By Angela Hocking
"No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally - and often far more - worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.GÇ¥-á-á-á-á-á-á - C.S. Lewis
When I sat down with Monroe Monitor reporter Chris Hendrickson at the Monroe Library and asked her what she is currently reading, her answer came as a complete surprise: "Nancy Drew.GÇ¥
Eagerly anticipating interviewing Hendrickson, an avid reader and talented local journalist who successfully covers all of the news emanating from Monroe and Sultan, I had hastily assumed her response would include a lot of those riveting, fast-paced contemporary psychological thrillers, complemented with an assortment of engaging, yet "slow-pacedGÇ¥ non-fiction (read: cookbooks, as a form of relaxation), but I was mistaken.
Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised. The author of the Nancy Drew teen mystery series, Carolyn Keene, was actually a pseudonym for multiple writers over many years. In fact, the first four books in the series were ghostwritten by Mildred Birt Benson, herself an award-winning reporter who wrote for newspapers well into her nineties.
Hendrickson went on to say that recently she finds herself inexplicably drawn to books that she read as a kid and remembers spending her summers "constantly reading.GÇ¥ She remembers feeling captivated by both the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series, which featured sound sleuthing by fearless and intelligent teenage girls, making the stories that much more appealing to her then.
When asked if she has a favorite genre of books, she said that she really couldn't pin an answer down to one genre, as she enjoys science fiction, fantasy, bestselling fiction and nonfiction as well as mysteries. Favorites that she has read faithfully since childhood include, Piers Anthony's long-running "XanthGÇ¥ series and Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in TimeGÇ¥ series. Hendrickson added, "If I could travel to one fictional place, it would definitely be Xanth!GÇ¥
Because we met and were discussing all things bookish in the Monroe Library, and have a mutual acquaintance in the person of Managing Librarian Phil Spirito, who was also present on that day, I had to ask how libraries have factored into her own life. She said that she has been amazed at the variety of services that are offered in libraries, particularly our own library here Monroe, and that most people probably are not aware of such services and that these services are free.
I went on to ask Hendrickson the following essential book lover questions. Here are her replies:
Where do you like to read? In bed
One book or many books on your nightstand? Many
Preferred format: e-reader, audio or paper? Paper
True or false: Truth is stranger than fiction? True
If you could get everyone in Monroe to read one book, what would it be? The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
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