serial reading


When I was a kid, I had a strong resemblance to Hermione from Harry Potter. Not in the Emma Watson way – where she looked cute and a little bookish. Just in the straight up “it’s-a-good-thing-she’s-smart-because-her-looks-aren’t-really-her-thing-kinda-way.”*

Not only was my childhood filled with frizzy brown hair and glasses, I also did a lot of reading.

In particular, I had a passion for The Nancy Drew Files and The Cat Who books. I would go to the library each week and check out a new batch of these books until they were all read. All of them. 

Though neither was high quality literature, I had a soft spot in my heart for the characters and loved the comfort that comes with formulaic serial fiction.

In fact, just looking at these two covers makes me sad that there aren’t any new ones for me to read now. They are like fuzzy old blankets that might smell a little like the attic, but in a good way.

Did anyone else have a thing for Nancy Drew, James Qwilleran, or a different series?


* I’m in New York right now, so I can’t show you proof. But if you want, I can share a photo next Wineday Friday when I’m back in Chicago.


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  1. I loved both of those series when I was younger! I haven’t read all “The Cat Who…” books, but I know I’ve read all of the Nancy Drew series.

    1. Nice! Did you read the Files or the originals? Files were more modern (aka 80’s/90’s), not quite as classic, but definitely quick, fun reads. : )

      1. The originals! My mom kept hers from when she was younger and I borrowed what she didn’t have from the library. They were my favorite books when I was younger. I don’t specifically remember reading any of the Files.

        1. Very nice. I remember reading some of the originals when I was very young, but they are a bit fuzzy for me now. The files were nice as a pre-teen, but not as well crafted as the originals.

  2. Alex Landar

    I know a lot of people lovessss nancy drew and hardy boys. But I’m a personal fan of Tamora Pierce, Enid Blyton’s adventure series as well as babysitters. It was when I was an adult that I fell in love with Diana Wynne Jones and started to search for all her books.

  3. EmSewCrazy

    I too read all of the Nancy Drew’s my library had as well many MANY other books! 🙂

    1. I know! They are so comforting. I love James and wish there were some new ones to read. Seriously.

  4. Missy Graves

    Yes, I loved the Nancy Drew books! I read every copy that my local library had. Some, more than once. Her boyfriend Ned was my first book crush. 🙂

    Middle school reading for me was definitely the Babysitters Club series. Read every one!

  5. I was the same way! I was so into reading series as a kid. I loved the old Nancy Drews (the re-released ones, with the yellow covers), The Babysitter’s Club, Sweet Valley Twins….I was seriously obsessed with Sweet Valley. This post just made me all nostalgic! I think my Mom still has them all in the attic, it would probably be hilarious to page through them now.

    1. I never got into Sweet Valley when I was young, but they definitely seemed to be popular books! They could all be good books to save for your future daughters, if you have any!

  6. I was mostly obsessed with The Babysitters Club… and I was semi-into the Sweet Valley series (mostly the kids and twins books, by the time they went to high school I’d sort of lost interest).

  7. Jessica Haile

    I’m an English teacher, so…maybe I still have a thing for series of books? (Currently, my obsession is the All Soul’s Trilogy…it’s a bit Harry Potter-esque but more grown up). Like everyone else, though, The Babysitter’s Club and especially Sweet Valley Twins (there was a Jessica, after all!)

  8. Rachel Pierce

    Yes. Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children, Sweet Valley High, and I’m sure others that I’m forgetting as well.

    Also, if you want some more Nancy Drew fun there is a series of Nancy Drew PC games (the newer ones are available for Mac as well) and they are the most fantastic things I’ve ever played. They’re still being released and my sister and I still play them (she’s 19, I’m 22). If you are at all inclined, please check them out. The company that makes them is called Her Interactive.

    1. Very cool! I haven’t played computer games since I was younger — I never knew there was a Nancy Drew game though!

      I used to play the game The Seventh Guest. It was a mystery game but was really pretty spooky. (I tried pulling it up to show Mr. Lively but he wasn’t quite as into it as I was when I was 15.)

