Investigate This: TSR's New Look, Plus Nancy Drew Journal Giveaway

(peering through magnifying glass) something seems... different.... somehow!

Well, I guess we don't need to do much detective work to see that The Thrift Shop Romantic has gotten a makeover. Designed by the talented DesignBug, the template was created to be cleaner, wider, and hopefully easier to navigate.

And now, in addition to the usual post archives, you can also access Favorite Posts, projects through the main site, and Thrifty Places to Go, listing thrift stores, flea markets, antique shops and more in the Western Pennsylvania/Eastern Ohio region. I hope you'll check it out!

I'm pretty excited about it. So to celebrate this new look and new functionality, I thought I'd share the joy with a little giveaway.

I know a few of you expressed interest in the cute Nancy Drew writing journal I'd found at Half Price Books, so I bought two more to share with you...

How do you enter the giveaway? Just leave me a comment here on the following topic--

Have you kept any of your books from childhood? And if so, what's your particular favorite?

--and before next Sunday's post, I'll do a drawing and announce the winners. All comments will get entered-- there are no right or wrong answers here. I just thought it would be a nice discussion to get going.

You can only win one journal, but you'll get two chances.

In the meantime, I'll be updating the site with the new header, as well. It may take a little time, but soon, it will all be smooth and cohesive!

And for my readers celebrating Easter or Passover, I hope you have a joyous, peaceful holiday!


Linda B said...

Is it possible to pick one favorite childhood book? All my cherished Nancy Drews are my favorite. And the reading primer from first grade, with Jack, Penny and Tip the dog. Those have to be the all time faves for me!! Thanks for the chance to win! And Happy Easter to you.

Caroline said...

First of all I wish you a Happy Easter. I like the new lay-out, very clean.
My favourite childhood book, oh, so many, but the one that keeps jumping up and down in my head is the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, those will probably always stay with me.
I would love to be part of your give-away.

Jenn Thorson said...

Linda B.- Heh, sorry to make the choosing difficult... It wasn't a strict one-book rule. :)

Caroline- I'm glad you like the new layout. And ah, yes, Narnia was the fave of many a kid!

Both of you-- thanks! And happy Easter!

Booked. said...

I have my mom's collection of Trixie Belden books. I loved those! I also have "In The Night Kitchen", "Where The Sidewalk Ends" and "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day".

Claire said...

Love the new look, the paper background is a cool touch.

I have yet to read any Nancy Drew.

I have kept quite a few childhood books, but to pick a favourite!

Hmmmm It would have to be The Hobbit.

Although David Copperfield is a close second and the Magic Faraway tree follows and I could go on :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Booked- I love that last title... Now that's the kind of title that says, "Kid-- read me." :)

Claire- Hey thanks. Yeah, she did a bang-up job on making the design unique. I don't know the Magic Faraway Tree... I'm going to have to look that up. Gosh, Hobbits and David Copperfield-- you chose some real classics there!

Da Old Man said...

I really like the new look. Very clean, and easy on the eyes.

Favorite book?

Green Eggs and Ham is the single greatest book ever written. I bought a copy a few years ago at a yard sale as anything I had from childhood was lost in The Flood.

I don't want to enter the contest, I'm just feeling chatty as usual.

Hope you are having a good day, and celebrating if you are into that.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Well, I'm always glad to have you pop by, certainly. I also loved Green Eggs and Ham. It was the only Dr. Seuss book I owned-- I think my dad got it for me when I was sick with pneumonia or something.

You sure you don't want to be in the drawing?-- if you won you could at least give it to Mrs. Crotchety or "The Spawn." :)

Serena said...

Hi, Jenn
One of my favorite topics! I love children's books and I'm a collector, too :0) Over the years, I've replaced a lot of my worn-out children's books with newer copies. But the ones that I have kept are my Nancy Drews (and one Hardy Boys). I even have the first one I ever bought, "The Secret at Shadow Ranch"! I didn't buy a lot of books when I was little, but I went to the library a lot, and as I got older, I started to go to used and new book stores to buy copies of the books I read and loved as a child. I try to get copies with the covers I remembered instead of the newer ones. My pet peeve with some of the later editions of the chapter books is that the cover art would be done by a different artist than the original illustrator. Can't stand that! Among my childhood favorites are the Little House books, the Betsy-Tacy books, Henry Reed, Beverly Cleary (esp the Ramona books). As an adult, I've gone back and read books that I never got the chance to read as a child, including Roald Dahl, whose "James and the Giant Peach" is one of the greatest children's books ever written, in my humble opinion. But if I had to choose one book, I would say "Alice in Wonderland" (including "Through the Looking Glass") as my all-time favorite book. The funny thing is, I never read it as a child, and I think reading it as an adult made me appreciate it so much more. The humor is so subtle and sophisticated!
Incidentally, when I've gone back to reread some books I loved as a child, some of them have lost their charm for me. I'm thinking in particular, the Carolyn Haywood books. They seem very boring to me now.
One last thing, one book from my childhood that I am trying to find and was a favorite of a lot of kids, boys and girls, is "The Little Leftover Witch". Such a cute, charming, and humorous story about a little girl witch who ends up living with a regular family and going to school with the girl in the family! Unfortunately, it's been out of print for many years, and when I do come across it on Amazon and on those other book websites, they are priced very high and not in very good condition. But I would love to own a copy of this book, so the hunt continues!
Sorry for rambling on like this, but you can tell I love this topic!

