Published at Thought Catalog, June 2013.
Librarians are the pushers of the book world.
Growing up in the house of an academic-turned-bartender-then-academic-again, it was inevitable, of course, that I’d be reading wildly age-inappropriate books almost as soon as I became literate. My father used to set me loose in the bookstore to wander freely, never raising an eyebrow at some of the titles on the pile of books I would teeteringly carry to the counter, which was, naturally, too high for me to reach. But it was my middle school librarian who introduced me to science fiction and fantasy after she saw me curled up in the corner on a rainy day with a copy of Rebecca and thought I might enjoy something of a slightly different flavor.