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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro, Simon Prebble
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo
Jeff Long
Progress: 11/431 pages
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Carolyn Keene
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %

ND2.0: The Nancy Drew Project Con’t for The Hidden Staircase

The Hidden Staircase  - Carolyn Keene The Hidden Staircase - Mildred Benson, Carolyn Keene

Two years ago, I was inspired by a fellow Bookliker to embark on a project to read through my Nancy Drew collection, in order, and comparing the original to the revised texts. I had completed most of the first book before it stalled due to other demands on my time. I’m setting some 2018 reading goals to get through at least 4 books per year, though, so I’m ready to post on the second book in the series, The Hidden Staircase.


The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories began as a girls’ adventure series in 1930 by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, written by various authors under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, following the story idea and outline provided by the Syndicate. Starting in 1959, the books were rewritten, condensing them to 20 chapters/180 pages, modernizing the stories, and eliminating some of the racist stereotypes found in the original stories. Some revisions only updated the stories, but others featured extensive revisions and sometimes even a completely new story. The Hidden Staircase was originally written in 1930 by Mildred A. Wirt Benson and revised in 1959 by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams. It is one of those that was extensively revised, so it was much more of a challenge to do a chapter-by-chapter comparison than for The Secret of the Old Clock. I’ll post the chapter comparisons over the next several days.


Shelfie of my Nancy Drew collection: Starting with the books I owned and loved as a girl, I’ve added to it over the years from junk shops, used bookstores, and online purchases, with a goal of owning a copy of each format – original and revised texts, illustrations, and cover art. It is not yet complete.