Saturday, November 11, 2006

Judging a book...

Yesterday, I participated in a great yardsaling adventure with Penny, Katie and my mother. Spirits were high, as well as temperatures. Not that we were feverish, but the outdoor temperature was up in the low 80's, I think, at one point. In November! The whole Southern balminess thing still surprises me, even after a year. I got a chair and matching ottoman for a mere fifteen bucks at the first yardsale. It's a tad oldish and there are a few spots and such, but on the whole it is a very sound, comfortable chair and pretty good-looking. I got it for our basement apartment, which is soon to be inhabited by Grandpa/Uncle Charlie/Mr. Pass.

At the next yardsale, I found some Happy Hollister books. As a child, I read this charming, archaic, corny, wholesome series about a family of sleuthing children- kind of junior Hardy Boys, except there are three girls in the family. They seem to run into adventures and mysteries everywhere, and the bad guys are always brought to justice, mumbling about how everything in their nefarious schemes was going well until "these prying kids showed up and ruined everything." Anyway, I bought four of these books, including the pilot episode, which introduces the Hollister family, as they move to the town of Shoreham. ( What is it with books of this ilk and the way they name towns? Bayport? Shoreham? River Heights? They all sound like cheesy subdivisions. But then, if I'm getting into criticism of this genre, town names merely scratch the surface of the campy iceberg.)

The books were a little tattered, but I thought it would be nice to have them, for sentimental value, and perhaps someday, our future children might like to read them.

I was leafing through the first book today, and found a few pages that looked as though they had been stabbed. Whatever. I kept going and suddenly found that someone had carved out a rectangular space through several pages, from page 17 - 44 to be exact, as if someone had been intending to smuggle something within the book. I was annoyed - I wish I had seen that before I bought it- but I was also a bit intrigued. What is the story behind this tale of tome mutilation? Was it the act of some child, just being mischevious? Or is there a darker story involved? Should I have the book exorcised, to cleanse it from a shady past? If this was the instrument of sketchiness, I have to admire the genius of whoever used the book- who would think of suspecting a Happy Hollisters book of containing anything untoward? It's a deliciously ironic little scheme.

I asked Brad if he had ever read the Happy Hollisters. He said, "No, it's against my religion." Okaaaaaaay. Clearly, three years of marriage isn't enough to plumb the depths of all our differences.

4 comments:

KJ said...

Hurray for Yard sales and the Happy Hollisters! Those are good books, but it may disturb the plot slightly to have so much missing in the middle! :)

ljmax said...

I read those books over and over, I'm ashamed to admit. I remember in the Essex library you could see the names of who had checked out a book and it was mostly me and Nate checking out those books.
Very funny post!

Anonymous said...

I loved the Hollister books!!! Pete was SO grown up (12 years OLD?!?! It seemed practically unattainable!). I can remember so much about them - gentle Pam, mischievous, freckled Ricky with "tousled" hair, pig-tailed Holly, and of course, Sue, the four-year-old who "ran as fast as her chubby little legs would carry her." Officer Cal, Joey Brill...the list goes on. It's funny how just thinking about old books can bring back so many memories.

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