Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tom Swift and his Outpost in Space
My introduction to reading came when I was ten years old. Of course I could read before that and had read some books as a kid, but I hadn't read for the sheer pleasure of it. That summer, I discovered, in my grandparents' basement, a dozen Tom Swift Jr. books. The first one I read is pictured above. I loved it. I read the rest of those books that summer and discovered that there had been other Tom Swift books published all the way back to the early 1910s.
I began going to my local bookstore and buying the rest of the series. Then I ordered those that they didn't have. When I had read all the Tom Swift that there was, I read the Hardy Boys, and then John Carter of Mars, and then Tarzan. By then of course, I was hooked. I've been a reader ever since. I still have those Tom Swift Jr. books from my grandparents' basement, as well as the others I bought as a kid. Looking back on them, they are pretty simple little stories, but they have tremendous nostalgic value for me and they hearken back to a time when the world was a much simpler place, science was going to change our lives only for the good, and hot chocolate and sandwiches solved almost every problem.