Saturday, August 10, 2013

Playing the Card Game "Authors"

Did you play the card game “Authors” when you were a child? My brothers and I played a lot of board and card games (Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, Risk, etc.) when we were kids, and even as adults we occasionally played while at my parents’ summer cottage in Michigan and at other family gatherings. One of my favorite games was – and I suppose this will not be a surprise! – the card game of “Authors.” If you don’t know this game (which appeared in various versions over the years, but I will describe the one I remember): It involves a set of 52 cards, which includes a card for each of four books by each of 13 classic authors. The object of the game is to collect sets of the books of each author, and whoever has the most sets by the end of the game wins. What I remember is how much I liked the look of the cards: each card had a drawing of an author, with the card’s book written above the author’s picture, and the other three books in the set listed below his/her (mainly his, with the exception of Louisa May Alcott) picture. I also remember how I loved the way it sounded when we would ask each other for a card: “Do you have ‘Rip Van Winkle’ by Washington Irving?” “Do you have ‘The Prince and the Pauper,’ by Mark Twain?” “Do you have ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,’ by Robert Louis Stevenson?” “Do you have ‘The Brook,’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson?” And so on. Soon we had all the titles by all the authors memorized, and I can still to this day hear the rhythm of these questions, and remember the satisfaction of asking them, and of course the even greater satisfaction of hearing one of my brothers reluctantly admit that yes, he did have “The Deerslayer,” by James Fenimore Cooper, and have to hand the card over to me, augmenting the set I was collecting. Of course if he -- or another brother -- had in his hand “The Last of the Mohicans,” I might be in trouble, as on his next turn, he would triumphantly ask for all my James Fenimore Cooper cards back. We must have played this game hundreds of times over the years. “Authors” is a relatively simple and straightforward game, similar to other card games in which one collects sets, but the fact that we were collecting book titles made it special to me, and I still remember those games vividly and with great nostalgia.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter