Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson


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I have two complete collections. One is my huge stash of Martha Stewart Living (all 200 issues). The other is my complete collection of Lotta books.


Lotta is the funny, awkward and sweet heroine of a series of books for young girls and I used to love them. So much so that I wrote to the author Ester Ringnér-Lundgren who wrote them under the pseudonym Merri Vik and I received a sweet note back.  This was sometime in 70’s.

The Lotta books first came out in the late 50’s and as I’ve been rereading them this summer it’s definitely those early ones until the 70’s that are my favorites. One of my favorite passages is when Lotta is painting the furniture in her room (sound familiar?)…

The last book came out in the early 90’s and by that time one could tell that the author had kind of lost touch on what was “young” so they are a little bit too awkward but I still kept buying them. Last year I finally found the last missing piece of the collection on-line and thus the collection was complete.

For you other Swedes that may like Lotta, I just googled the author and found some fun sites including this one where all the covers can be viewed individually and with a bunch of other stuff that I’m going to explore further and there’s even an Ester Ringnér-Lundgreen society where they have Lotta meetings and celebrate her! I’m going to have to join that don’t I?

Do you have any complete or nearly complete collections of anything? What were your favorite books when you were young(er)? Do you ever reread them?


  • DarcP says:

    Lately I’ve been finding MSL at our local second hand stores and I was going to ask if you needed any of the issues 🙂 But this answers my question.

  • Mia says:

    I am a Finn and I am so jealous (with a smile!) of your Lotta-collection! I loved them as a teenager (and still do), and have been kicking myself for not buying them all to me earlier, as now they’re very hard to find here. I just managed to get three from local library’s outlet.
    This post made me so happy – Thank you Benita, and happy Tuesday!

  • Jo says:

    When I was back home in the UK, I read and collected a magazine called House Beautiful… and I still have some of them from the 90’s… you’d be surprised how many trends are back round for another go already.. like Lime Green..
    Here in Canada I subscribe to House and Home, and I have them all from 2004 onwards… BUT… because of the enormous amount of room they take up, I confess that as soon as they arrive, I rip out ALL the pages that have ads on both sides. Cuts down the size of each mag by 30 odd pages.. so they take up a lot less room.
    My favourite book is, was, and always will be Pride and Prejudice.. and I’ve re-read it 7 or 8 times… seems I’ve been in love with Mr Darcy since I was about 13. [Don’t tell my husband ;o)]

  • Jo says:

    By the way Benita.. your MSL’s.. ? Where on earth do you keep them all ?
    Jo x

  • ccino says:

    Jag älskar Lotta också 🙂 We have them here in Finland too, and my mother already has started collecting them in the 50’s and 60’s. I don’t have as great collection as you do, although.

  • Pia says:

    I’m also from Finland and started reading Lotta books in the 70’s – now my daughter enjoys the books too! I think I borrowed a lot of them from the library, so my collection is rather modest. Nevertheless, they are great books!

  • Lori in OR says:

    I have a close-to-complete collection of Newbery Award-winning children’s books, both the “gold medal winners” and the runners-up. I am very lucky to have Powell’s (City of Books) here in Portland to help me along. It makes a good wishlist, too; I can just make a copy of my master annotated Newbery list and say, “Here are the ones I am still missing. Surprise me!” I actually got to hold an actual Newbery Award in my hand on Mother’s Day this year at a book-signing event. (Thank you again, Karen Cushman!) I got chills.
    My favorite children’s books are Susan Cooper’s series of The Dark Is Rising. I discovered them in 1977 and have read and re-read them countless times. These are followed closely by some classics (any Louisa May Alcott or Laura Ingalls Wilder). I discovered Cynthia Voight’s books about the Tillermans (Dicey’s Song, et al) as an adult, but have already reread them multiple times. Pride and Prejudice, as well.
    BTW, I have every issue of Cottage Living, too.

  • Anne says:

    I love your Lotta collection – as you well know. I have to start getting one of my own, I would lovet to read them again. I had a few books that I passed on to my daughter, who didn’t like them at all! Then they got lost, probably when we moved. Have to start collecting again! After this move that is…

  • Lori in OR says:

    Note to self: proofread. Actually proofread. 😉

  • Lori in OR says:

    OMG!!!! I can’t believe someone else does this. My husband thinks I am a nut when he sees me “processing” my magazines.

