Personal Musings | reading

What did you read as a kid?

sweet valley highToday I bought some pistachio nuts, which seems like an odd way to start this post, but bear with me. You see, pistachio nuts remind me of one of my favourite books as a kid.

The book was ‘The Ten Cupcake Romance’. Yes, while all the other kids were reading literary classics such as Enid Blyton’s ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ and ‘The Famous Five’, or C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, I was reading trashy teen romances. And I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Now in this ‘Ten Cupcake Romance’ the main character has somewhat of an eating obsession with cupcakes when she falls for a boy. This occurs during the initial fall and the subsequent heartache. But I also recall her loving pistachio nuts, but worried about the ‘green meat of the nut getting stuck in her teeth’. For some reason that has stuck with me ever since. But whether or not it was from that book or another one, I’m can’t quite remember. I could be wrong. But hence, whenever I think of pistachio nuts, I think of this book.

Now, we’ve already established that my reading repertoire as a kid isn’t that classy, so I may as well go on and tell you what else I loved reading.

I remember reading a lot of horse and cat books during my early years from age 5 to about 10, and although I did read the a few Enid Blyton titles, it wasn’t until my tween and teens that I came developed a hunger for reading. And my favourite books were…..

The Sweet Valley High series.

Now as a young girl in the eighties, you were in one of two camps: The Baby-Sitters Club camp or the Sweet Valley High camp. I was SVH all the way.

I still remember reading about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield and their romances, fights and heartaches. Liz and Jess were two all-American teenagers, blonde-haired, blue-eyed and gorgeous – so very American dream. And I loved it.

I loved the setting of the stereotypical American high school and the ‘hot’ boys in their varsity jackets who inhabited the hallways strutting with white-tooth smiles and flicking their sandy coloured hair out of their eyes. Oh, it was all so dreamy.

At this point, I have to admit I was very wet-behind the ears, easily influenced and would fall for any boy that so much as smiled at me. Especially, should they be singing to me on Countdown or Video Hits. Yes, I was a celebrity crazed groupie of all things Corey Hart, Morten Harket, Simon Le Bon or Jon Bon Jovi. So you can see how these books were appealing. Well, that’s my excuse anyway.

Back then, I wasn’t worried about the thinly worked plots or unrealistic dialogue, all I knew was these books had the perfect recipe for any tweenie or young teen. They certainly nailed it.

I’m not sure what happened to all my Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dreams books or whatever happened to ‘The Ten Cupcake Romance’. They were probably sold at a garage sale or donated to the salvos somewhere along the way. And you will be pleased to know my reading repertoire improved later in my teenage years where books like ‘The Outsiders’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ were added to my reading lists, and favourite book list too. But still, SVH will always hold a special place in my heart.


What were your favourite books as a kid?
Were you a kid of the 80’s – and were you Babysitters Club or SVH?

Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT