Contented Reader

just point me toward the nearest library

Waiting for my turn to read Sweet Valley High

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I am twelve years old, and waiting for my turn to read the new Sweet Valley High book.  My friend Ryan’s mom buys her the new book as soon as it comes out, every time.  She has all of them, on her bookshelf, and they are in terrible condition.  Broken spines, creased covers, dog-eared pages, food stains, rain spots- they look like they’ve been through a war.

Once Ryan reads the book, she lends it to everyone who wants to read it, all the kids whose mothers can’t or won’t buy it.  How many of us are there?  I’m not sure.  I’m not first on the list, but I’m not last, either, and the books don’t usually look as bad when I read them as they will when they finally come to rest on the shelf in her room, next to Barbie’s Dream Townhouse.  Maybe five girls?  Possibly ten?  Might even be more.

It’s all very exciting, and as we get our turn, we eagerly discuss the latest episode, and the teen dramas of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield.  Our own lives are nothing like Jessica and Elizabeth’s lives.  We aren’t flawlessly beautiful.  We rarely go to school dances.  A few of us have boyfriends, but it isn’t like the relationships the girls in Sweet Valley have.

I didn’t even like the books that much, not half as much as the others.  I had no desire to be a prim princess like Elizabeth, or a slightly naughty ‘bad girl’ like Jessica.  I wanted to be Lietenant Uhura.  Or maybe Robin.  But I never missed my turn to read the latest Sweet Valley High book, anyway.  I liked being able to join in with the other girls in talking about a book we’d all read.

I’ve never gone back and tried to read one of those books now- I haven’t picked one up since junior high school.  I am not optimistic about how well they’ve stood the test of time, or how readable they’d be to a person with adult tastes.  I’m content to leave them as a memory.  But a fond one.


Written by Contented Reader

August 4, 2011 at 9:28 am

Posted in True stories


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