This month my elementary school of employ is having a Read-a-thon, and naturally the Reading Corps members have been helping out. It involves students keeping track of their reading hours, both at school and home. There’s also a book exchange, where people can donate used books and students can take them for free.
I got to thinking about the boxes of books from my childhood that were sitting in the storage space at my mom and stepdad’s house. Surely there were books that I could easily part with. Last weekend I went home for a visit, giving me the perfect opportunity to dig through those boxes and bins. I came to the realization that I was a very lucky child to have access to so much reading material. I also discovered some very amusing items, which I will share with you here.
I had more books based on TV series than I would care to admit. The most blatant is this impressive collection of books based on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Granted it was my favorite show for most of my elementary years, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. As I recall, most of the books were atrociously written. This cover amuses me the most because it’s clearly just a poor quality screenshot from a Season One episode.
I didn’t have cable as a child, so I never actually watched this show. I was given History Mystery as a birthday present, perhaps around age ten. I remember distinctly that my uncle Tom was quite enamored with it and kept saying, “Shelby WOO!” Emphasis on the Woo, in a tone worthy of a bachelorette party.
I began to exhibit signs of the English nerd at an early age. I loved the PBS show Wishbone, and the Pride and Prejudice episode was my favorite. (To other kids, probably “that boring one with Wishbone talking to people at fancy parties.”) I was also the proud owner of this Great Illustrated Classics edition. Jane Austen, you speak to me at any age.
I was a big fan of Michelle Kwan, having followed her religiously during the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. (Don’t even get me started on my Tara Lipinski grudge.) However, even my obsessive ‘tween love couldn’t get me to like this book. It’s all about setting goals, working hard, and following your dreams. Except boring.
By far the strangest discovery was My Crazy Cousin Courtney Comes Back. By the author, you will be glad to know, of My Crazy Cousin Courtney. I had never read or even laid eyes on the first book. I believe this was given to me as a gift because — whoa! — my name is also Courtney! She is apparently a Beverly Hills Brat, so you can see how much we had in common. Do you think I gave this one away? Of course not! I’m holding on to this treasure for life.