Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Nostalgia

I recently reread both of these.
I had a discussion recently with a librarian, Sue, about how girls today are still reading Nancy Drew books. Sue said she loved Nancy Drew as a girl, but has never gone back and reread them because she is afraid she will disappointed. She is afraid that the magic she felt from them as a child will be gone. Because after all, Sue realizes now that they were not great literature.

I had not really thought about things that way before. I wondered if this would be true about my favorite mystery series as a girl, Trixie Belden. Even though I read and enjoyed plenty of Nancy Drew books,  I liked Trixie better.

Trixie was 13 and lived in a cozy farm house with her two older brothers and her mischievous younger brother, Bobby. Trixie had regular chores of watching Bobby and helping with other things around the house. However, she was often preoccupied trying to solve a mystery, and she forgot her responsibilities. These lapses were usually forgiven with a smile and warning by her mother, who always seemed to be cooking up some delicious, hearty meal.

Next door, lived Trixie's rich, best friend, Honey, and her adopted older brother, Jim. They lived on a large estate with servants. However, their parents were often away. Honey and her brother, and Trixie and her older brothers had a secret club, BWG or Bobwhites of the Glen. When the BWG's weren't busy riding Honey's horses or ice skating, they were often raising money for some worthy cause. However, Trixie's curiosity always seemed to lead the club into one adventure or another.

What I remember that I really liked about Trixie and the others was that had to do chores just like I did. Also, they had the best of both worlds with Trixie's cozy house and family and Honey's big estate, not to mention a secret club. I wanted to live in Trixie's world.

So recently, I decided to take a chance and reread a Trixie Belden book to see what I would think of it now. Would I feel the same warm, relatable feeling with Trixie? Or would I be sorry that I had burst my nostalgia bubble?

The results? Sue was on the right track. Trixie Belden was not great literature. Not even close. But am I sorry that I reread it? Was the magic gone? No. While I had a different perspective reading the book as an adult, it took me right back to being a 10 year old girl curled up on her bed lost in the world of Trixie and her friends. And that was a good thing.

Have you ever reread a book and been disappointed?

But wait, there's more.

--I also reread a Nancy Drew book. Once again, not great literature, but I was able to get involved with glamorous, sophisticated Nancy and her mysterious, dangerous life.

--However, there is great children's literature out there and I recently reread one of the those books, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Wonderful. I think I will always be enthralled by the awakening of Colin and the garden.