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Flashback Friday - Choose Your Own Adventure Edition

Cave_of_time  I was kind of a giant bookworm growing up, and these books were the poo.

When you're a kid, you don't get to make a lot of your own choices. Your parents tell you what you can wear, what to eat, when you have to go to bed. So Choose Your Own Adventure books rocked, because you were in the driver's seat. It was kind of like being GOD. 

Between the public library and my school's "Learning Resource Center," I think I checked out every single Choose Your Own Adventure book published between 1979 and 1988. What was so nice for a big reader like me is that a Choose Your Own Adventure book is, like, a gabillion books in one. Or maybe 40? I dunno, I'm bad at math, cuz I spent all my time reading.

Best. Book Title. Ever. 

I'm curious how you all read your Choose Your Own Adventure books, though. Did you start over when you finished a plot line, or did you read all the potential threads concurrently? Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I'd bookmark each option and kinda go back and forth. I also got weirdly upset when reading the first-person narrative books and I would come upon a choice that would result in my death. Very upset. Now that I write all that out, I think I've answered my own question. I'm definitely a weirdo.

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Oh i loved those books! I can't remember exactly how I read them. I think I would sometimes just go back to the decision point but if I really liked the story I would go back to the beginning each time.


Loved, LOVED these books growing up too. I devoured our local public library's selection. When I was around eight or nine, I went to a slumber party and discovered the girl who invited me had a MASSIVE collection of these books. I proceeded to read during the entire slumber party. Her mom felt so sorry for me that she let me take THREE WHOLE BOOKS OMG home with me. It was the best day ever.

I bookmarked every option and flipped back when I got to a dead end.

I wish they made adult versions of these books. But, they'd probably be some cliche chick lit (Do I sleep with the dashing starving artist or the rich English businessman?) instead of something as awesome as "You Are a Shark."

Jen O.

I'm pretty sure I would pick a story option, then if I didn't appreciate where it was going, I'd go back and pick another. It was like it was a contest to see who picked the best ending, but you could totally cheat because it was a contest where you were the only contestant.


I actually hate these books because they demonstrate just exactly how compulsive I can be. I can't put them down til I have read every option, and in the right order. Sad.

They're republishing them, updated with like cell phones and the Internet, and now there are graphic novel versions too, called I think Twisted Journeys.


And the republished versions still have the trippy art and pulpy cover design. Just thought I'd say.


@Kailee: They DO make a version of these for adults, sort of. My sister found one called "Escape from Fire Island" at a secaond hand bookstore. It was more of the gayrotica type of choose-your-own-adventure, but it was darned funny, and kept us entertained until we regifted it to a deserving couple. Heehee.


LOVED the series. I used to read them for every possible ending. For my hubby's bday a few years ago, I found a 1st edition of his favorite one in hardcover. He can't wait until our kids are old enough to read.


Loved these! Precisely because it was like 40 books in one. (Or something like that, cause me=also neglected math at reading's expense.)

At each decision point I'd mark it with a finger, read up through one side until all the threads ran out, then read up the other side.

And having my character croak was definitely upsetting! I got really into my books.


I found some of these in my parent's garage last year, and I have to admit I read them again. I went through each decision until I died, and then went back to each option and chose all the other options to see all the possible endings. I was really bummed when they didn't sell on ebay. I ended up giving them to a local children's center. I hope it gives them new audience.


I read these also! I would do the same as you and bookmark each option & go back and forth .. just to make sure that I read all options!


Oh wow I LOVED these books. I kind of felt like I was cheating when I went back to the decision that killed me and choose the other direction so I'm glad to know that was actually "normal". LOL

I just introduced my 8 year old to Encyclopedia Brown so once she gets tired of those these books are next on the list!

Apparently there are some adult choose your own books http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Hooray/lm/C9EM4ISHD6RE but they seem like light erotica maybe? Which kind of surprises me because I always felt these were boyish/tomboy books.


I really hated these books as a kid, mainly because each one was, for me, less than an hour of reading, including all storylines. I was also horribly disappointed that making the "wrong" decision never led to horrific deaths in exploding cars or something. Of course, at that age, I was one of those weird kids who read books with actual chapters.

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