Junior Year of High School, I wrote a research paper for my AP English class, about "Nancy Drew and Her Ties to Female Empowerment in the '30s and '60s." The assignment called for six pages of size 12 font, regular-margins typewritten exposition. My teacher, Mrs. Wyma, commended me on my work in front of the class, being that she loved Nancy Drew as well as I did. What she didn't remark upon, was how when I turned the paper in, I had paper-clipped to the back a second copy... this one twelve pages, with "My Best Work" written across the top in red pen.
I can call to mind the details of where I was and what I thought on the day I received my first Nancy Drews: we were in the dining room, I was sitting on the ground in front of the couches that were laid out parallel to our large front windows, and all I could look at were the large rectangular presents that I couldn't wait to tear apart. However, when I did, I was surprised: stack upon stack of shrink-wrapped yellow covers, all with an unfamiliar name - Nancy Drew - stamped across the tops of the spines. I remember feeling ambivalent at the time, but my mother and three aunts wouldn't stop cooing over my new collection.
I elected to stay in from recess at the Montessori school my sister, The Cheerleader, and I attended, to read on a daily basis, so that was nothing unusual; I just curled up on one of the mats in the corner and read. However, the day I brought in my first Nancy Drew was different: my reading was interrupted. Every time I saw an adult headed towards me, I groaned inwardly, knowing I would have to listen quietly while they talked to me about how much they loved the books I was, well, trying to read.
I remember just this past year, when my mother and I were attending the Bi-Annual Puyallup Antique Show at the Fairgrounds, and walking up to my favorite vintage bookseller's stand, I see the most heart-breaking sight ever: a middle-aged man, placing that distinctive cover of my much-sought-after, precious 1930s copy of The Secret of the Old Clock into his tote bag. If I had been five minutes earlier, I would have got it.
What I'm hoping to impress upon you, was not just how much I love Nancy Drew, but how much she has affected my life and the way I read, in general. It's because of Nancy that I'm obsessed with collecting Agatha Christie novels, and why I pressured my Dad to help fund the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign (we saw the movie in our matching tee shirts). I DVR the '70s television show whenever its on some flashback channel, even though it isn't very good; the 2007 version is continually downloaded to my iPod, even though that wasn't great either. It's just because it's Nancy.
(And because it's kind of what I do, as if you needed another reason to click over, here's my favorite outfit from the post, oriented around updating old sleuthing favorites!)