I have been coming to the Central Branch library in Somerville for as long as I can remember. I have had the luck to live quite close to the library my whole life, so my family often went on after-dinner trips to pick out bedtime stories and play in the neighboring park. As a small child, picking out picture books to read rivaled the thrill of Christmas. With each cover bolder and more colorful than the next, I would simply have to get every book I saw, and my parents often had to assure me that we would indeed be able to come back, so I could wait to take out more books until I finished the ten already in our bag. To this day I can remember some of my favorites—The Last Dragon by Susan Miho Nunes, A Million Fish…More or Less by Patricia McKissack, Amos & Boris by William Steig, and Weaving of a Dream by Marilee Heyer. I learned how to read using picture books, and as I became more proficient, I moved on to chapter books. My parents had been reading chapter books to me for a while, but being able to read them myself gave me an even stronger love for reading and sense of empowerment. Suddenly there were many more shelves of books for me to devour, and I filled my canvas book bags to their breaking point on a regular basis. Outside of school, reading was my primary activity, and occupied most of my free time. Authors I particularly enjoyed were Louisa May Alcott, Lemony Snicket, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.