ReaderCon Filipino Friday Week 2: Your Reader’s Story

August 19, 2011 - - 7 Comments


When I was a kid, my mom used to read me stories from Children Everywhere, volume 3 of the Childcraft series. This was probably the first book I read, when I actually could read for myself.
We might have given away our Childcraft set when we moved out of the house, but I saw a Children Everywhere in a Book Sale in 2005, and I bought it.
Stories I love from that volume:

Sorry for the photo quality. These were taken in 2005, and I can’t find the raw files anymore.

My next leap was when I discovered YA. I was at a friend’s house and saw her copy of Sweet Valley Twins #2, Teacher’s Pet. And from then on I followed that franchise, Twins to High to a few books in University. My reading life began here, and this particular branch led to Sweet Dreams and contemporary romance stories.

I talked about it in my Inquirer interview. (PS – Why did I do that? I should have come up with a fancier origin story for my reader self.) What I did not mention, but also really happened, was that I borrowed the Nancy Drew story Mysterious Mannequin at the same time.

I was eleven. Nancy Drew is not at all scary, and yet I put this book front-cover-side-down every time I took a break from it. This led to more Nancy Drew hardcover mysteries, a handful of Hardy Boys (Boyses?), to “harder” stuff like Christopher Pike and RL Stine.

And then, a slump. I blamed it on the tons of required reading in college. I took a Great Books class to feel good about reading again, but speed-reading through Faulkner’s Light in August (because of a presentation I had to make) and four other books in one semester was not very fun.

I got over it after taking a chance on The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

It was beautiful, and stayed with me long after I finished it. This started the branch that led me to more Indian lit (Jhumpa Lahiri et al), which has since become part of my yearly reading lists. And I discovered that I apparently like Booker winners and finalists.
Posted this in support of the 1st Filipino Reader Conference. Off to read the other posts…



  • Lee Mejia

    August 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm, Reply

    Mina: &quot;I saw her (Mina&#39;s friend) copy of Sweet Valley Twins #2, Teacher&#39;s Pet. And from then on I followed that franchise, Twins to High to a few books in University. My reading life began here.&quot;<br /><br />Me: I saw Mina&#39;s giveaway of Fairy Tale Fale on her Facebook Page. And from then on, I followed her works. From FTF to MIE, to NSA, to LYF. My reading life began here.

  • dementedchris

    August 20, 2011 at 11:39 am, Reply

    Childcraft!<br /><br />My first Nancy Drew title was Nancy&#39;s Mysterious Letter. I wonder how many other girls out there remember the first Nancy Drew mystery they&#39;ve read! 🙂

  • Monique

    August 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm, Reply

    I read some Nancy Drew as well, but then I sold all my copies later on. I read a few SVH, too, and the first few books of SVU, and then moved on. Haha. 🙂

  • Chachic

    August 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm, Reply

    Yay pictures of your favorite book as a kid! I think that&#39;s how it started for most of us. 🙂 I read the Sweet Valley books too – Kids, Twins, Unicorn Club, High and some SVU. Then I moved on to the Love Stories series. I remember reading a couple of Nancy Drewss but I didn&#39;t love it as much as the Sweet Valley or Babysitters Club or Love stories books. That was the extent of our YA

  • kaoko

    August 21, 2011 at 4:47 am, Reply

    I still have some selected volumes of Childcraft. Now I regret giving some of them away. And yay for Sweet Valley Twins and Nancy Drew.

  • Iggy

    August 26, 2011 at 10:14 am, Reply

    I had to memorize Near or Far when I was in Grade 1 for a storyteller competition during reading week…and I changed the ending! Kulang sa impact yung original ending LOL!<br /><br />My most favorite story from Children Everywhere is the Adventures of Farfounet (France). Always wanted a passenger pigeon in my school bag!

  • Mina

    August 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm, Reply

    @Lee Ano ba! Am honored though.<br /><br />@dementedchris The first Nancy Drew I owned naman was Password to Larkspur Lane.<br /><br />@Monique SVU was soooo bad. 😛 I moved on right away too.<br /><br />@kaoko I feel the same way about giving away Childcraft. Should have kept them.<br /><br />@Iggy You edited Near or Far! Haha!

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About Mina

Mina V. Esguerra writes and publishes romance novels. She founded #RomanceClass, a community of Filipino authors of romance in English.
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