[The first in a series of planned posts where I review books on my bookshelf - this always brings back great memories!]

Asimov on Astronomy occupies a special place on my bookshelf, because it was the first Isaac Asimov book I ever read. 

I grabbed this unassuming volume, with its pages somewhat faded and a few stuck together from some long-ago wear (perhaps a coffee spill?), off of my grandfather’s bookshelf when I was about eight.  I’d been drawn in by the book’s cover, which depicted Saturn’s beautiful rings in slightly faded colors.  

As I turned from off-yellow page to off-yellow page, occasionally having to separate two crisply joined pages, I struggled to make sense of some of the incredible and exciting ideas of science being presented by Asimov's lucid mind.  But
over the next few days, I was drawn in and entered the real heart of Asimov’s thoughts on astronomy and the universe. 

Asimov was incessantly curious, his favorite phrase: “what if?”  What if Earth had never had a Moon?  What would the implications of that be?  What if our Sun were able to go nova?  What if humanity needed more living space and colonized the asteroids? 

Asimov's infectious enthusiasm for learning and knowledge was clear on every page of this book.  This book was really quite influential for me, helping to kindle a lifelong love of science and engineering, and also making me a devoted Asimov fan.

And of course, Asimov on Astronomy is a window into one of Isaac Asimov's most notable characteristics - and one that makes his books always a pleasure to read: his endless capacity for wonder.

[Picture credit: Amazon.com]