Nancy Drew: My First True (Book) Love
When I was a kid, my answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?" always directly correlated to what I was reading at the time. Books transported me to such a degree that I could feel myself in the position of the characters. Of course, now I know it was ridiculous to think that I could ever have been an archeologist - I hate being dusty. Doctor? Blood makes me queasy. ETC., ETC.
That being said, for a long long time my ultimate desire in life was to become an amateur detective, just like Nancy Drew. I carried a notebook with me and tried to observe every miniscule detail of my life, but, alas, I never came across a true mystery in my childhood. That did not stop me from devouring her books, though. I literally used to read one a day in the summer. It's what I asked for for every birthday, Christmas, or other gift-receiving opportunity. Every time my mom took me with her to Sam's Club I begged for her to get me a set (this was back when they used to sell sets of four for like $20 - a steal!).
Nancy Drew and the Mysterious Mannequin was the first book I voluntarily read and enjoyed. My parents had it on their cherished bookshelf (with all the books my brother, sister, and I weren't supposed to mess with unless under adult supervision) and I remember gazing at the cover picture and thinking it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. When I was seven or eight I decided to actually read it, and so began the obsession.
My reading habit took off with a voraciousness that is hard to explain, and continued at such a fast pace that I somehow "outgrew" my precious Nancy Drew books before I had a chance to collect each original hardback in the series. I have probably 50 of the 64, and hope to finish the collection so I can someday share it with my children.
Next in line - Hardy Boys. I never read them (because I'm a girl, duh) but I am starting a collection for Abraham. There is just nothing like a mystery story to keep you entertained on a summer day.