I read The Hobbit when I was about twelve and subsequently picked up the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I made it through the first 200 pages or so and put the book down in disgust. I didn't want to switch characters - I wanted to stay with the same ones I'd been reading about for 200 pages! It took a couple of years before I had forgiven Tolkien for how he did his narrative and picked the books back up, devouring them this time.
I think Tolkien was where my love of Fantasy truly began.
Frank Herbert's Dune was where my love of Sci-Fi joined in.
I think Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality were my first Urban Fantasy. I devoured the Xanth books as fast as I could find them, too. I discovered Piers Anthony by coming across The Blue Adept while I was shelving books at the library - being a shelver was a totally awesome way of discovering new authors to read.
I have an enormous collection of Sci-Fi and Fantasy paperbacks in boxes in the basement. And while I know most of them I won't re-read and I should go through them and donate them, I'm loathe to do so. Books were my gateways to new worlds, they were my friends, they filled a lot of my spare time growing up. Besies, I have this fantasy that I'm going to move the country and I want a room that's a library, shelves lining every wall. Then the only question will be - do I file them by genre then title, or simply alphabetically by title? Decisions, decision...
smut fixes everything