The Three "R's"

Ramblings, Reflections, Reviews … From the "Pen" of William Land

Meet William Land

Bill-Locket-3-crop

This is my first Blog post! Welcome!

I thought I would introduce myself by posting a questionnaire I completed today for a Yahoo discussion group list for one of my hobbies. I am an avid fan and collector of children’s series books; i.e., Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, and Trixie Belden.

From time to time, I shall post about things I write about, or anything I’ve written. I hope my words may resonate and be enjoyable to some people.

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Name: William Land.

Nicknames: Bill, Billy, Will, Willy, Liam, Billiam.

Main livelihood/activity: Retired Library Technician.

Second activity that seems like a full-time job:

Series book collecting and somewhat active involvement in those communities (not considerably more dollars go out in this job then come in! I’m glad I have pensions!)

Sometimes I sell on e-Bay. I am starting to downsize my large collections. My store is Vintage Books and Other Treasures. My ID is seriescollector.

Age: 55 (birthdate: December 7, 1959)

I turned 55 last year and am once again in a higher age category to check when completing surveys.

Home:

Sudbury ON Canada. I moved here in December 2003 for a good job and to be near my mother, brothers, and other relatives. I have the greatest apartment – it’s just like what Aunt Eloise Drew might rent in New York without the cost! This building is over 100 years old (circa 2004) and the main living areas are large and charming.

Familial Status:

I am a single gay male, seeking a wealthy series collector beau to indulge my every wish and whim!

My father is deceased, my mother, sadly, lives with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease, and I have four younger brothers with marriages and children. I also have a large extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) and many friends; some of whom live nearby; others are geographically distant. I am exceptionally blessed with the people in my life.

Hobbies: Collecting series books/memorabilia, English bone china teacups/saucers, TV series on DVD. I also enjoy writing and decided yesterday (February 2, 2015) that I am going to start a Blog.

Series Collected:

Many boys and girls series including Anne of Green Gables, Beverly Gray, Betty Gordon, Blythe Girls, Bobbsey Twins, Buddy, Cherry Ames, Chris Cool, Connie Blair, Dana Girls, Five Find-Outers, Ginny Gordon, Happy Hollisters, Hardy Boys (excluding the currently published and personally disliked Undercover Brothers series), Honey Bunch, Honey Bunch and Norman, Judy Bolton, Kay Tracey, Ken Holt, Linda Craig, Little House on the Prairie, the Mitchells, the Moffats, Nancy Clue, Nancy Drew (excluding the 21century Girl Detective and Diaries series ), Peggy Lane, Penny Parker, Rick Brant, Robin Kane, Ruth Fielding, Susan Sand, Susan Slutt (née Slut), Trixie Belden, Vicki Barr.

I also enjoy reading adult popular fiction and cozy mysteries. Favourite series include Scumble River Mysteries by Denise Swanson, the Bed and Breakfast Mysteries by Mary Daheim, the Darling Dahlias Susan Wittig Albert, and the Flower Shop Mysteries by Kate Collins.

I also read the current choice for my Book Club. This group is comprised of a group of presently employed and retired library technicians. We’ve been meeting six or seven times annually since 2004 to socialize, have dinner, and talk about a book. The members have known each other for at least 30 years; some as long as 40. It’s an amazing group of eight women and me!

Favorite Series Collectibles I Own:

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys British Collins hardcovers, 1970s TV series memorabilia of Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, the Grosset and Dunlap library publisher’s editions not unmarked by libraries for Nancy Drew (lavender-spine), Hardy Boys (light-blue spine) and Bobbsey Twins (red-spine).

My prized possession is an original Nancy Drew Files painting. I also have the original artwork to one of the illustrations from the recently published Judy Bolton title, The Strange Likeness. Judy receives the diamond necklace from Peter on Christmas in this picture.
Favorite Series:

Nancy Drew for her “fantasy” world and Judy Bolton for her “realistic” world.

