In the 1990's I don't think it was possible to have existed as a kid and not have read any of RL Stine's Goosebumps books. It seemed like he could crank out one of those books every week. I don't know the real rate he published them at, but I am pretty sure in about 5 years he had released about 50 or 60 of them. That doesn't even include his "Choose Your Own Adventure" style Goosebumps, or collections of Goosebumps short stories. Simply put, these were everywhere, and like pogs and tamagotchi pets probably defined the fads of a generation.
I was probably about 9 or 10 when I first was introduced to the series. I don't recall if I knew they were popular or not. I think perhaps a friend or two had read one of the books but it didn't feel like at this point it had really "blown up." I know that I didn't start with the first book, not that it matters since the books are all self contained and not really related to one another (except for sequels.) I am pretty sure I got them at a "Book Fair." This is when your elementary school teacher drags you down to some sales person with shelves of fancy new books for you to buy, and the school probably got a cut of the deal. Since parents were down with encouraging you to read they gladly slapped some money down for you to wild with.
I was a pretty avid reader. I read plenty of the typical series for youngsters like The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, and so forth. I also read more "classic" novels for kids like the Trumpet of the Swan, James and the Giant Peach. My favorite books at the time were probably the Chronicles of Narnia, and The Indian and the Cupboard series. I don't recall what exactly compelled me to branch out into the realm of Goosebumps.
So here I am, a couple decades later at the age of 26. Why am I thinking about these books? Well, I still have a huge pile of them in my possession that I haven't read in at least 15 years. I have nieces and nephews that are growing up and there is a good chance one of them will wind up with them. I thought it might be interesting to revisit them before I part with them.
Before I even look at the pile, or look up anything about them I want to jot down a few things I recall. I am pretty sure there are about 50 or 60 books. I think, but am not entirely sure, that I "only" have about 40 or so. One of the first ones I remember reading had a Swamp Monster on the cover. I don't really remember what it was about (besides there being a swamp monster.) I am fairly sure it was in the low teens for a book number and I probably worked my way backwards to book 1 before getting newer ones.
In a pile of books so large, a lot of the books are pretty much forgotten but a few stand out. There was "Night of the Living Dummy" a book about a ventriloquist dummy coming to life. I believe it was one of the few books of the series with a direct sequel. There were also books called "Monster Blood" and some book about a haunted Mask. I also recall one involving a Mummy, that actually took place in Egypt. I am sure as I actually look at the books and begin reading them, it will all start coming back.
Beyond this know they had Choose Your Own Adventurey books towards the end, and I am pretty sure I only have one of those as I wasn't really a fan. I know RL Stine also wrote "Fear Street" books that were aimed at a slightly older audience. Even though by the end of my run with Goosebumps I was probably old enough to delve into those, I never did. Actually I am not sure that they were particularly any different in tone. Also, I think RL Stine has "revived" the Goosebumps series at least once. I feel like he did a few years after the original stop, and I think he has again recently. If I find any of these books at a thrift store or something maybe I'll investigate, who knows.
So anyway, this blog exists for me to revisit these books and share my experiences. Maybe I'll review the books, maybe I'll just share the nostalgia factor or lack there of. I am not entirely sure, but hopefully if nothing else these blog will be entertaining.