Posted on July 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Last Friday was the 115th birthday of Mildred Wirt Benson, better known as the first Carolyn Keene.

You've shared wonderful memories of the Nancy Drew books before, so we definitely wanted to encourage more of those ...

... and boy, did you deliver.

Take a trip down memory lane — maybe it's yours as well as that of the bookworm who shared it — with these stories!

A gift that keeps on giving

Valerie B.: I can't show pictures because my granddaughter has mine and is reading them. She has my brother's Hardy Boys books too!

Murrell G.: I loved her books. Saved them all and gave them to a young girl who enjoyed them as much as I did.

Juel H.: Probably why I still love reading sixty years later

Vicki H.: I fell in love with reading because of Nancy Drew. Through second grade I was an average reader. That summer we moved cross-country, and before we left, a friend of my mom gave me her old Nancy Drew books. By the time we arrived, I was in love with reading, and have been ever since.

Ann J.: When I was young, sometimes my mother would take me to the store on Saturday morning and let me buy a Nancy Drew book. I would take it home and read it all day until I finished it in the early evening. I eventually had collected most of them and re-read them. I feel sure that is why I became such a fast reader. I was so excited and anxious to know the ending, I taught myself to read very fast with comprehension, and that set a pattern for life. Thanks, Nancy!

Judy W.: A little bookstore in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, sold them for $1. I would save my money and, when I had enough, stop on my way home from school and buy another one. I saved them for my daughter, and we found more to add to the collection. Loved them!!

The perfect escape

Candy H.: I had rheumatic fever in 1962 and was stuck in bed for almost a year. My aunt Helen bought me my first Nancy Drew book, and I was hooked. She'd keep bringing me the newest book until one day, she said I'd read all the ones that had been written. Then I'd have to wait for new ones!

Sara K.: Many a pleasant summer afternoon was spent up in the willow tree where my younger brother couldn't reach me, with Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.

Lori R.: I survived being the youngest of seven thanks to Nancy Drew!

Melanie U.: I once left my own birthday party to hide in my room so I could read the new Nancy Drew book I'd just been given.

Judi V.: They got me in trouble many times — my mother swore I was ignoring her calls, bit I was just reading Nancy Drew!

Leaning on libraries

Alice J.: I was sooooo very jealous of a friend who lived with her aunt and uncle. They saw that she had ALL of them, updating her collection constantly. I haunted the library for what was new or returned.

Regina K.: When I was in sixth grade, we lived in a small town (population less than 3,000). Our library had roughly 70 Nancy Drew books. All summer I'd go in and check out seven at a time (maximum allowed) and go back in a day or two to repeat the process.

Kim M.: All the girls in my fourth grade pooled all of their Nancy books and set up a loaning library in the coat room. I remember all of us being so excited.

Krystal P.: When I was in middle school I used to read Nancy Drew all the time. I would spend my lunch period in the school library sitting on the floor with a Nancy Drew book. The best part — I wasn’t supposed to be in the library, but the librarian made an exception for me. And sometimes she would put new books aside so I could read them first.

Sweet memories

Christine A.: Absolutely loved Nancy Drew. Every Saturday, I would spend my allowance on books and read them during the week. The Nancy Drew Cookbook was my first cookbook. Enjoyed making the sugar cookies.

Bobbi P.: I used to take care of the birds, plants, and fish for our neighbors when they would go on vacation to the coast. Every time, they would bring me a new Nancy Drew book, candy, and a piece of blown glass as payment.

The dissenting opinions

Sara J.: For me, while they taught me to love mysteries (Nero Wolf is my favourite), I hated the way the characters behaved in the books and how truly one-dimensional they were. Bess is the fat one, George is the tomboy, Nancy is perfect, everyone should be like Nancy. As a little kid, all the writing made me want was for Bess to find better friends. I read them because they were available and I would read anything, but I hated them.

Mariah M.: I actually hated Nancy Drew because my grandmother insisted ALWAYS buying them for me even though I read at a level consistent to an adult.

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Categories: Today in Books

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