  • Siri says:

    Never heard of Lotta here in Norway. Detective Nancy Drew was my favorite when I was growing up. My mother (who was born in 1950) collected them in the 60`s and passed them on to me – of course I loved the stories and started buying what she didn`t have. Today it`s all about interior design magazines. All sorts of interior design magazines both Norwegian and other. I haven`t got room for them though..

  • jody says:

    I have my Little House on the Prairie obsession and I have all the books (and others that have been written about her) and I am now collecting the full DVD collection of the TV adaptation of the books. And yes, I re-read them every few years 🙂

  • Andrea says:

    I’ve got some sweet memories from childhood reading Lotta-books! My aunt had a great collection and I borrowed hers. I have a small collection on my own too though… Now you’ve given me the inspiration to reread them. Looking forward to some good laughs!

  • Petra H says:

    Vad sugen jag blir på att läsa om Lotta-böckerna jag med!! Har ganska många, de flesta från min mor och moster, men även några egna.
    Jag har “bara” the complete collection av Sex and the City och The Gilmore Girls-dvd:erna. Ja, och alla Wallander-böckerna förutom den sista som jag hade missat, har lagt in en beställning hos min syster (eftersom jag bor i Bryssel).

  • Erika says:

    I too read and loved the Lotta-books in my early teens and some of the books should still be in storage at my house or maybe at my parents. I haven’t read them in a long, long time (20 years or so) though, but maybe I should re-read them and get som laughs out of Lotta and her friends adventures. 🙂
    The only real collection I have (exept for stuff like wine glasses and such) is of the, then, monthly magazine “Amelia Mat”, it was only published for a year or so, but I still have all the issues and enjoy reading them from time to time.

  • Amelie says:

    Jag har mååånga Lotta-böcker, men tyvärr inte alla. Om jag skulle ta och hämta hem dem från mina föräldrar kanske?

  • Fat Cat says:

    What a sweet post! It reminded me of the Astrid Lindgren books I loved to read when I was a kid. “Die Kinder aus Bullerbü” were the first books I read for myself after having learned to read. And of ourse I have kept them until today.
    I also was – and still am ! – a huge fan of “Pippi Langstrumpf”. I just got the dvd of the old Swedish TV series for my nieces (and my brother 😉 – and they are under the charm as well…
    Writing this comment, I realise that I still only know the titles and characters in German, my mother tongue. Weird.
    Anyway, many thanks for the fond memories 🙂

  • Iiris says:

    Nice collection! I too read Lotta books in Finland when I was young. As a child I loved all Astrid Lindgren books, but then for some reason refused to read any girlie books, so went through all Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan and Mars books. Actually can’t remember anything about the Mars-series, maybe time to see if my library here in England has any. Probably would hate them now 🙂

  • Morgan says:

    My favorite books were Nancy Drew books. I would always check them out of the public library and the library at school. Then I found out the my aunt collected them as a child, so I dug them out at my grandmother’s house and I still have them today!

  • Kate says:

    I loved the Pippi Longstocking stories growing up, and was so touched when my mom gifted me this amazing newly published collection illustrated by the great Lauren Child for my 27th birthday last year. I know I will treasure it always and can’t wait to read it to my own kids someday!

  • I wish I still had my Nancy Drew books and The Bobbsey Twins. But my mom sold them all in a garage sale. 🙁 The cool thing was that my grandmother had purchased them at garage sales and they were old, but in good condition. I think a lot of them are in re-print right now, but they wouldn’t be mine.

  • Misa says:

    I loved these books by Lois Lowry about an awkward girl named Anastasia Krupnik. I sought them out at used bookstores recently until I had the whole collection. Anastasia’s father is a poetry professor and her mother is a children’s book illustrator–that was as close to a perfect life as I could conceive of as a young girl.

  • Kaity says:

    I have a complete collection of Holiday Barbie dolls. My grandmother got me the very first one when I was 6, and I’ve received one every holiday since – even the year the Matel factory burned down!

  • Rebecca says:

    Little house on the Prairie! I love to re-read “The Long Winter” every winter. Just wonderful.

  • Rabenfrau says:

    “Jim Knopf und Lukas, der Lokomotiv-Führer” und “Jim Knopf und die Wilde 13” from Michael Ende. I don’t know, how the titles are in English. I loved Jim and Lukas and the people from Lummerland from the first time on, when I heard about them. And I have the first books, where the go to China, not to Mandala.

