I have been de-cluttering the past weeks, whenever I could, as there were changes around the house brought about by minor home renovations. We had to move stuff here and there and I had to let go of things as I feel like I have so much. One of tasks was to review the books I were to keep and those I were to donate. I had done this a year ago, cutting my collection immensely but here I go again, trimming the number of books I owned. Mind you, this was not easy for me as I am a bookworm and I have always dreamed of having a library of my own. However, some things happen in life that made me realize that holding on to material things too tightly isn’t right. Hence despite the difficulty, let go, I did – little by little.

In the process of paring down, I had to pick those I really liked and one of those would be my collection of Sammy Keyes mysteries. I was debating if I were to still keep it so I decided to read them again to be reminded of why I loved this modern-day Nancy Drew. I guess apart from her witty ways, her life story was also something that at one point becomes relatable for her readers. From being left by her dad and then her mom later on to being cared for by her grandma, from being a simple girl trying to survive high school to being hated by a bully, from being a normal teen going through phases of her adolescence to being someone brilliant but with eccentric ways that not everybody will appreciate, she is that person whom we can understand especially when we see her life from her point of view.

And all these background about Sammy and de-cluttering all just leads me to a snippet of Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, one which I just read and would like to share.

I have read this before but like any other rereading, something fresh can always be taken out from the same book. It came quite timely as if it was part of a conversation that my mom, aunt, and I were having – something to always remind me [and you too, perhaps.]

Grams: Why do you think Heather wanted to take your mitt?

Sammy: To get to me.

Grams: And why does she want to get to you?

Sammy: You know why she wants to get to me! She hates me!

Grams: And why does she hate you?

Sammy: I don’t know, Grams. I was trying to keep away from her. Really I was! I just want her to leave me alone.

Grams: Samantha, Heather hates you because you always come out on top. You are a winner in spite of her.

Sammy: Oh, come on, Grams! Heather thinks I’m the world’s biggest loser.

Grams: That’s what she says, but in her heart she knows it’s not true. Think about it, Samantha – in all the run-ins you’ve had with her, who’s come out on top?

Sammy: I have. But she always seems to turn it back around.

Grams: And that’s exactly what she’s trying to do right now. Don’t let her! I’m not saying stoop to her level – just get past Heather. And don’t worry about revenge. Things have a way of coming around all by themselves. Sometimes it takes longer than we want it to, but in the end it always does. The way to rise above Heather is to play your best tomorrow despite what she’s done to you. You’re a winner, Samantha. Prove to yourself that she’s inconsequential in your life.
(Draanen, 160-161)

We all have Heather’s in our lives, got our own Grams’s, and feel like Sammy’s in our own ways. And this may be a mystery series but it’s definitely filled with lessons in between its pages and reasons why I liked it in the first place.

Back to my shelves, it goes. And it ain’t going anywhere. #ThingsToNeverForget #BooksToRemindUs #LessonsFromReading

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