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I've been a reader all my life, since I consumed Charlotte's Web while recovering from eye surgery in first grade--I was so proud for reading it with just one eye!--and I've tried to make a life out of it. That's led me on a path that sometimes, in retrospect, seems to make more sense than it did at the time: getting my eyes and brain opened by Bill James and Thomas Hardy in high school, working on the first edition of The Reader's Catalog in college, studying American literature (and silent movies) in grad school, editing Encarta's encyclopedias, reviewing books for The Stranger, writing about (and selling) books on and, starting Amazon's books blog, Omnivoracious, going on an improbably long winning streak on Jeopardy! (which depended at one point on knowing that Somerset Maugham wrote The Moon and Sixpence), and, finally, writing a book that someone not on my dissertation committee or in my immediate family is likely to read, A Reader's Book of Days, published in November 2013 by W. W. Norton.

On Ephemeral Firmament, or EphEff as I insist on abbreviating it, I write irregularly but enthusiastically, mostly about books, and post Fortnightly Firmaments far less frequently than once a fortnight.