The Baby-Sitters Club. A billion-book series by Ann M. Martin (plus ghost writers), popular in the 80’s, about a bunch of 11/12/13-year-olds who start an agency to earn some cash and help parents of Stoneybrook, Connecticut find experienced, reliable baby sitters.
From memory, the books were about the challenges of being a pre-teen, and included a babysitting job sub-plot that related to that book’s big issue, reminding us that adults in this fictional town were comfortable leaving their children with other children who have their share of issues but genuinely love playing mummy.
At the time it made perfect sense, because when you’re an independent 8-13 year old, you believe you’re a grown up, too, so it was plausible that these girls were responsible enough to look after children of all ages, including 8-week-olds (…as a 32-year-old, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the prospect of looking after someone else’s 8-week-old).
Mum reminded me the other day that they couldn’t stop me reading Baby-Sitters Club books when I was little. That I’d read them on car trips by torchlight if I had to. They turned me from a non-reader into a huge reader.
I miss reading. If I think about it, I haven’t read a book from front to back cover for over two years (those who know me who can do the math can probably reasonably guess what book I last read). Something in the last couple of years has changed in me (combination of lack of time, stress, and the special brand of depression brought on by a pre-hypo thyroid and PCOS? Don’t know exactly) and though I try every now and then, I’m slowly facing the fact that I get little-to-no enjoyment out of reading any more.
But when mum reminded me of my BSC obsession, a wave of nostalgia hit me – not only for the series itself but for the strong desire to be excited and absorbed by fiction again. Was that really me? What about those books had me so obsessed?
To study this question, and also to try forge a habit of both reading and writing before I suffer brain rot through lack of mental stimulation, I’m going to re-read the BSC and review each book, because they’re quick and easy, in what will hopefully be perceived as a tongue-in-cheek but based-on-utter-adoration-at-one-point-in-time way. We’ll see I guess. If you’re interested, join me, and if not? Oh well. I’m doing this for me anyway, so you can bugger off right now if you like!