About ten years ago, I went into one of those bookstores that sells books by the pound. It was located in a sketchy, industrial part of town and was located in a smelly warehouse with shelves made of 2x4s. The racks were full of books from the 70’s-90’s, with a few newer (and some older) titles sprinkled in. Massive palettes of books were spread everywhere and it was almost impossible to move around let alone actually search for anything. After an hour of browsing, I walked out with nothing, but I left some stuff on the shelves I wish I would have grabbed.
This bookstore (which went out of business within a few months) was loosely organized by genre. There was a teen section, which is not something I’d normally find myself browsing, but when I walked by I saw some titles catch my eyes. Titles that I hadn’t seen since the Scholastic Book Fairs of the 90’s. Titles like Rosewell High, Clueless, Saved by the Bell, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Titles that were popular when I was a teen.
I absolutely adore movie/tv tie-in novels and this love grew from those book fairs. Between the Newberry Award Winners and Lamborghini Posters, there were all sorts of small books that expanded the universe of some of my favorite shows and franchises. For the most part, these books were written for girls, so I’d glance across this as inconspicuous as possible before picking up something less feminine, but if I had to be honest, I wanted to read about the adventures of Stephanie Tanner outside of the TV canon and I wanted to know what happened in those AC Slater books where he was looking all dreamy.
I got up the nerve to purchase two books based on the Clueless franchise, although both of these books were ordered and not bought in person. A couple times a year, the teacher would pass out an order form that featured various books that you could pay for by check.
I remember thinking this was the one opportunity I had to snag a couple of these books, that I never seemed to find at Barnes and Noble. So, I ordered a couple: Achieving Personal Perfection and * Cher’s Guide To… Whatever*
I enjoyed both books and my younger brother was a less bashful and bought several Full House books that I was able to enjoy, but that was it as far as children/teen tie-ins went for me. I was reading the Goldeneye tie-in along with all of the classic James Bond books around this same time, and well… I guess I was ashamed they were so far beneath what I was normally reading. I always read way higher than my grade level and because of the attention I got from that, I tended to shy away from books I knew others would look down on me for reading. A good example was Goosebumps. I devoured those books as my little brother bought them, but I was already reading Stephen King books and well… I enjoyed the Goosebumps more, but I never bought a single Goosebump book of my own.
I always meant to go back and snag some of those novelizations. I’ve had this crazy dream to read through all of the Sabrina The Teenage Witch tie-ins just because there are so many and because they are mostly small. I’m also very interested in reading a book from Salem’s point of view and it seems like there are several of those.
Sadly, these books are all out of print and you can’t find them digital. I could buy them on eBay or Etsy but they are definitely not cheap by the pound like they were ten years ago. Also, I guess I still run into the same problem I did as a child. What business does a man in his thirties have reading books written for tweens in the late 90’s? I guess, I never did learn that lesson to just do what you enjoy and not over think things.
Sometimes I think about starting a blog and reviewing these books. Who knows, maybe I’ll buy a lot on eBay one day and do just that.