Putting the ‘e’ in BSC: Beth talks about judging books by their covers!
By Guest Blogger on December 19th, 2012
We’re nearing the end of our Baby-sitters Club memories…but we’re gearing up for a big finish! First, though, check out Beth Noble from the book marketing team, talking about how she became a BSC fan. (No wonder she’s so excited about the release of The Baby-sitters Club series in ebook formats!) Thanks, Beth!
I am a true 90’s girl, and proud of it. I wore scrunchies and overalls—one strap down, obviously. I played with Skip-its and Pogs. I listened to the Spice Girls and N’sync. I crushed on Jonathan Taylor Thomas and the middle Hanson brother (sigh). I know almost all lines from the movies Now and Then, Clueless, and Titanic (which I saw 11 times in theaters.) And of course, I read– no, obsessed over – The Babysitters Club.
I remember walking into my school book fair in second grade and seeing the shining, pastel table of Baby-sitters Club books in front of me. My first reaction to the books was based off of one thing: the covers. Now, I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but with the BSC I firmly believe that rule does not apply. The covers are a perfect indication of the perfectly sunny, fabulous, girly world you will encounter. Not only were they done in all my favorite pastel shades, but on the cover of Kristy’s Great Idea the girls. looked. so. cool. Heck, they had their own land-line phone, and don’t get me started on the clothes. Stacey’s brown heeled clogs seemed so grown up compared to my babyish Keds painted with puffy paint.
The covers drew me in, but the stories kept me coming back for more. I loved the sleepy town of Stoneybrook, but above all, I loved the characters. I was a self-proclaimed Stacey; I had blonde hair, loved clothes, and wished I lived in New York City. My own friends were Claudias, Dawns, and Mallorys. I also loved that on some days I felt more like a Mary Anne when my parents were being so over-protective (I can’t wander the mall, come on!), or like Kristy when I found myself trying to start my own neighborhood clubs (Neighborhood Newspaper Editor in Chief ’95.) The characters’ personalities and friendships were the reason I kept reading. Their heartache and happiness was something I could really relate to. They were things I was encountering in my own life—cliques, crushes, friends moving away, divorces.
A big part of reading the BSC for me was sharing and talking about the books with my friends. I prided myself on having an official BSC library that was open to both BSC fans and newbies. My BSC ‘collection,’ also known as rows and rows of books lining the perimeter of my bedroom floor, was very organized (maybe I was actually more of a Mary Anne after all.) I had official check-out cards and a cataloguing system (nerd then, nerd now.) My organizational system was not limited to number or series alone. Instead, it was based off of the characters. Even though I was a self-proclaimed Stacey, I could likely help identify the girl you would like best and give you her best book—Claudia: first row, third from the right.
The days I spent reading, discussing, and lending out my beloved BSC books to my friends affected the rest of my life in ways I couldn’t imagine when I was young. The BSC taught me to love reading and also to love getting others to read. If I had never picked up that copy of Kristy’s Great Idea, I am not sure I would gone onto become an English major in college and to work as a children’s book marketer. Basically, I have the best job. I get to continue what I started back in my BSC library many years ago: getting kids excited about reading.
I still have my copy of Kristy’s Great Idea. Now, instead of being located on the floor of my bedroom in the “Kristy” section, it is displayed proudly in all its 90’s glory on my work bookshelf.
Okay, two last confessions before I sign off. The first: I don’t think I ever really got over the hunky Scott Foley (see cover of Boy Crazy Stacey for reference). Second, to get in the spirit for this post I started watching old episodes of the BSC TV Show on You Tube… three shows later I am now going to finish Dawn and the Dream Boy.