Excellent story, Jack, though not surprising. I see you as a science fiction junkie and, of course, an avid reader, but finding out how your love of reading and of your particular genre preference came to be is very interesting.
I don’t understand age limits on books — well, except the truly adult stuff. My love of poetry began with my father’s Complete Poetical Works of Longfellow. I was 8 or 9. Definitely, a book that was not available to me in the school library. He studied it in college and his notes were scrawled in the margins, helping me to understand the complex lines. I read those poems with dictionary in hand, learning a half-dozen or more new words with each completed poem. Mr. Longfellow was a heck of a teacher! I look back on that book as probably the most profound educational experience of my life.