According to family history, I taught myself to read when I was 3 1/2 years old. I can't remember a time before reading. I was born in Bellevue & lived perhaps three miles from the old library that my family visited at least once per week.
Though that building is long gone & I've been a Sno-Isle patron since 1993, I can still recall the smell of that first library & the layout. At one point in my life, due to depression & loss, I found myself unable to concentrate on reading. I'd scan a page repeatedly & not retain any of the words, let alone the plot. Those were some of the longest & most difficult months for me not just because of my mental health but because my usual self-care of losing myself in a book wasn't working. After some intensive therapy & moving to a new city, I quickly found the local branch & jumped right back into reading.
I'm a fast reader so I'm at the library a couple times a week & one of the librarians occasionally asks for recommendations on the books I return. The library is & always has been a sanctuary & a place of discovery for me. I'm blessed to know that my siblings, their spouses & my nieces & nephews all love to read as much as I do. Family dinner conversations are more stimulating with well-read people who don't regurgitate pap from common denominator media.