The Book that Got You Hooked

The website Firstbook.org held a survey that asked readers what book got them hooked on reading. The top 50 books are listed here. The top 10 are:

1. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene
2. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
3. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
5. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
6. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
7. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
8. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
9. Go, Dog, Go! by P. D. Eastman
10. Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman

While I do remember some of the kid books I read or had read to me (The Cat in the Hat, Go, Dog, Go!, Where the Wild Things Are, Alexander and the No Good, Terrible Horrible Whatever) but the books that really made me a reading fanatic were the Tom Swift, Jr. novels of the Stratenmeyer Syndicate, which was also responsible for the Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, and Hardy Boys books, plus many others. The first Tom Swift book I ever read, Tom Swift and the Visitor from Planet X, has apparently come in to the public domain, and is available both on Gutenberg.org and as an audiobook at Librivox.org, read by Mark Nelson, who cleverly records his intros with a strange electric guitar riff and a cheesy sci-fi echo box sound.

However, I will not be re-reading Planet X any time soon. Having earlier this year read the first fifteen volumes of the original Tom Swift series (about Tom Swift Jr’s father, written between 1912 and the late teens), and come to the conclusion (much, much too late) that they’re complete crap, I’m steering clear. As with most things, it’s better to remember the good times than find out they stank.

Via Suite101.

Image courtesy of Gutenberg.org.

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