The first book I remember flipping through was a pop-up Greek mythology book. It had these great “statues” of the gods along with simple tales about them—including love affairs. I loved that book. I paged through it until it began to fall apart. This is a pretty typical story. Most kids have other picture books, usually featuring kittens and puppies. Not me—well, I probably had them, but I don’t remember them.
What I do remember was curling up next to my grandmother (I couldn’t sit on her, because she’d had cancer and was going through treatments) while she read me her Harlequin romances. Yep, at the age of three, she fed me a steady diet of boy meets girl, secret babies, millionaire bosses, Cinderella tales, and more. She really didn’t like picture books, but she did love her Harlequins.
Whenever the scene might get “steamy” she would tell me the characters had to go to bed to take a nap or they had to do their chores. Even after I learned to read, she would take an hour each evening and read aloud to me from these magical tales where everything worked out in the end.