Throwback Thursday: Baby-sitters Club nostalgia

Lia Zneimer  //  Jun 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Baby-sitters Club nostalgia

This post originally appeared on OOM last summer, but Bustle's recent post on "25 of Childhood Literature's Most Beloved Female Characters" inspired me to adapt it. After all, it is #throwbackthursday... And so I give you a BSC nostalgia post.

Thanks to online trends like #throwbackthursday and #flashbackfriday, nostalgia has certainly made a name for itself in the social media sphere. At least twice a week, my Instagram feed becomes an endless stream of friends' baby and childhood photos, and at least twice a week, I find myself reminiscing and missing my childhood.

People often joke about how much Millennials love nostalgia, but an article from The New York Times argued that nostalgia's not just a trend: it's actually good for your brain -- and there's scientific evidence to prove it.

Probably unbeknownst to many #tbt fans, the term "nostalgia"—first coined in the 1600s—initially referred to a neurological disease. In fact, in the 19th and 20th centuries, nostalgia was classified as a type of psychosis and mental disorder. Luckily, scientific research conducted over the last few decades has suggested otherwise.

Dr. Constantine Sedikides, a leader in the field of social psychology, has studied nostalgia in depth since 1999, and defined its benefits beautifully in the New York Times piece mentioned above: "Nostalgia made me feel like my life had roots and continuity... It provided a texture to my life and gave me strength to move forward." As soon as I read those words, I could immediately relate.

Last summer, I was digging through a box of childhood belongings at my mom's house when I came across my entire Baby-sitters Club collection. Given my level of excitement, one might have thought I'd stumbled across a buried treasure. (Which, to be fair, it really is.) I was immediately flooded with memories of reading under the covers at night, flashlight in hand; memories of Baby-sitters Club–themed birthday parties; memories of visiting our local bookstore and tracing my finger longingly along the series' pastel spines, trying to calculate which books I didn't yet own.

Needless to say, getting to work at Scholastic is a dream-come-true for a BSC fan. (I used to read The Complete Guide to the Baby-sitters Club back-to-back like it was a novel; imagine my surprise when I found out that Scholastic's David Levithan was the one to compile that guide when he was an intern here!) As I sat in my mom's attic, flipping through my copies of Kristy's Great Idea and Boy Crazy Staceythe mystery specials and, of course, the Super Specials, I somehow felt like maybe Dr. Sedikides was onto something: nostalgia definitely makes me feel like my life has roots and continuity. That I now get the chance to work for the company that published my favorite childhood series makes me feel like maybe all those hours I spent reading were somehow part of my bigger life picture, even if I didn't know it at the time. And if the occasional dose of nostalgia just so happens to be healthy, even better.

How about you? Anyone else have a positive or not-so-positive experience with book nostalgia? We'd love to hear your thoughts!