Why I’m Rebuilding My Childhood Library

Nostalgia. That’s a word we’re seeing and hearing a lot as of late. It seems to me that no matter what generation you’re from, there will always be something of old you long to see again, or participate in again. The same can be said of books.

I had quite a large book collection when I was a kid. I wasn’t as into, say, Goosebumps as my cousins were. I liked Star Trek, detective stories, and medieval tales. I guess not much has changed!

Before the word “declutter” was even a thing, I never liked hanging on to things for long. It frustrated my mother to no end, because she’s of the generation that likes to save and hold on to everything. She’s not as bad as she used to be. In fact, even my dad has come to the realization his office needs more than a little help. It’s just the “ripping off the bandaid and doing it” that seems to be their worst enemy at the moment.

Looking back, I don’t know why my mother ever let me get rid of these books. At the time I was happy enough that someone else was interested in owning them and passing on their love for reading. I thought I’d outgrown these stories, but the nostalgia is strong. And I am slowly rebuilding my childhood library. Here are the books from my childhood collection I am adding back into my modern library.

Star Trek: Voyager Novels – science fiction

Ah, Star Trek. The one subject I continuously go back and forth on if I should include here on this website or not. It doesn’t fit anywhere with this site’s mission, so I’ll just continue being a fan of the franchise. This includes reading the Star Trek: Voyager novels of the 1990s.

When I was a kid, my family’s band often had gigs in Borders bookstores and Barnes N’ Nobles across Pittsburgh. My mother didn’t mind letting me go off on my own at such a young age, because she knew she’d always be able to find me later in the science fiction section. There I’d be picking out my newest Star Trek: Voyager adventure to purchase with my saved up allowance. As much as I tried to branch out into other sections like mysteries, I always, always ended up with scifi. Titles include:

  1. The Escape
  2. Ragnarok
  3. Incident at Arbuk
  4. Ghost of a Chance
  5. Cybersong

OMG SOMEONE REVIEWED THEM?! I’m cackling! And this was as recent as last year, too!

The Mandie Books – historical adventure

New when I was a kid (with the first Mandie book being published in 1983 [I was born in 1985]), these stories are a world away from what’s considered acceptable by today’s standards. Imagine my surprise when I learned that there were new Mandie stories all the way into 2006?! I was in college by then!

The story begins in 1888, when there was much growth as well as much strive between peoples. As an adult, I can appreciate the author’s efforts to bridge the gap between Mandie’s heritage and connection to the troubles of the Cherokee nation.

The Mandie books were like the Nancy Drew mysteries but for a younger, more conservative (and Christian) audience. Elements of faith are sprinkled throughout. Still, I enjoyed the series and always looked forward to finding new titles whenever I managed to get to the bookstore. Some titles include:

  1. Mandie and the Secret Tunnel
  2. Mandie and the Medicine Man
  3. Mandie and the Foreign Spies
  4. Mandie and the Jumping Juniper
  5. Mandie and the Mysterious Fisherman

Uh…how did I NOT EVEN KNOW THEY MADE MANDIE FILMS?!?! Maybe I did know and I just forgot? Nonetheless, I have a few days off work coming up and you know I’ll be vicariously reliving my childhood through these YouTube videos! Except, as I watch the one I linked below, perhaps it’s a good thing I forgot about them!

Had to put the link in a button; couldn’t embed!

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries – mystery, adventure

Imagine my surprise to find there was a television series from the 1970s when I was in college. I think I still have the DVDs somewhere, even though I no longer own a DVD player. It’s embarrassing, but I’ll admit my first crushes were Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy. Well, they were my first non-Star Trek crushes!

I also don’t know how, as a kid, I missed the fact that the Hardy brothers and Nancy Drew knew each other even within their own respective series. As an adult I can respect that kind of novel crossover thinking. Especially considering the fact that the first Hardy Boys book was published in, get this, 1927?! Nancy Drew was first published three years later in 1930.

  1. Buried in Time
  2. Mystery Train
  3. Spies and Lies
  4. Evil in Amsterdam
  5. The Last Resort

As much as I enjoyed the television show, it lasted for only three years. Not only that, but the film style is quite hard to get through, especially for today’s audience. Still, it’s a fun trip down memory lane. My favorites of the Super Mysteries were “Buried in Time” and “Mystery Train.”

Frank Peretti’s The Cooper Kids Adventure Series – adventures

I really do think that this series is one of the reasons I love writing adventures, and reading them, to this day. Even though Frank Peretti is also a Christian author (just like Lois Gladys Leopard), it doesn’t really come into the story as much as faith does in today’s Christian based books.

So I think that The Cooper Kids Adventures would be a great introductory book for any young reader who likes a little adventure. In fact, I’m thinking about passing the four books I have on to my nephew. I think he’s in the right age range for them, but they’ll have to pass my sister’s sniff test first.

  1. The Door in the Dragon’s Throat
  2. The Deadly Curse of Toco-Rey
  3. Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea
  4. Flying Blind
  5. The Legend of Annie Murphy

I’m not entirely sure what genre these middle grade stories are, but I think they are kind of like historical fantasy. My current writing tastes are all beginning to make sense!

I really don’t mind my collection housing both old and new stories. That’s what makes a home library so personal. And, as you can see, my childhood novel picks shaped my writing journey. These books are why I love dabbling in historical fiction and science fantasy. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier! Alternate title for this blog post: how my childhood reading preferences shaped my writing.

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

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