There are some things you love in childhood that you love for life.

For me, one of those things is Nancy Drew. I was about 8 years old when my grandma bought me fancy hardcovers of the first eight books in the original teen detective series, which debuted in 1930 and has produced numerous additional series since, all written under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene. I remember devouring the originals once, twice, countless times and then going to the library and Half Price Books to find new ones.

I am 30 now, and those original books — in addition to nearly 140 others — rest in a bookcase on the second story of the house my husband and I moved into last year. One day, if I ever have a daughter, I'll pass them onto her. And even if I don't, those books will stay close. They have fed an eternal hunger for the whodunit, for the thrill of a good mystery.

Given all that, I have mixed feelings about the new "Nancy Drew" show debuting 8 p.m. Oct. 9 on the CW. Starring actress Kennedy McMann as our titular heroine, the show's premise reimagines key elements of the Nancy Drew universe, including where she lives (now Maine, not Illinois). I'm going to do my best to keep an open mind, but I feel protective of a series I've loved for so long.

Every year, I tend to reread certain books from my Nancy Drew bookcase — sometimes pulling them off the shelf and reading them right there, sprawled on the carpet, just like I did when I was a kid and had hours to while away. With the CW show's imminent arrival, they've been on my mind more than ever. These are the books I keep going back to, and for good reason.

The book that started it all

To be frank, "The Secret of the Old Clock" is not my favorite. There are some racist, sexist undertones, such as Nancy's father's thought on the second page that she didn't have the looks you would think would accompany "serious thoughts." (It was written in 1930.) But the very first Nancy Drew book lured me right in nonetheless. Or, rather, Nancy's character did.

Nancy is a girl who solves her own problems, even if that's a flat tire on the side of the road. She's independent, assertive and a bit of a clear-thinking MacGyver at getting herself out of sticky situations — such as when a robber locks her in a closet in one of the later "Old Clock" chapters. Her independence was far more radical when she was first created but is no less inspiring now.

The book that reminds you of the importance of friendship

Yes, the main point of the series is to deliver a good mystery. But Nancy Drew wouldn't be nearly as compelling without her best pals, Bess Marvin and George Fayne. (And, later on, Nancy's longtime boyfriend Ned Nickerson. Oh, that name.) Readers are introduced to the two cousins in the Wild West-set "The Secret at Shadow Ranch," the fifth book in the series. Total opposites, their presence adds humor and heart to that book and every subsequent volume.  

The book with the haunted house

A movie crew has come to River Heights, Nancy's hometown, in "The Double Horror of Fenley Place." They are shooting a horror film in one of the slightly rundown Victorians there, but it's the even more rickety house across the street that has caught Nancy's attention. Everything that happens in the movie script is duplicated at Fenley Place, from blood-red chimney smoke to the appearance of a ghost-like figure in a top window. "Double Horror" is set to give you the creeps.

The book that reminds you sometimes beauty is only skin deep

When Bess earns an all-expenses-paid stay at a high-end spa and resort in "The Secret at Solaire," Nancy and George accompany her to the desert paradise in Arizona. But the perfect place is clearly a mirage. A series of near-deadly accidents suggest someone wants to bring down the beauty business, and for reasons presumably stronger than the bird-sized food portions and bad fitness advice the spa guests are given.

The book that makes me glad to live in hot-weather Texas

In the 1980s, an edgier, more action-oriented series of books, the Nancy Drew Files, launched in an effort to modernize the girl detective and make her more relatable to teens of the time. Nowadays, these are dated in their own way — notably, the fashion choices — but they are also easy, entertaining paperbacks you can finish in one sitting.

The Nancy Drew Files No. 3, "Murder on Ice," is one of my all-time favorites because it's set in a hidden-away Vermont ski lodge, where a blizzard threatens to keep Nancy and her friends stranded in the presence of a murderer. Plus, the Files series lets George, Bess and Ned become fully formed characters rather than simply sidekicks, to Nancy's benefit. George isn't afraid to stand up to Nancy in this one, believing one of the suspects is innocent (and she is right).

The book that taught me never to accept a grand prize from a contest you don’t remember entering

In the Nancy Drew Files No. 6, "White Water Terror," George wins a random whitewater rafting trip for her and three friends. So why is it Nancy who gets a call before the trip warning her not to go? Well, she goes anyway, and from the moment they step off the plane, a saboteur seems to be at work, puncturing one of the rafts and leaving them stranded in the Montana wilderness. And it all seems to be tied to someone's mysterious grudge toward Nancy.

The book with the boys

Let's throw some testosterone onto the page. The late ’80s saw the introduction of a 36-book Super Mystery series, featuring Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. These two brothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, have been sleuthing for readers three years longer than Nancy — since 1927 — and like her, they are young, adventurous and stumbling into trouble even on vacation. Together, they're a formidable team.

Each book generally follows the same formula: Nancy and the boys run into each other while investigating separate cases and, at some point, find out they are linked. "Spies and Lies" is particularly enjoyable because the trio is undercover at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. And being an FBI agent is exactly the sort of job you might imagine these brilliant crime fighters would have if the authors ever let them age beyond 18.