Family Stories: Nancy Drew… The Hunt
No sooner than I began the hunt for Nancy Drew books for my granddaughter Ella, then the inner Nancy Drew fan inside me surfaced. The hunt now became personal for me as not only am I hunting for books for my granddaughter… I also am secretly searching for vintage Nancy Drew books for me. Oh, if only my books hadn’t been
thrown, given away!
In past years I ran across many Nancy Drew at tag sales, flea markets, and antique stores and passed them by… but now that I’m looking… they seem to be seriously hiding! It’s taken me weeks before I even found my very first copy at a town flea market. It was exciting to finally find a copy, but I felt the price tag of 5 dollars was too high, so I laid it down, but hubby pushed me to go back and haggle a better price… which I did and I left with it, paying 3 dollars. At least I’ve broken the ice, and found my first book!
Yes, they are on eBay, Etsy, and Abe…. but it’s the hunt and the find which is the most fun… discovering them with your own eyes! Just recently I’ve discovered that many are to be found at library “book sales.” Who Knew! My husband had mentioned trying a library and I laughed… “they don’t have books for sale.” Well, they don’t per say… but they seem to store donated books and have yearly sales.
My first book sale attendance was by accident and I was quite overwhelmed with the number of books there and all the people buying…. and they came prepared… carrying bags to shop the many boxes of books. Needless to say, I left with a box of Nancy Drew books!
I now know that “book sales” are where my coveted Nancy Drew books have been hiding… Who Knew!
After locating a “book finder” online… I was now armed with where to hunt for those library sales. Just recently I added more of the “flashlight” series from a school sale for my granddaughter, but I am still on the hunt for vintage ones for me.
The more obsessed I became with hunting for books, the more I read on the history involved in creating Nancy Drew… I never knew how the Nancy’s were created…. and now I’m obsessed in knowing it all.
Facebook has several Nancy Drew book groups…. with people just like me rebuilding their long lost collections of Nancy’s! The more I read, the more I’m being pulled in.
Just recently I went to another “big” library book sale advertised as their 59th year…. I felt for sure that there would be Nancy’s there… and I was right! There were two huge tents on the library’s long front lawn and more books underneath than I have ever seen, but after walking and walking… I finally found the children’s section. It took my eyes only a couple of minutes to finally look under the table to discover what I had come for. I first found the “flashlight” series and after comparing them to my list with the help of hubby…. I filled a box! Yes, I had made a list of all I already had, so I didn’t end up with too many doubles. As I made my way further down, I found what I was really looking for… the vintage Nancy’s… and they were only marked one dollar, cheaper than the flashlight ones at two dollars – go figure! It didn’t take me long to fill another box… they were all coming home with me!
Thank heaven hubby came with me… those boxes were heavy!
When I first bought my Nancy books in the 1960’s, they were bought “new“… did I write my name inside like many I find today? Whenever my mother mentioned she was going to K-Mart… I never fussed about going along… I knew she’d buy me a new book! I wonder if my books are still out there somewhere in someone’s collection? Imagine finding those books!
I bought my daughter Nancy Drew books when she was young, but either she wasn’t really a reader or they just didn’t interest her as she packed them away a long time ago… and it took until now to finally find them; I knew I had never sold or gave them away, or at least I didn’t think so. I hadn’t seen her Nancy’s in probably twenty plus years until today… when hubby came up from the basement with an old Avon box… and there they were! I was so excited to finally see them… and finally, know that she hadn’t disposed of them under my “prying” eyes whenever she brought trash down!
I spent my afternoon, looking through every one of those books, writing down story names, and listing their conditions and styles to better identify them. Even though you really don’t want writing in your books, it is interesting to read the names and scrutinize what and why they wrote what they did. Some wrote just their names, some added the address and even their phone number… and when you see no area code, it pretty much pinpoints how early it was written. Some even put small check marks by the listing of other book titles… they were identifying their libraries. Many of the ones bought at library sales all belonging to just one girl. A few of the ones I have inscribed are locally from New Haven, Ct., New York… with the furthermost being from Illinois.
Finally, I opened a book, No. 1, The Secret of the Old Clock… and there was a name I recognized… “This book belongs to Melissa”… I guess my daughter read one book! These will now be saved for her daughters, hopefully, McKinley and Grace will be readers!
This is not the end of my “hunt” for Ella’s set is still missing six books, my vintage collection is missing quite a few and my daughter’s set was never completed. It seems the higher numbers are in shorter supply than the early numbers. I seem to have my work cut out for me, but I’ll slow down my search a bit now… as it’s the “hunt” that is the most fun!
Want to read more family stories, click…. Family Stories
To read Nancy Drew has Created a Monster, click title
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