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The Library

By: vkimo
Growing up, I wasn't always a reader. I know what you're probably saying, "vkimo, are you serious?  Between your 17 second attention span and inability to make it through a listmania article, we'd have never guessed!" In this article though I'd like to share with you some of the books I had the fondest memories with. 


Westing Game


This book was kind of like a novelized game of Clue. Sort of. Some rich guy is leaving a bunch of money to an heir and through a game a winner can obtain the fortune...I think. It's been so many years I really don't remember the plot but I do remember the Chinese Restaurant owned by Mr. Hoo and how I would have the biggest hankering for chow mein every time I read about it. Think that was a shallow memory for a book? Read on, it gets worse. 


Choose Your Own Adventure Series


Man, I had such a love-hate relationship with these books. Dire choices lay before you at the end of every page, choose correctly and live to tell about it. Choose foolishly and you wake up in a lab while scientists test toxic shampoo on your scalp. Being the OCD kid that I was I would use bookmarks and go through every possible outcome in a story. Goosebumps tried it with the "Reader beware, you choose the scare!" angle but it really never did it for me the way CYOA did. Not to mention looking back, I really dig the cover art.


Big Large Book


Oh, you're going to hate me for this one. It was 3rd or 4th grade..hard to remember when you repeated so many times. We had a substitute who didn't give a hoot and instead of teaching a lesson plan had us watching some history documentary on VHS. (For the post 1990s crowd VHS stands for Visual enHancing System - I know, it was a weird decade) While the narrator droned on about the feudal system and our sub read the paper, my friends started throwing stuff at each other, eventually resulting in spitball shooting. To avoid getting barraged I grabbed this huge book from the book shelf. I can't remember but I think it was maps of the world or something. It was like 2 feet tall though and provided great defensive capabilities as I returned fire. 



Cross-Sections 


The Cross-Sections series as a whole was one of my childhood favorites. In particular I liked the castle edition. It was a pretty gritty book actually. I remember one of the pages dedicated to the torture chamber and showing various instruments of doom. There was also an illustration of a man using a primitive toilet. I liked how so much was going on in each page. It had that Where's Waldo vibe.

Zoo Books


Man, Zoo Books were a hot commodity at my library. They were ALWAYS checked out. You could forget about the Dinosaur issues. Heck, I was lucky if the Street Pigeon copy was available. I won't lie, I was mostly in it for the pictures. I wasn't so interested in the fact that a Cheetah could outrun an impala as much as i wanted to see it eating one.

Redwall


Redwall will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the series that would get me into reading full length novels. I loved to get lost in the world of Mossflower. The series was very formulaic, but I didn't mind. It was a comfort novel that always helped me escape real life worries. I was really sad when Brian Jacques passed away but enjoy that his spirit lives on in his books.

Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-zoo


This book was a doozie. The drawings were really far out and off the wall. Each page was packed with details and you could spend minutes on each page just seeing what was going on. The Professor collects weird animals but one eludes him, the Zipperumo-a-zoo. He goes all over trying to find it, encountering all manner of strange beats along the way. I had a weird crush on Izzabella, Queen of the Croonies though, and she was a bird.


Well that about wraps it up. I know I omitted some pretty major titles like Goosebumps, Animporphs, Boxcar Kids, etc. Those just go without saying, the above books were some that just stood out for whatever reason. What books did you cherish as a kid?

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massreality Posted on Feb 28, 2016 at 01:46 PM

Man, I totally forgot about cross sections! I loved browsing through them.

I was also a big fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure. I'd usually get irritated and quit when things didn't got the way I wanted them to.

Vaporman87 Posted on Feb 28, 2016 at 09:44 AM

That's quite a varied list of favorite library books, V. I didn't read anything but magazines and comics growing up. I hated reading. LOL. Though, when it came to our school library, they did have a few things that caught my interest. They have been mentioned in forum thread... a series of books on monsters and other cool subjects. The name of them escapes me at the moment.

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