You know how Anne of Green Gables had a window friend? Well, growing up I had book friends. And also an imaginary friend, but that’s a story for another day. I suppose you could say that I had no choice but to be a reader. Books captured me practically from the womb and I honestly can’t imagine life without them.
I read and read and read and read. It wasn’t unusual for me to finish a book a day in the summertime when school was on a break. I read the Nancy Drew series (it still cracks me up that her boyfriend’s name was Ned and her gal pal was named George), I read the Mandie series by Gladys Lois Leppard, I read the Babysitter’s Club series, I read the Elizabeth Gail series, the Christy Miller series, the Sadie Rose series…you name it, I read it. I vividly remember the Campbell County Public Library and wandering its halls in search of my next book to devour.
One such series followed the adventures of Cherry Ames. Now Cherry, you should know, was a nurse. Not just any nurse, though. Over the course of these books by Helen Wells, Cherry was a student nurse, a cruise nurse, a flight nurse, a dude ranch nurse, a rest home nurse, a department store nurse, an island nurse, a jungle nurse…you get the idea. And even though I know medicine is NOT my calling, Cherry Ames took me on all her nursing escapades and I felt like some of her amiable spirit and pleasant bedside manner rubbed off on me. Unlike the series’ above which are easy to find for a relatively good price at new and used bookstores, I’ve had a heck of a time finding any remnants of the Cherry Ames series. Amazon has them, but they go for about $13 a pop. Having started a hard-core budget this year, it’s just not in the cards. *Sniff.
My relatively new friends Brenda and Mike own a booth at an antique mall and are always out “junking” to find things for their space. So when Brenda greeted me in church last Sunday holding a worn hardback copy of Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse in her hand, I am embarrassed to admit that I gasped. It was like I had my friend back! Since then, I’ve made a lot of HUMAN friends so the bookish ones are not needed primarily. Still. It was a lovely surprise and every time I see the cover of the book it makes me smile.
Are there any books that you read when you were a kid that made a big impression?