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The Choice Is Yours If You Can Find Something Better

Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure stories? Oh, how I loved those. True, the stories were never very good and the writing was never very interesting, but the fact that you could change the story almost endlessly just by turning to a different page each time – well, that was captivating. I can’t remember how many Choose Your Own Adventure books I read. Probably as many as I read of the Encyclopedia Brown series.

The two greatest things about Choose Your Own Adventure books were 1) the Feeling of Control; and 2) the never-ending Do-Over. In real life, of course, those are two things that really dwindle in supply as you get older. Frankly, I can’t remember the last time I got a free Do-Over – and don’t get me started on the scarcity of that Feeling of Control. It’s not that I really want to live in a Choose Your Own Adventure book; making choices and living with the consequences are part of growing up and creating a richly textured life for yourself (or so I keep repeating in my head). A thousand Do-Overs just make each choice count less – and, as we are reminded every single day of this election year, choices (and votes) really do matter. Still, there’s something magical about those Choose Your Own Adventure stories. I think it’s the sense of endless possibility.

In honor of Endless Possibility, here are some modern-day Choose Your Own Adventures:

– Over at the Morning News, Sarah Hepola is asking you to help her write Elisabeth Eckleman: Freshman Year.

– Want to write your own CYOA story? Check out this site

– Cranky? Go choose your own damn adventure.

– Trapped in Key West with a house full of 6-toed cats? Try the Hemingway choose your own adventure

– Hey, this genre even has its own band.

[Paula Abdul lyrics = 1]

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Robbin | September 29, 2004 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I loved Encyclopedia Brown when I was a kid! I was just telling my partner about the books a week or so ago, but I couldn’t remember the name. We have a bit of an age difference, so she doesn’t always get my childhood references. I’m glad someone else remembers good ol’ Encyclopedia Brown. 🙂

  2. Phantom Dennis | September 29, 2004 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I too loved Encyclopedia Brown books (and read them over and over) — but strangely choose-your-own-adventure books always kinda freeked me out.

  3. LD | September 29, 2004 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    I was totally into Choose Your Own Adventure, but just to clarify, I was NOT into dungeons and dragons.

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