Search This Blog

March 24, 2015

#Reading #NancyDrew @kathyivan #MFRWorg


I've always been a reader, from a very early age.  I was one of those kids in school who when they got the reading list for the year had it finished in just a few weeks.  Books were my escape from life, from school, from everything.  They took me away to places I'd never get to see outside of their pages.  I got to meet people and make special friends, all between the covers of a book.

One of my fondest memories was when I was about seven or eight.  My mom loved to visit second-hand shops and used book stores and I'd often go with her.  On this one particular afternoon, she was browsing, and I wandered around the store, never too far from her sight but enough that I felt free to look at my leisure.  In my explorations, I found a tattered old cardboard box.  When I started digging, I found these lovely old volumes of books I'd never seen or heard of.  They all starred this girl called Nancy Drew.

Opening the first book, I remember falling under the spell of the story.  A girl and her friends were having adventures.  Solving mysteries.  They were having FUN!  Oh, I wanted those books so much, but I didn't have enough to get one of them, much less all that were in that box.  I was heartbroken, because I knew they'd be gone the next time we came in.  After all, these were special books, so everybody would want to read them. 

My mom came over to check on what I was doing and I showed her the box filled with books.  I can still remember her face to this day.  My mother loved to read, and she wanted me to love it too.  But I also knew we couldn't afford all those books.  Still, she told me I could pick out two of them.   I was so careful, going through and looking at the jacket of each one, seeing Nancy and her pals running from the bad guys, or sneaking up a staircase. 

I finally made my choices and handed them to her.  She walked up to the cashier with our purchases and they had a long conversation while I waited.  Finally, the cashier nodded and smiled at me.  Then she walked back to where the magical box of books was and brought it over to the counter and put a SOLD sign on the top.  You see, my mother wanted me to have those books so much, she made arrangements to come back and make payments so they'd hold the books for her. 

I didn't understand how big a sacrifice that was back then, though I do today.  My mother wanted me to have those books, not because they were a possession I had to have, but because she understood how reading could change my life.  We went back several times until I had all the books from that box and read them all over and over.  

Though my reading tastes have matured and grown since then, my love of a good story still lives on.  Though to this day, whenever I see a Nancy Drew book I have to smile, because it brings back this sweet memory from my childhood. 

My latest release is Relentless Pursuit, New Orleans Connection Series Book 2.

Google Play:

Kathy Ivan can be found at her desk every day, with a bottle of water on one side and a scent candle burning on the other.  You can follow her at or on Facebook at or on twitter at .  


Sloane B. Collins said...

Kathy, I also grew up on Nancy Drew books. I have my mother's collection, as well as her Dana Girls, Cherry Aames, and Vicki Barr books. And yes, I wanted to be a detective, a nurse, and a stewardess (cause that's what they were called way back when!).
I've always loved reading, all different genres, but I'll never forget those first books that took me away.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Oh Kathy! I so completely understand your love. I fell under Nancy's spell too. I wanted to be Trixie Belden. And read the Hardy Boys as well. Your mom did a wonderful thing for you.

Sylvia said...

Oh my God, I loved Nancy Drew. I think I was in the sixth grade when I fell under her spell and read every one of hers. I still have such fond memories of those books. The library was my favorite place in school and while other kids groaned when we went there, I was in heaven. So many little time.

Liese said...

Nancy Drew was one of my passions as well! When I went to my grandmother's house once, I found one on her bookshelf! I still have it.

Our elementary school library (housed in the cafeteria because of space constraints related to the baby-boom) once put all the Nancy Drew books on sale because they weren't considered "good literature." I bought them all and still have them as well.

I remember how devastated I was when they raised the price from under $2 to more than $2. Didn't they know how many hours I had to babysit to make that much money?

Great walking down memory lane.
Thanks, Kathy!

Kathy Ivan said...

Hi Sloane. You still have all of yours? I wish I'd kept all of mine, but we moved a lot and things tended to go by the wayside. I also wanted to be all of those things and more. Isn't imagination a wonderful thing?

Kathy Ivan said...

Yes, Vicki, I always credit my mother with my love of reading. She's especially responsible for my love of romances of all genres. She was a very well-read woman but loved her romances.

Kathy Ivan said...

I also haunted the school library. Became one of my favorite places. Something about being surrounded by all those books. I think every little girl should read Nancy Drew. There's something about those adventures that makes you want to read more and more. I loved it.

Kathy Ivan said...

Isn't it amazing that you can take a whole group of women, who have very different reading and writing tastes, and mention Nancy Drew and they all remember reading her when they were younger?

I do think every little girl should have to read at least one of those books, because it will open up a magical world for them.

Kelly L Lee said...

I started my love affair with Trixie Belden, as opposed to Nancy Drew. Trixie books are no longer in circulation, but thanks to e-bay, my daughter has the full collection waiting for her, as soon as she graduates past "Magic Treehouse" and "Junie B Jones"

Kathy Ivan said...

I loved Trixie Belden too, Kelly. I just hope that our young kids growing up have the same enjoyment reading these books as we did. Times are different, but the stories i think are timeless!

Nancy said...

I love the PP blog and all the entries, but this one made me weepy with my own Nancy Drew books memories. Thanks, Kathy! Your mom - a gem!

Write on, Princesses!

Nancy Haddock