Reading first became my magnificent distraction in the third grade when, on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, I finished my first non-picture book (a 99-page volume about Annie Oakley) in one hour while my mom napped in her bedroom. Perhaps you could trace it back to my interest in books like Fox in Socks and Artie the Smartie, or even as far back as a family tradition of sitting down to listen to my dad recite The Night Before Christmas once a year. As I grew older, my love of reading only intensified. Amy Tan’s books were the first I’d ever read that depicted my own culture. The addition of “-ah” after the daughters’ names, the foods they were eating, the relationships between mothers and daughters — these were things I had heard and tasted and seen with my mom’s side of the family. In high school, books like Macbeth and One Hundred Years of Solitude hooked me, and once I hit college that was it. Contemporary literature; Asian American lit; classics like Dante’s Divine Comedy, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Song of Roland…I was in for life.Whatever the true origin of my bibliophilia, here I am — a grown woman who just can’t get enough of the wonders of books, whether that means reading them, holding them, owning them, feeling the crackle of protective library plastic on their covers, or taking a big whiff of that good ol’ booky smell. And what more appropriate fate for one so literarily obsessed as myself than to earn a doctorate degree for reading, writing, and writing about reading. Thus I remain, still, always, blissfully distracted by the joy of books.