In this time of the Internet and nonfiction, to be on an actual bookshelf in an actual bookstore is exciting in itself.
I truly believe that writing is a continuum - so the different genres and forms are simply stops along the same continuum. Different ideas that need to be expressed sometimes require different forms for the ideas to float better. I don't write essays as often as I should.
I had amazing intellectual privilege as a kid. My mom taught me to read when I was two or three. When I was five, I read and wrote well enough to do my nine-year older brother's homework in exchange for chocolate or cigarettes. By the time I was 10, I was reading Orwell, Tolstoy's 'War and Peace,' and the Koran. I was reading comic books, too.
The Igbo used to say that they built their own gods. They would come together as a community, and they would express a wish. And their wish would then be brought to a priest, who would find a ritual object, and the appropriate sacrifices would be made, and the shrine would be built for the god.