Hello, my name is Dan. I'm a reading junkie. I get panicky if I don't have books around me. I read constantly. My wife tells me I would rather read than talk to her. . . . My office has two desks, a filing cabinet, a daybed, eleven bookshelves, and over a thousand books, not to mention the books in other parts of the house. To his credit, our ABCD (American Border Collie dog), Corey, prefers my office. When I travel, even to the store, I take a book. I had trouble learning to read when I was young. My mother would sit with me after school and we would practice with the latest issue of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. The adventures of Donald Duck and his nephews and Uncle Scrooge always used new words in every story and didn't talk down to kids. I still love the Disney characters. When I was 11 I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs and my lifelong infatuation with fantasy began. When I was 12 I started buying Ace "Doubles" and reading Andre Norton and John Brunner. Reading is nearly as essential to me as breathing.
When I was 13 my parents bought Merriam Webster's Second International Dictionary (like Nero Wolfe, I prefer it over the third edition), and my addiction blossomed on this heady fertilizer. I began reading this great tome like a novel, page by page. I was permanently drunk on words. I discovered I could manipulate them in a way that pleased others. When I was 15 I began writing poems. My family was musical and I sublimated any musical talent I had into poetry. My Celtic genes were expressing themselves. Reality for me became a series of imaginary worlds punctuated by epiphanies. Now in my maturity I am tasked with sharing theophanies with others.