In no particular order:

  1. In the summer between 6th and 7th grade, sitting in my great-grandma’s elm tree, munching on fresh-picked Gravenstein apples, while reading Brian Jacques’ Marlfox.
  2. My cousin introducing me to Paperbacks Unlimited (a local, family-owned used bookshop) in college.
  3. Finding the entire Jedi Academy Trilogy at a Friends of the Library book fair – 75¢ for the lot!
  4. The first time that The Beloved Husband voluntarily picked up a book so that we could read together in bed.
  5. Starting Frank Paretti’s The Oath at 9pm Halloween night and being too scared to go to sleep once I’d finished (I was 16). Such awesome writing and atmosphere!
  6. Sitting with Charles Schultz while eating french fries and listening to him chat with my grandpa.
  7. Teaching myself Tolkien’s Elvish in Junior High.
  8. The first time I ever read Lord of the Rings. I read til I had eye strain and couldn’t focus on the type anymore.
  9. Having my mom finally give up on confiscating my flashlights because I always had more stashed away – let the covert, under-the-covers, late-night reading binges begin!
  10. My mom reading The Little Princess to me way back in 3rd grade.