Nancy Drew

I returned to Half Price Books to buy three used Nancy Drew Mystery books at $4.99 each. On my eighth birthday, I received my first Nancy Drew book, The Hidden Staircase. I read it in four days and I was hooked. For years my parents gave me a Nancy Drew book on every birthday and Christmas. By the time I was in high school, I worried that I had wasted too much time on junk reading at the expense of classic literature. I didn’t want my own children to succumb to the same temptation. So when I married, I gave my collection of over thirty books to a fellow student at UNLV, keeping only my three favorites: The Hidden Staircase, The Password to Larkspur Lane, and The Ghost of Blackwood Hall. (I really liked The Secret of the Tolling Bell, too. I wonder why I didn’t keep that.)

Three years ago, AJM gave me a set of the reissued original editions of the first ten books. My favorites are still the yellow-jacketed versions that I grew up with. The copyright pages do not contain information on reprints. But there are clues: the endpapers are blue with pictures from the covers of other books (later editions have white endpapers with line drawings, and still later ones have a drawing of Nancy); an old-fashioned frontispiece; and no book summary. The cover art has evolved, but I don’t like a contemporary Nancy or the modern lettering on the cover, or for that matter, the cheap material they use for the book boards.

The three books I bought today were in excellent condition. They look almost unread. Only a line through the name of the original owner is evidence that they once belonged to someone else.

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