Saturday, February 10, 2007
There are still 15 packed boxes sitting in my sunroom (yes, yes, i realize i moved in May), 7 or 8 of which are boxes of books. One night i couldn't sleep and wanted to read. I didn't have a new book to start (besides Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, which continues to sit on the shelf mocking me) and was certainly not going to unpack a box at 3am in the 16 degree cold, so i grabbed something that was unpacked, Trixie Belden and the Happy Valley Mystery. For those of you unfamiliar with Trixie - i'm gonna assume that's everyone - she is a 13-14 year old girl who solves mysteries with her brothers and friends while having fantastical adventures, helping people and even finding awkward teen love. Think Nancy Drew meets Scooby Doo. [would that crossover be the Drew-Doo mystery revue?] Her adventures are both wonderful and ridiculous peppered with the nearly alien lifestyle of wealthy upstate New York in the early 60's (did anyone ever really dress for dinner, even at home and refer to jeans as dungarees?) . There were 34 books in the series, i think, of which i own 31. The originals (lovely hardbacks) I inherited from my sister when i was really little. I read all of them between the ages of 8 and 12. In the past 2 weeks I have reread 9 of the books and I am in love with them again. I am amazed at how my own senses of friendship, loyalty and charity are the same as this fictional girl's. It has me wondering if I liked the books back then because Trixie and I were so much alike, or if part of Niki was formulated by reading about Trixie. They say that the books you read as a child are some of the most important ones of your life because they contribute to your development. That feels very true in this experience. I am really enjoying revisiting my childhood, along side this schoolgirl sleuth. If you haven't reread any book from your youth recently, I highly suggest it. Pick up something you loved as a child and read it looking to see if you find a piece of yourself within its pages.