Peggy. said...

Happy Easter!
My mom kept all of our little golden books and we divided them among us when we grew up. I love them all. If I win my daughter will be so happy!

Anonymous said...

so easy to pick- nancy drew!! i had them all an i pretended to be her as often as possible :)
oh i loved the dana girls too! and trixie belden! and the bobbsey twins! and harriet the spy too.

Anonymous said...

i forgot to add- i kept all of them and now my 7 children enjoy them. oh and little house on the prairie too! lol i could talk books all day!!!

ANDREA said...

You've been busy! Everything looks great!
Unfortunately, I don't have a single book that I had as a child.
Does my autograph book from 7th grade count?
I received a large Tasha Tudor's Book of Fairy Tales when I was a small girl. My great-aunt from Connecticut sent it to me. It was my favorite book and she became my favorite aunt. She was from Sicily and she passed away last year. As a teenager, I had Donna Parker in Hollywood. It's the pink one...I'm sure that you've seen it or own it. Other than those two books, I was book poor. I'm making up for it though in my old age...I am a crazy children's book collector and I love it!

Doris the Great said...

Although I read most of the Nancy Drew books in the early 60's(& Dana Girls & Hardy Boys), I only owned 3, but I still have them! My prize though is the copy of Anne of Green Gables that we bought when the family vacationed in PEI in the late 60's. As I entered my teens, that book changed my whole perspective from an insecure, somewhat confused & unhappy girl to one who, like Anne, would bravely overcome all obstacles. (I was all "My life is a graveyard of buried hopes!!" In reality, my home life was not at all terrible; I just happened to be the eldest girl in a busy household of 5 children & suffered from a large imagination and the belief that I was being hard-done-by. I still love that book.

VintageCrafter said...

HAPPY EASTER! Thanks for the chance to win a wonderful journal. Would you believe that Nancy Drew books are my childhood favorite? All of my treasured books were lost when my parents moved. I am now scavenging flea markets, shows and garage sales on a hunt to "recreate my youth"! I would be thrilled to win your giveaway.

Theresa N. said...

I kept lots of my books. My favorite was one called Little Bear
I must have read it alot I can still remember it.
Theresa N

Goodwill said...

I have kept plenty of books from my childhood, but my two favorites are "Island of the Blue Dolphins" and "Bridge to Terabithia." I still read "Bridge" every few years and every time it makes me cry!

Jenn Thorson said...

Serena- I've done the same, rereading some children's books I used to love, and also reading 'classics' I never got around to-- like the Secret Garden. Your 'Little Leftover Witch' sounds very familiar to me! I feel like I may have read that at one point! I hope you're able to locate a copy sometime at a decent price.

Peggy- Oh yes, there were some very cute Little Golden Books! I remember reading my cousin "The Pokey Little Puppy" about a bazillion times.

Tami- Ah, yes, the Dana girls were harder to find, but they were fun, too. And of course, Trixie. :)

Andrea- Ah, Donna Parker-- I think my mother might have had one of those (thus, I imagine I have it stored in the house somewhere!). It's nice you're able to make up for the books you weren't able to have as a child. And it's especially great when you can get a good deal on them!

Doris- Ah, yes, Anne of Green Gables is a great story. I think kids like feeling they're hard-put-upon even when they aren't especially. Everything feels bigger and more tragic when you're a kid. I think that's why so many child characters in children's stories get a raw deal... like Harry Potter, the children in Lemony Snicket... Sarah Crewe, etc.

Carol- Oh, I would indeed believe Nancy was a fave. She's made girls happy for many many years now! There was nothing like curling up in a favorite chair with a new Nancy Drew.

Theresa-- I bet you can still envision any illustrations, it had, too. It's funny how these things stick in the mind.

Goodwill- I never read the book Bridge to Terebithia, but I did recently see the movie and BOY did I cry. I guess I should've seen it coming but... :)

Rachel said...

Hi, Love the new layout. It looks great! I still have my full set of "Little House on the Prairie" books from my childhood. I reread them every so often and they are still as enjoyable as they were when I was 10. Now that I have kids it's great to be able to buy and reread some of my favorites together...Charlotte's Web, Cricket in Time's Square, Go Dog Go...I could go on and on! I love finding my old favorites at thrift stores. Rachel

Aunty Depressed said...

