Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Reader memories January 24, 2010

Filed under: books — bestbookihavenotread @ 2:42 pm

As I unpack in the new house, I am coming across boxes of books from my childhood. I have gotten rid of many of the boxes over the years (don’t forget I come to book hoarding genetically), so I thought I was only going to be unpacking the “really special ones” from my childhood. At one point I must have been feeling more than nostalgic, because I just unpacked a box of Sweet Valley High books and Sweet Dream romance books. Ha!

I will admit that I read almost every Sweet Valley High book, and owned  more than my fair share of them at one point.

$2.25 the spine reads.  YA Novel.   Copyright 1983.

Here’s an example of a title- Playing with Fire. Book #3 created by Francine Pascal.

I did find images at for your viewing pleasure.

Before my Sweet Valley High phase, came the Sweet Dream series. I remember when I first saw the books in our local book store. We had the best local bookstore when I was growing up. It was in the basement of The Granville Times. The main store sold stationery, assignment books, and other things Denison students might need. Half way to the back of the store, there was a staircase on the right leading down to the treasure trove of books. It did lead right past the shelves of stuffed animals, which I also had quite a collection. Some days it was tough to decide how to spend my allowance-new books or stuffed animals.

Down the old basement stairs, handrail on the left, old stone foundation walls on the right, until you got to the bottom. There you turned and saw all the special displays of the newest titles. It must have been a very dry basement, because I don’t have any memory of basement smell. The first section had children’s and YA books, adult titles and non-fiction were in the back part of the basement. I’m sure my six foot seven husband would not have been able to fit down there even as a teen, but I found it cozy and fantastic!

I think I was with one of my friends, probably Becky, when we first spotted the display of Sweet Dreams books in the fall of 1981. I have a distinct memory of being very snobby about the books-something to the extent of “You won’t catch me reading dumb romances!” Well, that quickly changed when a friend gave me a couple for my birthday later that fall that I “had” to read, since they were a gift. I was hooked. I don’t know how many of the series I read, but the right answer is “too many”. I was laughing my rear off showing my husband the covers of a few of them.

He replied, “I’m not sure which is more shocking-those horrible 80’s hairstyles or the fact that your parents actually let you read those books?”

If only he knew about V.C. Andrews.


7 Responses to “Reader memories”

  1. Miss Pippi Says:

    What a fantastic find! I love seeing childhood favorites. Two of my favorite childhood reads were The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary and Mandy by Julie (Andrews) Edwards.

    • bestbookihavenotread Says:

      I found Luckiest Girl among the books as well! My husband thinks I should try to re-read one a month.

  2. Jen Robinson Says:

    Thanks for sharing this. The places books came from sure can stick in one’s memory, can’t they? I can still tell you exactly which books were on which shelves in both my elementary school and town public libraries. And I’m not someone who has a good memory in general.

    I never was into the Sweet Valley books, but I have fond memories of the Great Lakeside High Love Experiment, and of course the VC Andrews books…

  3. Marilyn Says:

    What a blast from the past. I totally remember reading those in high school. I think I must have read just about all the books in both series. I think they made a TV show about the Sweet Valley high girls.

    I knew it, here’s the link: and it looks like there is a new series in development.

  4. Ms Yingling Says:

    Wow. Just missed the Sweet Valley books, but remember being very into V.C.Andrews, even though I could only read them when I babysat! My public library had really old titles, so in the 1970s I was reading a lot of 1950s and 60s books. I had very few books of my own, so in my early twenties I started hunting down those titles to have as my own. I agree with reading one a month– maybe one a week to get you through February!

  5. Okay I am 12 and these happen to be my favorite series…… I think I have a bout 100 of them and I bought each of them with my own money…. The first one I bought was Wrong Way Romance… Talk about getting hooked on a series…. After that I kept finding Lots of them on Ebay and buy them separately

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