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  • Nic Plume

Memories of Childhood Reading

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

German Novella Series 'Mystery'

Taft waits for me to catch up. We walk across the hangar, down a passageway, and turn into his office. It's spartan: a desk with three chairs, a shelf with printed manuals and books, a drink dispenser, and a weapons locker. If that doesn't raise questions, I don't know what would. Who still reads printed materials? - Kaydeen, Prologue, Tinaree - Trial By Inferno

I do. Thank you very much, Kay. While we do use ebooks on Earth (and I have many of them), I do also enjoy reading the real thing. There is nothing like feeling the weight of a book in your hand and the texture of the paper as you flip the page. There's been many books and series over the years that have made it to my 'favorite' list, but few of them have made enough of an impression that I still know when, where, and how I got them or read them. And some of them I have held onto until today.

The earliest book I remember reading and holding onto was 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar.' I think I finally got rid of that one when I was a teen and it was not cool to have a children's picture book lying about. The next book I remember is a children's book with bible stories, in the form of short stories with pictures scattered throughout. That one I got for Religion class in first or second grade - Yes, in Germany, religion (either catholic or protestant) is a mandatory class you take until you graduate high school. At least it was while I was in school. I have no idea what happened to that book, but I still clearly remember what it looked like.

 ‘Mystery’ is the name of the serial books I devoured as a teenager. The stories were short novelettes or novellas that came out monthly from Cora publishers. I read them for years, even after I moved to the US, and still have a cardboard box full of them in my attic. They are still available, in ebook format, though I did see a listing on for a couple of used ones I actually remember reading. As the series title suggests the stories were in the mystery/paranormal genre and geared towards young adult readers, mostly girls.

Since the books were short, they fit easily into the schedule of a ‘busy’ teenager. I haven’t looked at them in years (more like decades), but I have not been willing to get rid of them and have dragged them all across the US — and world for that matter, they did come from Germany, after all. One of these days I will get around to digging them out again, and hopefully they will have survived the temperature changes of attic storage.

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