  9. Ness

    I loved series! The Baby Sitters Club in particular! I also loved L.M. Montgomery! I need to make more time to read in my life these days! x

    1. Oh! L.M.M. I read all of her books, too! Looooved. I’m guessing you were a fan of Little House, too? These are all so good.

  10. Kim

    I was a total sucker for the Baby Sitter’s club… received four books in the mail each month and read every. single. one. Somewhere in my dad’s basement are hundreds of those books. Not amazing literature, but its totally what got me hooked on reading in general!

    1. That’s awesome! I didn’t know you could get four of them sent to your house each month, that’s so neat. Now, I guess that would be ‘sent to your kindle’ for kids in the future.

      You could save those books for your daughters (if you have/will have any). : )

  11. Jennifer Grant

    This post could totally have been mine! I spent so much time in the library growing up, if I wasn’t home, my parents knew where to find me 😉 I could never get enough reading! I read pretty much every series that was popular (Babysitters Club, Sweet Valley High, and older series like Agatha Christie’s Poirot, etc.) I was at the library so often, on the rare occasion I had an overdue book (it really just didn’t happen), they would waive the fees.
    I too have read all the Nancy Drew’s as well as Laura Lee Hope’s earlier series: Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue along with The Campfire Girls. I think I’m going to have to head to the library and re-read some of these!
    Thanks for the nostalgia!

    1. That is so awesome! I wonder what they will be like to re-read….

      I also loved and read almost all of Agatha’s Poirot and Ms. Marple series. Funny story – I never heard Poirot’s name spoken aloud – so for a looooong time I was reading his name as Hercules (pronounced like the Greek God) Pie-rot.

      Needless to say, it was quite a shock when I heard his name spoken during a movie!

      1. That’s hilarious-I had the same experience! I was like “whaa???” I was never sure how to say his name and avoided talking about the books as much as possible just to avoid the awkward attempt of pronouncing his name. It’s funny how we pronounce things in our heads and then when we learn to say it, we have to break the bad pronunciation habits we’ve been practicing 😉

        1. I know, right?! I am sure I did the same with other names in other books (Hermionie might have been one, actually).

  12. Stacey Beth

    I loved Nancy Drew! And the Babysitter’s Club! And Camp Sunnyside! Serial books were the best, it was like you got to continue hearing about good friends. As a total aside, I looked at the Nancy Drew cover above and kept thinking Nancy bears a strange resemblance to Heidi Montag (pre-surgery).

    1. You are right, it is like hearing about good friends. Maybe that is what blogging is like nowadays? Interesting….

      Lol! I can see what you mean re: the Heidi thing!

      1. Stacey Beth

        Oh!! YES! I think you are onto something. I think that is very much what blogging is like these days. Reading the same blog over and over again is like checking in on good friends.

        1. Totally. I think it’s also crazy to see some little kids born to different bloggers grow up in front of our eyes. It’s crazy to see how time flies by looking at the growth of bloggers’ children over the years.

          1. Stacey Beth

            That’s an excellent point. It also feels very much like they’ve become real friends because you see their children grow up.

  13. You seem to have hit the whole clan! Did you read the Ramona Quimby series, too? I was very into her when I was younger, too. : )

  14. Bridget

    i ADORED the cat who books. thinking about Q and his cats is so warm and comforting now. i thought i was the only one who loved those! i think seeing the same characters book after book was what really appealed to me.

    1. I agree! It was like having a little group of friends you could visit on a regular basis. : )

  15. Meenakshi S Nair

    Nancy Drew! And the Hardy Boys. Unfortunately when I was growing up, children’s book options were a little limited where I lived- and no Amazon! Mostly Drew, the Hardy Boys, RL Stine and this British author Enid Blyton (some kind colonial hangover in India.) I’d wait for my mom to make a trip abroad so she could pick up stuff. I had an American Girls collection, and lots of Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary which I would re-read. I still have those books in my parents’ house. I still love thumbing through them!!

    1. Ah, Judy Blume!! I loved all of her books, too. Did you ever read Anne of Green Gables? I think you would have really liked those, too, based on your reading you mentioned. : )

  16. Meenakshi S Nair

    Oh and I forgot The Baby Sitters Club!!

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