check this out…believe it or not, there is a HAPPY HOLLISTERS WEBSITE! What a blast from the past! There’s more information about the books, the stories, the author, paperback reprints, and some really cool retro t-shirts that I may actually have to order myself!
Suffice to say, I’d probably read different books and stories prior to these books but for some reason, these books have remained firmly embedded in my memory. Not the actual stories or the titles or even the characters. I think it was more the idea that children could be actively involved in solving mysteries without a lot of help from the adults. These kids were all over the place and no one was telling them what to do! At least that’s the way I saw it, but again, I digress…
I suppose, most importantly for me, these books were my gateway drug. Before I knew it, I was doing mysteries of all types and finding that I couldn’t get enough.
Next installment: Nancy Drew