It was the summer before I started third grade when my love affair with books began one hot afternoon when grandma had made us lie down for an after dinner nap. I remember squirming and tossing about on the bed trying to keep cool in front of the old electric fan and out of boredom I picked up a book my mother had left on a table nearby.
It was a struggle at first to decipher those big words that I kept stumbling up against but after a week or so of constantly asking whichever adult was nearby, "what's this word, what does it mean", I had stored enough words to memory that my questions became fewer every day.
I felt grown-up when grandma would look in at nap time and see me stretched out on my stomach, nose buried in the book, and not insist that I take my nap. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs took me to places I'd never even imagined before and I absorbed and savored each and every word of that book.
I don't remember how long it took me to finish reading my first novel, but I've never been without a new book with a new adventure since then.