The Boxcar Children - many happy memories from second grade

Janelle said...

I love the new look--very sleek!

I have one or two boxes of my childhood books. Picking a favorite book would be like picking a favorite child, I love them all so much, but I guess I'll pick Joan Aiken's The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Just don't tell my Little House books!

Jenn Thorson said...

Rachel- Oh, I loved those books too. "On the Banks of Plum Creek" was my favorite for some reason. I must have read that a half dozen times.

Aunty Depressed- That's a new one for me... It's always fun to hear about stories I'd missed. I'll have to look it up.

Janelle- Heh, no, I won't tell Ms. Ingalls Wilder. :)

Sonya said...

I simply adored (still do!) the Betsy Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace, LIWilder's Little House books, The first edition of The Boxcar Children, Snip Snap Snurr and the triplet girls, I am blanking on their names...oh the list goes on and on and on!
OH! Mrs Piggle Wiggle books! Trixie Belden!

Rosemary said...

Hi Jenn,
Hope you had a Happy Easter!!
Who doesn't love Nancy Drew?

Lois said...

Hey Jenn!
I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you!
My favourite books from childhood were the Little House on The Prairie books. My second favourite books were the Trixie Belden series. I did read the Nancy Drew books too but I never owned any. I really enjoyed them but I always had to borrow them from the library or friends to read them. I think my parents thought they were too "old" for me to be reading but I'm not sure. I'll have to ask my mom about that.
Anyway you can contact me at if my name gets picked.

Booklet Printing | said...

Cool! Thanks for sharing this!

Swapna dinesh said...

Wow.. Childhood books?? I cannot classify them as such since I read all the books I read as a child as avidly now as I did then.. I have so many favourites, I cant count them all.. Enid Blyton books, Ruskin Bond, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys,Bobbsey Twins, Dana girls,....

And I still have more than a few of them..and read them too....

Anonymous said...

I have kept my Happy Hollister books, Little Women, and I think a Trixie Belden or two. I also still have a copy of Katie John which was my mother's. I may still have a few old children's picture books, although, most of those became the property of my nephews. I do still have an old bible story book. The cover has long since come apart, so I made a new one out of paper when I was a kid. That's what I know for certain off the top of my head. I may indeed find a few more if I went back through a box or two.

Jenn Thorson said...

Sonya- Sounds like you were -- and are-- definitely a reader!!

Rosemary- Hey! Hope you have a great week yourself!!

Lois- One of my friends had the same thing with Nancy Drews... like you, she read them all at the library, didn't own any. She's trying to pick up some now when she sees them at thrifts. They were happy memories.

BookletPrinting- You bet! :)

Swapna Dinesh- I love that you still read the books you enjoyed as a child. I think people stay young that way.

LovelyLissie- How terrific you have some books of your mothers. It's so nice when a tradition carries on like that.

Anonymous said...

Hiya girl, anastasiab here..I LOVED Trixie Belden...but my favorite book has to be From the mixed up files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler..your site looks great..Ive shared it with many friends..

Jenn Thorson said...

Hey, Anastasia! Thanks for the visit! I don't know "Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," but if the name's any indication, it sounds whimsical! And thanks for passing along the site to folks-- I do appreciate the word-of-mouth.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog. Please enter my name in your giveaway. Nancy Drew is my favorite!


Gail said...

I have no new books to add, but agree with previous posters. I loved Nancy Drew books which were the beginning of a life long love of good mysteries, through Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers and now Deborah Crombie and Kate Charles.
I also loved the Little House books, but my favorites were the Anne of Green Gables books. I still reread all of them every few years. I loved her optimistic viewpoint on life and her love of people of all types.

Jenn Thorson said...

Terry- Will do!

Gail- Ah, I love a good Agatha Christie myself. Some of my faves are the Tommy and Tuppence stories and ones with Miss Marple. (Never cared much for ol' Hercule Poirot for some reason!) And yes, Anne of Green Gables is a lovely tale-- very readable at any age.

Deb said...

Oh you betcha! I've kept the majority of my books from childhood. My favorites (hands down) would be the vintage Nancy Drew books my father found at an auction one time. They're the blue covered volumes produced during WW II (he bought them in the 70's). They even have the little ditty inside the cover about complying with the wartime paper rules. I wouldn't get rid of them for anything!

Betty said...

Hi Jenn ... I have the same mystery plant growing in my yard ..I think the birds have been planting ... to me it looks like mint ..or some other herb.
I love thrifting and I love your blog .. I'm a fan and I will be following you.
Hugz and Happy Spring.

Roofer Austin TX said...

These Nancy Drew paperbacks had put me in reminiscing mode. What's the name of her boyfriend? Ned something...?