Years and years and years ago, my mother and grandmother started me on a journey. I received Trixie Belden and the Secret Mansion and Trixie Belden and the Red Trailer Mystery for Christmas. And then the searching began.
You see, it turns out that there are 39 Trixie Belden books and Ms. Trixie and her best friends, Honey and Jim, are not as popular as that chick Nancy Drew and those Hardy Boys. So finding all 39 books has been an adventure. There are various editions of the books and after much research, it turns out that books 30 through 39 were not printed in big runs. So a book that retailed for $1.95 sells for $99 plus on eBay. (Don’t believe me? Click here.)
I was lucky in my journey to complete this collection. My grandmother found a few of books from early in the series that were my mother’s when she was a teen in her basement. Back in 1993 (or so), I remember flying to Texas to see family and returning home with a carry-on suitcase filled with Trixie books we had found. On another family vacation to the Twin Cities, I remember pulling out the yellow pages and calling used book stores to find out if they had copies in stock and coming home with more books for the collection. But one lone book eluded me for years…Trixie Belden and the Indian Burial Ground Mystery #38.
Friends and family have looked high and low for this book. None of us could see spending $99 on #38. I’d resigned myself to never having #38 on my shelf, but would find my quest renewed when someone would call or text me and ask, “What Trixie Belden book do you need again? I’m at an estate sale or used book store or antique store.” Someday, I kept thinking, someday my collection will be complete.
A few weeks ago, my sister texted me asking me that one question I always get asked, “What Trixie book are you missing again?” And I responded, “38.” She had found one on Amazon and was wondering if she should take a chance since my birthday was just around the corner. I told her it was up to her. The descriptions for used books online is always suspect (especially if there are pictures), and I left it up to her if she wanted to spend the cash and get the book.
Then a couple of weeks ago, I got a text from my husband. He was at a garage sale and came across a stash of Trixie Books, “What Trixie do you need?” he asked. “38,” I replied. We exchanged a few more texts regarding the cost of the book online and what was available at the garage sale. Unfortunately, no #38.
Last Friday, a package arrived in the mail addressed to my husband. I gave it to him as I walked in the door and he spirited it away while I put my stuff away after a long day at work and started dinner. All of the sudden, I hear him huffing and puffing and all worked up in the office. I ventured back to find out the cause of his consternation.
He had attempted to get #38 for me via Amazon, but he actually received Trixie Belden #6 and it was in fair not good condition. He was furious. There was sticker on the back that said it was Trixie Belden and the Indian Burial Ground Mystery, but it was clearly #6. And there was an index card stapled to the inside of the back cover and the staples were starting to rust. He was livid. We worked together to contact the buyer and I tried to console him as he rarely has a bad online purchase experience. And when he wasn’t looking, I texted my sister and said, “If you happened to get that book, you might want to call Jay.”
This past Sunday we drove to Lark Toys in Kellogg, Minnesota, to celebrate the birthday of one of my nieces. Since our birthdays are so close my family often brings gifts and cards for me and I open my presents while trying not to take too much away from the actual birthday girl.
My sister handed me a gift bag. I opened the card and laughed. Then I removed the tissue from the bag and smelled that smell. You know the one if you visit used bookstores often—the smell of an aging paperback book.
There, at the bottom of that lovely white gift bag was Trixie Belden and the Indian Burial Ground Mystery #38 in honor of my 38th birthday.
My Trixie Belden Complete Collection
39 Happy Books All Together Finally!
Oh, and the story about the garage sale? A complete lie concocted by my husband to cover the fact that he was attempting to get me #38 for my birthday.
Taken in Marion, IA on July 30, 2016 with an iPhone SE.
View this quote on flickr.
“The truest owner of a Library is he who has bought each book for the love he bears to it; who is happy and content to say,—
‘Here are my jewels; my choicest material possessions.'”
What do you collect? Will your collection ever be complete? What will you do when you complete it?