Having just started a small fire in my kitchen while cooking rice, now seems like as good a time as any to stop my hiatus and return to posting here.
I have also been more absent than usual from my regular BSC-related internet activities, but not so absent that a shift in the fandom has passed me by. It’s a small shift, to be sure, barely perceptible except to those who have been around for a while and pay close attention. It used to be that I, born in 1986, was at the young end of the BSC fan spectrum. Perhaps this is just a natural part of life, that you used to be the baby and now you feel like a seasoned old-timer who should be retiring to Florida within the next couple of years, but now I can name a handful of people in the fandom, who are active and post on the boards and on the lj and on ff.net (illegally!) who were born in 1997. 1997!!!! In 1997 I was revelling in my angst and listening to silverchair! And of course, reading new BSC books, although I was already embarassed to be seen buying them in the bookstore.
And now we have new readers of the BSC, for whom the fashions of the late eighties and early 90s are as difficult to understand as the sanitary belt of the unupdated Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret was for our generation. But something still resonates with them, and they build their collections secondhand, not lucky enough to have been around when you could count on a new regular series every month, a new Mystery every other month, and a Super Special in the summer. They come online and discuss the books with us, bringing their currently-happening middle school experiences to the table.
I have long been a cynic when it comes to the question of reissuing the books or Ann writing a reunion book. A reunion book is something I just plain don’t really want, but a new print run I have always thought to be not particularly financially viable. The BSC was a huge series, and it’s just not conceivable that it would sell as well as it did at its peak to make printing them justifiable. And true, the graphic novels did not sell well enough to merit extending the series beyond the planned four books. But some kids aren’t into graphic novels, even though the BSC ones are awesome and I adore them. My sister, who is eight, didn’t want the graphic novels, but she wanted my regular books. I gave her my doubles, along with some other childhood favorites, and my dad said she “really loved the books,” so perhaps I have created another young BSC fan.
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe the BSC books would do well, well enough at least to republish the first 25 or so books. But one thing: no updating, like SVH. I think part of what makes BSC so popular is that it is from a relatively simpler time, without cell phones and before the internet had really taken hold. I liked books from before my time as a kid for this very reason. I loved reading about life in the early 1960s on the Upper West Side almost as much as I liked reading about Harriet M. Welsch herself. So please Scholastic, if you do rerelease the books, don’t trade in the Junk Bucket for a unnamed used Honda Civic, like what happened with poor 1BRUCE1.