I don’t know about the first novel, but the first thing I can remember reading (over and over and over again) was a collection of Aesop’s Fables. I remember each illustration, and each story still. I remember one illustration of a catfish and a Flamingo, in particular. I remember the story of about the wind, the sun, the man in the coat, and the sun and wind’s wager about who could get the man to take off his coat. The wind blew with all his might, but the man only pulled his coat around himself tighter. Then the sun took his turn and warmed the man till he shed his coat. I learned a lot of things from those little stories, to be kind, and to prepare in advance for things, like in the ant and the grasshopper. It has played a major roll in like, even just last year when I had to write my statement of purpose for entrance into graduate school. I wrote about how much one book dramatically affected who I grew up to be, and how that gift is something to be cherished and protected. I explained that one book put me on a path that made me want to be kind, compassionate, honest, travel the world, learn, understand, and even become a librarian.