When you get down to it. it's really all my sister's fault.
I learned how to read very early. The way it was told to me was that my sister taught me how to read sometime during my toddler years as a way to keep me out of her hair. It must have worked, because I have also heard tales of me sitting in the back of kindergarten with a big book on my lap.
But in those days, I wasn't a geek. Not yet. For the most part, I read the usual picture books (Richard Scarry was big in my house), and while I was a fan of superheroes, I really didn't read comics. I had TV for that (Wonder Woman, Superfriends, Six Million Dollar Man).
Then I had my tonsils out. And, to keep me entertained during my recovery, my folks bought me a bunch of books:
# The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes Volume One: Batman
# The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes Volume Two: Wonder Woman
# The Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes Volume Three: Superman
And, on the other side:
# Origins of Marvel Comics
# Son of Origins of Marvel Comics
I read the HELL out of those books. But I still didn't buy more than the occasional newstand comic. And, in time, they ended up in a box somewhere, forgotten and eventually tossed out. I moved on to Encyclopedia Brown, Danny Dunn, & the Hardy Boys (among others)
Interestingly, this accidentally led to one of my other obsessions. My dad knew I liked books about superheroes, so when an itinerant bookseller visited his store, and he saw a book called The Wonder Book, he assumed it was about Wonder Woman. Turned out, it was a very different book:
And my lifelong fondness for mythology began.
Time passed. While I was socially introverted, poor at sports, and academically adept, I wasn't yet a geek. Then my sister came back into the picture…
One day, while at the mall with some friends, she picked up a couple of paperbacks for me on a whim. And these are the books she brought home:
And a geek was born.
I haven't looked back since. :)