I remember reading my Nancy Drew books when I was a teen. I would hole myself up in my room to savor and then devour them. The feeling that came over me when I held the “Secret of the Old Clock” in my hands was like anticipation of the first bite of a german chocolate cupcake with coconuty icing. Yum.
Reading was addicting.
I couldn’t wait to dig into a new book. I looked forward to the time I could shut my door, curl up on my bed, and shut out the world. I wanted to be drawn into the world of Nancy, Bess, George and Ned. They were now my friends. My comrades. I was solving the mystery right along with them!
Much of the fun of reading these books came from thinking through the clues and the mysteries, “I bet it was old man Thomas that stole the clock”, or “The maid was the only one who could have known about this…” or “That sneaky gardener sure acts like he is guilty…” The clues would pile up, and I would already be forming a picture of the culprit in my mind, but sometimes the picture would change several times before the book ended.
I always loved endings with a twist. Ones that made me say, “Wow! I would never have come up with that angle!” I loathe books which are predictable and scattered with not very likeable characters. I feel like I am wasting precious time with them. I adore the twists and turns that make my gut clench with that feeling of anxiety. I agonize and experience injustice right along with the protagonist, and love to root for the killer or villain to come to justice.
Shouldn’t justice prevail?
Sometimes the hero first has to slog his or her way through loss, pain, scorn, multiple battles, rage and downright injustice, but they should always win out in the end. Books take me to another world, another place, another time. New friends are celebrated, enemies despised, heroes rooted for, continents traversed, love savored, loss mourned, and redemption cheered.
My friends. Books.