A Summer Reading Challenge that I First Attempted Exactly 50 Years Ago

A fine trip down memory lane

Paul Combs
6 min readJun 11, 2024

--

Credit: Random House

I’ve been reading a lot of fairly heavy non-fiction lately (mainly C.S. Lewis, the history of the Church since the French Revolution, and Civil War narratives), and while I both enjoy it and plan to write about all of it, I have realized over the past week or so that I need something lighter before drifting off to sleep. Scanning the alarming number of books I have yet to read that pack my bookshelves yielded nothing that really fit what I was looking for (I have a lot of equally heavy literary bibliomysteries and literature-in-translation). None of it was what you would call “light” reading.

I was very vexed, to the point that I considered just watching cat videos or ASMR on YouTube before crashing for the night. Then, I finally decided to unpack a box from my recent move that had sat in a corner for more than a week. Inside was my collection of The Three Investigators Mystery Series books; my problem was solved.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Three Investigators, think The Hardy Boys but 1000 times better (I’ve never liked The Hardy Boys books, but did like the 1970s TV series). On the surface, The Three Investigators novels don’t sound much different from The Hardy Boys: young teens encounter a mystery that stumps every adult…

--

--

Paul Combs

Writer, bookseller, would-be roadie for the E Street Band. My ultimate goal is to make books as popular in Texas as high school football...it may take a while.