When I was four years old, I entered a Montessori preschool, where the expectation was that you would leave with the ability to read. A year later I declared that I would never read again once I had finished the Bob Books, which were, in my humble opinion, hell's contribution to childhood. By age six, I had finished the Bob Books and decided that because all books targeted towards my age group were terribly boring, I would simply have to write my own. When I was seven I entered first grade, under the careful tutelage of the most aptly-named teacher I have ever had: Ms. Read. Ms. Read was of the opinion that all of her students were going to read, whether they liked it or not. Every day there was a designated time in which we had to either read a book of our own or select one from her shelf. I, being of the deluded opinion that no children's authors could write a decent story, always chose a book and pretended to read until I was allowed to put it back. However, sometime in second semester, Ms. Read handed me a book and forced me to actually read it. And, to my considerable astonishment, I found I rather enjoyed it. More than liked it, even. I loved it. I loved every second of reading that book and could hardly bear to put it down. And after that book I discovered many others like it, until I, like my mother before me, came into my own a fledgling bibliophile. I now consider my first grade teacher forcing me to read that book to be a defining moment in my development. However, were you to ask me what it was about, I would be at a loss as to how to answer you. I do know it had something to do with fairies, and at a time when I was most interested in building fairy houses in the backyard, I thought it positively brilliant that words on a page could bring to life what I was exploring in my head. However, anything beyond that is lost to me. In the nine years that have passed since 2002, during which I inhaled many such books, I have completely forgotten what it was about that book in particular that so profoundly changed my outlook on books. Looking back on it today, I recognize the irony in knowing next to nothing about the most influential book I have ever read. I do, however, know the intellectual and creative paths it lead me to pursue. Upon realizing my fascination with fairies, my mother and my teacher helped me to discover other books with fairies in them, and therefore fantasy and other fiction. Years later that would evolve into my interest in a wide array of genres that ranged anywhere from historical novels to science fiction. I have even been known to read the odd computer manual and you may find me, in any given building, reading the rules and regulations posted on the wall. Admittedly, I have been found curled in the swing reading history books over summer vacation for fun, in the very same position as I read the fantastical, magical world of fairies all those many years ago. I do believe in fairies. I do, I do.