1. Where It All Began: with Mom and Dad and Grandma and Aunt Helen all reading to me. No specific moments...just all of the times I climbed into a lap with a book and someone read to me.
2. The Dawn of My Love of Mysteries: When my mom passed on her original set of Nancy Drew books...a present from her mom to her.
3. The Loss and Finding of Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?: One week in kindergarten I took my all-time favorite Dr. Seuss book to school for show-and-tell. Mrs. Nix asked if we could keep it there for story hour the next week. Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? disappeared and I was not a happy little kindergartner (nor was my mama a happy mama). Several years later when my mom was taking care of the elementary school library, she found my Dr. Seuss book....with my name in it and a school library card & pocket. It came home.
4. My First Library Card: At the Wabash Carnegie Library--orange library card with metal piece that went ka-chunk when the librarian ran it through the machine with my check-out slip. I was extraordinarily pleased with myself when I had my own card and could take home whatever books I wanted to.
5. The Discovery of Mason's Rare & Used Bookstore: Once upon a time, in the small town of Wabash, there was the world's best used bookstore--owned and operated by the world's most awesome bookman, Mr. John Mason. The first time I remember going in his store was during Canal Days in Wabash--a weekend of sidewalk sales and food stands and entertainment. I dragged my mom in there (not quite literally), discovered he had Nancy Drew books that I hadn't read yet and knew this was the place for me. Once I was old enough, I used to walk downtown every Friday with my allowance money expressly to hand it over to Mr. Mason in exchange for those wonderful objects, books.
6. Spying the Star Trek Book Set at Walden's in Marion: Getting the Star Trek gift set (first five Pocket Book ST novels) for Christmas when I was 12 not only started my love affair with the Classic Trek series--it also jump-started my 10-15 year science fiction adventure. The Star Trek books led me to such classic SF writers as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Silverberg, Robert A Heinlein,Harlan Ellison, James Tiptree, Jr. (who's a woman, btw), Ursula K. LeGuin, and Pamela Sargent.
7. Discovering Dorothy L Sayers and Lord Peter Wimsey: I was a mystery-aholic from the time my mom gave Nancy Drew until the Star Trek novels hit (not that I gave up mysteries, but my focus changed). I read Nancy and the Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden and then jumped to Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot and the Alfred Hitchcock mystery collections. It wasn't until I had been on my SF kick for a good while that found Lord Peter...and fell in love with mysteries all over again. And I haven't really looked back since. I'll read other things....I always have. But if I have to choose a genre and stick with it for the rest of my life--give me mysteries.
8. The Re-Discovery of Mason's: About the time I left for college, Mr. Mason sold his Wabash store to some of his employees (now it's known as The Reading Room) and headed east to open a store in Pennsylvania--he said he always thought that some of the oldest books never made it to the Midwest. After several years out east, he decided to return to Indiana and opened a Mason's Rare & Used near Indianapolis. I stumbled upon his listing while doing an online search for used bookstores--and immediately told my husband a trip was in order. The first time I walked in, even though it was a totally different building--more retail store than nook and cranny used store--I knew I was in Mason's. And I kept going back until he finally closed the shop for good and retired. My mom (and other family members) taught me to love reading. Mr. Mason taught me to love vintage books.
9. Reading Dr. Seuss with My Son When He Was Small: Nothing compares to having your child snuggle up in your lap and reading to them for the first or the hundred and first time. I tried to get him to love Mr. Brown as much as I did--but he had his own mind. For him, the best was The Foot Book (hands down, LOL).
10. And the Biggest Bookish "Wow" Moment....has got to be the mind-boggling moment that I had last February when I opened up one of my favorite books after answering a Top Ten Tuesday question. Please indulge me and check out Bev's Believe It or Not.