  • Ida says:

    UNDERBART att du är Lottafan till råga på allt – nu gillar jag din blogg ännu mer 😉
    Själv saknar jag den sista i serien, men letar så klart.
    Favoritavsnitt: balen i Vilken vals och nyårsfesten i Rena mörkret.

  • Jo says:

    Jag älskar också Lottaböckerna och samlar på dem. Jag har dock bara kommit upp i en sisådär 10-15 böcker såhär långt.. Så jag är lite avis på dig! 😉
    Annars samlar jag på Jane Austenböcker och läser även om mina Kulla-Gullaböcker med jämna mellanrum 🙂

  • Jo says:

    Of course your not a nut Lori.. you are a very sensible woman, and you can tell you husband I said so. ;o)
    Maybe it’s because we’re both on the West Coast [I’m on Vancouver Island] and like to recycle. Or maybe we just hate adverts eh !! either way.. it saves a lot of space.

  • Jacilyn says:

    I have all the Little House on the Prairie books. I have very fond memories of reading those books. I think I should reread them all again. Maybe this winter when it is cozy.
    Love your Lotta collection!

  • chelsea says:

    I also have quite the hoarded collection of Martha Stewarts, as well as Domino and Blueprint – probably in their entirety!

  • Christine says:

    I do it too and stick them in a sketch book!

  • Christine says:

    As a girl I loved to read. I read the Laura Ingalls Wilder “Little House on the Prairie” series. But I loved books by Judy Blume. My favorite was “Starring Sally J. Freidman as herself.” I read that over 100 times. There were times the librarian would not let me check it out so others would have a chance to read it. I’d wait a week and recheck it out.

  • Karen says:

    I have all my Nancy Drew books as well as the Bobbsey Twins-not a complete collection but still lots of volumes. I loved the Dark is Rising Series and have all those books. I was a huge fan of Trixie Belden in my early teens and picked one up from my stash this summer and am currently working my way through it. I did manage to save all my books from my childhood, I was very lucky my mom held onto them for me.
    Karen from CT

  • Bridget says:

    I found the most gorgeous edition of the Little House books yesterday at the thrift store–covers are all light baby blue, and are in perfect condition. I loved these books as a kid, and still do. The other ones are the Maud Hart Lovelace books, probably because I’m from Minnesota!

  • They’re in this top cabinet and in a second one on the other side of the window. I’ve just about run out of space though.

  • Lori says:

    When I was younger my aunt gave me all her original Nancy Drew books from the 20’s-40’s. I read them plus all the contemporary ones until the mid-70’s. I loved how the settings changed with the times, even though the stories remained similar.

  • Carin says:

    That’s so odd, even though I was born and bred in Sweden, I never read the Lotta books. I was a Kitty (Nancy Drew) fan myself, but sold them all when I moved to the UK. Kept my Kulla Gulla series of books though and can’t wait till my daughter is old enough to read them. Also kept the whole series of Black Beauty books I’d been given.

  • Ashli M says:

    I have loved your blog for a long time now, in fact every time I take a photo for my blog I think of how you would shoot the picture. Any of my great photo’s have been inspired by you!
    I wanted to comment because I was so glad to find someone else with a collection of Martha Living Magazine’s I also have a complete collection, and all my friends think I’m crazy!
    Thanks for sharing and all the great inspiration

  • monica says:

    i don’t know the Lotta book but I too collect my favourite book… I have more than 40 different copies of Little Women by Louise Alcott…
    crazy I know.

  • Lori in OR says:

    I have many copies of Little Women, but I have not hit 40 yet! My husband (man of infinite patience with my quirks) has begun to ask, “OK… what is special about this one?” You know: “It’s the Orchard House edition!” “It has May Alcott’s illustrations!” “It’s the one my friend Amy had when I was little!” and so on… 🙂

  • Very nice collection! You are all welcome to be members in Sällskapet för Ester Ringnér-Lundgren.
    The books about Lotta came out i Norway, Denmark and Germany* besides Sweden and Finland that has allready been mentioned in these comments. A field for further collection or just another reading experience if you live in one of those countries and find the books in fleemarkets and so on.
    *In some of the books in Germany Lotta in namned Lisa, but Merri Vik is still the auhtors name on the cover.

  • I read (and still reread) and own most of the Trixie Belden mysteries.
    I also read and loved and own all of the Lucy Maud Montgomery books. (She is most famous for the ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series.) It was translated into Swedish in 1909 and apparently it’s quite popular in Sweden! (