As you probably do not know, I’ve begun collecting a series of books called Dear America that I used to read from 3rd grade to about 6th grade. Each is a fictional diary of a girl living during a different era of American history. Some of my favorites incluse the one about a girl living in Valley Forge when George Washington and his troops are there, and one about a Russian immigrant who arrives with her family in New York City at the turn of the 20th Century. They’re really good books and they definitely had an impact on my interest in History as well as my BA in the subject. They went out of print around 2004, and while I’m happy that Scholastic started to republish them in 2010, these new editions look different and I miss the ones I used to read. They felt so good in your hands — each is in a different color with library binding, and the portrait of the fictional protagonist is lifted from actual artwork and photographs. Plus they each come with a ribbon bookmark, which I found very cool as a 9-year-old.
I have a bunch from my Dear America-reading days, so I’ve starting collecting them, and it’s become kind of a crazy obsession. I MUST HAVE THEM ALL (but, they must fit my very specific specifications of 1. Being in the normal library binding, no paperbacks, and 2. Being only the Dear America or the Royal Diaries series (fictional diaries of famous princessess/queens throughout history, also excellent) — but NOT the other two spinoff series).
I had about 10 to start my initial collection, but it’s grown pretty rapidly in the last few months. I had an Amazon gift card which I recently used to buy seven of them, and when they arrived it was like Christmas come early — I had never even SEEN some of these in person before, sigh.
And today on our wat back from the Huntington, my very wise mother suggested we stop at a dollar bookstore that she had seen, where I found THREE whole beautiful new books for my collection! It was unreal. I had been having visions about one of them before, which made it extra satisfying.
I currently own 25 of them, and I have 11 more to go in order to complete my collection. Marisa just texted me a picture of a whole bunch of them in a used bookstore in Downtown LA, so I will definitely be making the trek over there this week at some point.
I could probably buy them in one swoop on Amazon right this second if I tried, but what’s the fun in that when there are garage sales and used bookstores around? 🙂