"She'd read the dictionary all the way through. No one told her that you weren't supposed to."
-- Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men
When I was young, I read anything that I could get my hands on. I read my books over and over again. I was at our public library multiple times per week. I couldn't wait for my few magazine subscriptions to arrive in the mail -- the day that American Girl magazine arrived, it was like a little bit of Christmas had come to my mailbox. I read the back of the cereal box over breakfast and, when I was finished with that, moved on to the nutritional information.
I craved words.
This craving, this need to read, was so powerful that I read some unusual things. I read all the articles in the TV Guide each Thursday, the day it arrived in the mail. I scoured catalogs for interesting product descriptions. At nine years old, I was reading all of my mother's magazines: National Geographic, People, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Family Circle, US News and World Report. I didn't understand all of what I was reading, but that didn't matter to me. I even paged through PC World now and again, back in the days when DOS was still a viable operating system and Al Gore had not yet invented the Internet.
And yes, I even read the dictionary.
No matter how much I read, it was never enough. To me, words were like water to a man dying of thirst. I still feel that way. I need to read. And while I don't obsessively read every bit of print that comes into the house anymore, a book (or two, or three) is never too far from my hands.
What about you? Were you an insatiable reader as a child? Did you find yourself reading anything odd, just to satisfy a hunger for words?