How I started reading and/or collecting the Judy Bolton series:

As a child of the late 1960s, early 1970s, I read a smattering of original text and revised text Nancys in mostly picture cover formats. These books were purchased new for me by a doting grandmother or given to me by older cousins and friends. They were easily found in bookstores and libraries, and the older Grosset and Dunlap series were not. I read a few Judy Bolton books as a child and I liked them. I remember reading The Haunted Attic, The Living Portrait, The Secret of the Musical Tree, and The Clue of the Broken Wing.

In the early 1980s, I wanted to read these out-of-print series books. I wrote to many used book dealers and out-of-print markets in Canada and the USA. After I purchased my first Nancy Drew with a 1930s style dustjacket, I wanted them all in dustjackets (that book was The Clue of the Broken Locket). Eventually, my library expanded to including all formats and examples of formats and foreign editions for all series in which I’m interested.

I have a large collection of Judy Bolton books: the first 34 in 1950s wraparound-spine/white-spine dustjacket, the 35 of 38 books in green pictorial hardcover, the four Tempo paperbacks, the first two Applewood reprints with the 1930s white-spine dustjacket, the last two titles (pre-#39) in glossy green-spine pictorial hardcover, and the 39 Applewood purple-spine paperbacks.

Why do I have so many Judy Bolton books, one may wonder? Well, I am a completist, and want as many books as possible in the series I collect in various formats.

Why is this an issue now, one may wonder? I am getting older (still on the right side of the sod – so I’m not complaining), but I realize that I will have to downsize to a smaller home when I can no longer manage the stairs in my apartment building. What shall I do with all the books and collectibles?

How did you discover this Yahoo discussion group, JudyBoltonFans?

Late in 2001, I joined the NancyDrewSleuths discussion group lead by Jennifer Fisher. At that time the group was very prolific in talking about “all things Nancy” and I found out about JudyBoltonFans through postings on the NDS list.

Series Wants:

I am seeking additions to my “oddities” collection (books that have the wrong text and cover, books bound upside down), the Easton Press Hardy Boys collection in of leather bound books in slipcases with original cover artwork mimicking the original book (like I’ll every be rich enough to afford those!), and the titles I need to complete my set of Grosset and Dunlap library binding (unmarked) books for Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and the Bobbsey Twins series.

Personal Trivia-Series:

I am one of the early members of The Phantom Friends (circa 1986). With Kate Emburg’s support and encouragement, I wrote and co-authored some stories for her original Susan Slutt series book parodies (thanks, Kate!) from 1988-1998. I’ve also been published in The Whispered Watchword and other fanzines.

Sometimes I am a “fact checker” for my friend, series collector and playwright, Greg Finnegan (“The Three B’s”—a series of plays about three school-aged girls who sing show tunes and solve mysteries!).

In 2008, my book collection was established in my apartment after the majority of it being in storage for many years. When I saw all the boxes to be unpacked, even I thought it excessive! At that time, a cousin asked me how long I had been collecting. My reply, “For almost 20 years, since 1980 when I graduated from college.” Her reply after a moment’s pause, “Bill, that’s almost 30 years!” I was astonished and said so and then explained that might be why there are so many books! <smile>

Series books were always a comfort to me in childhood when life was very difficult much of the time. I was born with cerebral palsy, and didn’t fit in well with my peers and other children. I much preferred the company of an adventure story.

As an adult, I wanted to read and collect these treasured tomes from a bygone age. I became fascinated with the genre, and the stories behind the pseudonyms, and the publishing history. For many years, I thought I was the only adult who collected and enjoyed these books, but I was very wrong. Over the years, I’ve “met” many adult fans.

During childhood, series books were my friends; as an adult, series books brought me friends. (I have captured the gist of the remark from something series collector, Lorraine Rogers, once wrote), and adopted it as my own! Thanks, Lorraine!

Anything Else?

In addition to cerebral palsy, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2011. As a result of the health issues surrounding this new challenge, I retired from work with disability pensions in 2012. My disabilities may slow me down, but they will not stop me! I am so fortunate to have a strong support network of people who are supportive and caring of me. Some of them live near by; others are geographically distant. I am exceptionally blessed!

©2015

2 Comments

  1. Book Club Linda

    Hi Bill, this is great! Looking forward to more posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna

    Enjojed reading your post. All the best, Billy

    Liked by 1 person

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