December 14, 2005

By The Light of the Study Lamp

by Carolyn Keane

When Linda was a little girl, she read the 30-odd volume series of Dana Girl mysteries, which were written and marketed for little girls. Some she read at the library, some she bought with her allowance. The library's moved and updated and now we live far from there, and while she was off at Swarthmore and Harvard, someone figured she was too big for children's books.

Last year, I surprised her with a full set of serviceable reading copies. (Check out the cover of volume one: teenage plumage has changed a bit since 1935)

This is something that would be expensive or arduous before the Internet, and now is comparatively straightforward. I couldn't find a dealer interested in selling me reading copies, but it wasn't difficult to piece together a set through Amazon and aLibris and Abebooks. I actually preferred to find solid copies with names or bookplates; it's fun to wonder who these girls turned out to be.