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I was reading several of the topics and something prompted me to remember The Forgotten Door, by Alexander Key.  It was the first SF book I ever read, back when I was just starting to read books without pictures, and it was one of those books that really set me on my course as a reader.  Along with the Danny Dunn books, Toby Tyler, Johny Tremain, and the Sherlock Holmes stories, this was one of the books that turned me into a lifelong reader.

I'm sure all of us who are readers have similar books that shaped us as readers.  I'd love to know what some of them were for others...
 

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I've mentioned them here before, but my first "grown up" books I read when I was young were Alan Dean Foster's "Spellsinger" series. I think they really shaped my reading habits and my love of reading as well. I have to admit that I was first drawn to them only because they had animals on the cover... and I was a kid so hey, this must be a children's book! From then on I've been a huge fan of just about everything fantasy and even told Alan Dean Foster in the email I sent him that I blame him for my addiction to World of Warcraft.



Another book I remember reading when I was pretty young was Stephen Kings "The Eyes of the Dragon". My uncle gave it to me for Christmas one year, after he had read it of course, and I remember disliking the first chapter but coming back to it a month or so later and thoroughly enjoying it. That book launched me into my Stephen King years and I can still remember reading "The Tommyknockers" at the same time as a friend of mine was reading "It". These were both our first "horror" novels... There was this scene where they were driving through Derry and saw Pennywise looking up through a sewer grate and it creeped me out so much I threw the book on the floor ><



And now I'm thoroughly enamored with Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde. I can easily say Pratchett is my favorite contemporary author and, having read everything he's written, I've had to look elsewhere for my fix. That's where Jasper Fforde came in. There's been, of course, a lot of books along the way, and I also loved Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" and Brian Jacques' "Redwall" books... but I think these best hit on the authors that kind of shaped the reader (and would-be writer) I am today. I'd link all these but there's far too many!
 

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I really liked the Danny Dunn books when I was a kid. I've got a copy of the homework machine and keep my eyes open for others when I'm in used bookstores. I also have and still read the Sherlock Holmes stories.
 

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I think the first "real" book I read on my own was Winnie the Pooh (to me much better than the Disney cartoons). I don't clearly remember what came next, but I know Charlotte's Web, several "Miss Pickerell" adventures, and maybe a couple "Danny Dunn" books were in the early mix.
 

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I remember the first adult book I ever read was Flowers in the Attic when I was in sixth grade. I had to ask my mom for permission to read it - a friend of mine had read it. My mom had to read it first then give me a bunch of "lectures" to prepare me for some of the subject matter, but she did let me read it. I remember it having a profound effect on me as a kid - I don't think reading it as an adult could have produced that same effect.



(Although back then, the cover didn't look like this! It was much creepier with a cut-out windowed cover that opened to another picture.)

However, I don't think I would say it influenced my reading habits, as my reading preferences have always been all over and I don't think I gravitate to that kind of subject matter today.

Vonda
 

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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is a book that really got me started. I read quite a bit before I read it, but after that I really became voracious. In fact, after that I bought all of the other L.M. Montgomery books. ( I have over 30 novels and short story collections, plus all of her journals and an illustrated book on PE Island with quotes and photos AND a book about her life. I even went to Prince Edward Island on my honeymoon)
 

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I've been a reader since I was in nursery school, with my sister having taught me to read the story of "Seven Flies With One Swat: The Story of the Brave Little Tailor" in French about the time I was learning to read in English. (She was in high school at the time, and went on to be a French, Spanish, and English major in college.)

The first book that I remember checking out on my library card was Elizabeth Blackwell, The First Woman Doctor. I was about 5 at the time, and had wanted to be a nurse until I read that book, at which time I realized that women could be doctors. Well, I was born about two years too early to realize my dream of becoming a doctor, but I've spent most of my adult life as a reading teacher, so that's ok. Things work out for the best in the long run.

