They stirred the inquiring mind of the 70’s child, they were educational, they were very cheap……
I Spy books were the first examples of the self help & self education culture….probably. (Well it sounded good when I wrote it !). They didn’t really tell you much about the subject the book covered, but the clues were there to find out yourself.
Points were awarded for each question and section completed in such I Spy Books as I Spy Car Number Plates, I Spy British Birds, I Spy Old Architectureetc. Realism didnt come into the I Spy series that often, soI Spy Good Places To Play Truant, I Spy My Big Brother’s Collection of Porny Mags and I Spy Shops That Will Sell Us Ten Benson and Hedges were, to my knowledge never produced.
The excitement didn’t stop there, oh no ! Once you had completed the book, you were able to post it off to Big Chief I Spywho would award you a certificate of achievment. Despite gaining several, they sadly did not get me into a reputable university to study Politics or Nuclear Physics,(though the Peace Studies lecturer was quite impressed !