I also read Nancy Drew books, Louisa May Alcott's books, and anything I could get my hands on. Someone mentioned Johnny Tremain, which was another of my early favorites. I think that's when I began really immersing myself in books to the extent that I could almost picture myself in the times and places in the stories. That habit led me to encourage my reading students to do the same by imagining a videotape of the story in their heads, and even seeing themselves as a bystander or participant in the events as they unfolded. For many of the kids that I've taught, this idea took hold, and they've come back as adults to say that it's made them thoroughly enjoy reading. That makes up for not having been a doctor (for the most part, anyway). ;)
 

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    I remember reading Nancy Drew, The Cat in The Hat, etc. & other books which I can not remember, but it was when I was in Junior High School, & I discovered YA romance books. I could read & finish a book in a day or 2, reading in my spare time, all the while studying how the author developed plots & character development. It gave me such a sense of accomplishment to just be able to start & finish so many books. I also read other non-romance books as well.  ;D I'll have to look up the author, & post later, but I read her whole series. I think her 1st name is Lynn. 
 

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The first books that I really got into when I was in the 3rd grade were Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope. Every time we went to the library those were the first books I looked for. Later it was Nancy Drew. I have always loved a series of books with the same main characters.  :)
 

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I wanted to BE Nancy Drew! Shoot, I couldn't even imagine what a "roadster" looked like, but I was still riding right along with Nancy, Bess and George on all their exciting cases. And what girl child wouldn't adore having a super cool father like Carson Drew? Even before Nancy and the gang, though, I loved Enid Blyton's Adventure series. I thought The Valley of Adventure was probably the coolest book (and place) ever. Have loved mysteries ever since I read these wonderful series. The first grown-up book I can remember reading, although I wasn't even a teenager yet, was Double Star by Rober A. Heinlein. Of course, that one seriously addicted me to the science fiction genre.
 

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Kathy said:
The first books that I really got into when I was in the 3rd grade were Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope. Every time we went to the library those were the first books I looked for. Later it was Nancy Drew. I have always loved a series of books with the same main characters. :)
I had some Bobbsey Twin books along with Tom Swift and Encyclopedia Brown. These series initiated my love of mysteries, then I started in on my dad's collection of Perry Mason books which firmly set the hook. I have loved the mystery genre, ever since.
 

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The first series books I got into were:

The John Carter of Mars by Burroughs now all conveniently included in MobileReference.



Then it was the Gor books by John Norman:



And I can't forget the Hobbit/LOTR by Tolkien

 

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HOLY COW -- you've got to be kidding right?  ???

I don't remember that far back -- way way too many adult beverages have ravaged the brain cells!  :p
I do remember they were etched on stone tablets though!  ;D
 

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Tip10 said:
HOLY COW -- you've got to be kidding right? ???

I don't remember that far back -- way way too many adult beverages have ravaged the brain cells! :p
I do remember they were etched on stone tablets though! ;D
LOLOLOLOL :D

Shaped me as a reader? I have no idea. The stuff I read years ago is not anywhere near the type of reading I prefer today.
 

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As a kid I was really into the Encylcopedia Brown stories as well as the Choose Your Own Adventur books.

As a teenager, S. E. Hinton books were my staple.  I loved the Outsiders and That was Then, This is Now.

My first big novel as an adult was Stephen King's The Stand.
 

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Silver said:
I wanted to BE Nancy Drew! Shoot, I couldn't even imagine what a "roadster" looked like, but I was still riding right along with Nancy, Bess and George on all their exciting cases. And what girl child wouldn't adore having a super cool father like Carson Drew? Even before Nancy and the gang, though, I loved Enid Blyton's Adventure series. I thought The Valley of Adventure was probably the coolest book (and place) ever. Have loved mysteries ever since I read these wonderful series. The first grown-up book I can remember reading, although I wasn't even a teenager yet, was Double Star by Rober A. Heinlein. Of course, that one seriously addicted me to the science fiction genre.
Me too, also before Nancy I read Donna Parker, Trixie Beldon and Annette.... I still have those awesome Classics... and Walton Boys Mysteries. These were hand-me-down books from my older sister but I LOVED them! I also wanted to be ANNETTE! ;D See... I am old... I forgot all about "The Boxcar Children" THEY were my first books to real chapter books to really read, guess I series books have been my thing since, I was probably eight or nine I guess! Trixie was next when I was in third grade, I remember my favorite teacher's collection.
 
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