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Old 13th September 2010, 11:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What Age Were You?

What age were you when you first recall reading a real SFF Book, doesn't have to be an epic like LOTR it could be something as small as Harry Harrisons Deathworld. But it's the first time you remember reading it and what age do you think its right to start reading these books?

I believe I started at about 9 with The Hobbit, and although this is meant as a children's book anyway I don't refer to it as so. I think I should have started earlier, I could read very well before then anyway, I loved reading as a kid as much as I do now. I've just started my son off with "The Colour Of Magic" and he's 6. He struggles with only the most difficult of words and in my opinion does better than a lot of adults i've heard. The way we do it is I use it as a bedtime story, he reads a couple of pages then I read him a few pages before he sleeps and he loves it. Do you think this is a good age to start him on the genre?
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Old 13th September 2010, 11:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

I read Arthur C Clark's Islands in the Sky when I was about 8, as for a good age well as long as they enjoy the story I don't think you can start to soon. At the moment I am reading my daughters The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton which is the first Faraway Tree story when that is finished I have Alice in wonderland for them, which to me is a Fantasy book.
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Old 13th September 2010, 12:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

When I was 8ish-9ish, my Mum and me took it in turns to read The Hobbit. When I was 12-13 I got Nineteen Eighty Four from the school library and read it twice in a row. I told my best made to get it only to discover the PTA had removed it from the library due to it being 'unsuitable'.

Something snapped in me that day and I've never been the same since...
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Old 13th September 2010, 12:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

Unsuitable? why I wonder
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Old 13th September 2010, 01:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

Probably because it mentions sex.

I remember reading LOTR at 9, but I'd already dabbled in Heinlein by that time.
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Old 13th September 2010, 02:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

I was 7 or 8, and read a children's fantasy called My Father's Dragon (which is the first in a series, but I didn't know that at the time) by Ruth Stiles Gannett. The other two in the series are Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland, but I haven't read them. It is a Newbery Honour Book and listed as a Notable Book by the American Library Association. Great for kids around 7 or 8 to read, and it is still in print, I think. It is the first proper novel I ever read (and I stole it from my sister. Hah!)

Here's the cover:

My Father's Dragon
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Old 13th September 2010, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

All my childhood fantasy memories are a big jumble in my head. I was a reading machine as a child, but then teenage apathy kicked in and my love of doin' stuff dwindled...I think I remember being read Enid Blyton (Faraway Tree) at 4-5, otherwise it would probably be Narnia at around 7 or 8.
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Old 13th September 2010, 04:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

Around 3 for Faraway Tree/ Wishing Chair, Enid Blyton, about 6 for Mary Norton's Borrowers, my first memory of reading exracts of Gullivers Travels was around 7 same with Narina Then I entered a fantasy wilderness for a few year. Although Horror and supernatural/ occult still feaured quite highly on my reading list
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Old 13th September 2010, 04:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

My mum was an SF reader (more fantasy now) and she started me on some Heinlein when I was maybe 9ish. Can't remember back that far too accurately . When I was 16 my despairing English teacher started to give me John Wyndham which I think is what really got me going.
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Old 13th September 2010, 05:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

I was 21 in 2003 when i first read SFF The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy omnibus when i was taking daily train trips to school. My first real,not comic SF was Foundation and my first fantasy Salvatore's Demon Awakens which was rubbish to say the least.

I never read as a kid, when i was a kid books didnt exist i was in refugee camps. That explains why im such an avid reader now,im 15 years behind the regular SFF reader and trying to catch up
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Old 13th September 2010, 05:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

I was 8 or 9 when I started reading L. Frank Baum's the Oz books. I was about 11 or 12 when I found ERB's Princess of Mars on my grandparents' bookshelf. It was about 15 years later that I finally found out what happened when that door closed at the end of the book.
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Old 13th September 2010, 06:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

8 or 9 with me, too - The Chronicles of Narnia, then Alan Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingamen, then on to The Hobbit....
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Old 13th September 2010, 06:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

sorry for hijacking the thread but Pyan are you all white
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Old 13th September 2010, 06:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

Just feeling a little monochromatic at the moment...

Ahem...

My first SF books, on further delving into the distant past, were the Spectrum anthologies edited by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest - I'd just discovered the yellow covers of Gollancz SF, and these were all together on the library shelf. I didn't understand half the stories, but boy, did they set my brain buzzing...
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Old 13th September 2010, 07:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: What Age Were You?

The revelation struck when I was nine. Oh I'd probably read the Narnia books, but I was reading my way through a load of Swallows and Amazons type stuff, when I went down with one of the childhood illnesses: chicken pox, or measles or mumps, something like that, and was confined to bed to prevent me from spreading it over the entire juvenile population.

My grandparents, worn by having to go twice a day to the public library, thought "This'll slow him down" and gave me Arthur C, Clarke's 'Earthlight'. The beginning of the end, although it wasn't for another five years I noticed there was an error in the physics, and wrote him a letter explaining it was wrong…

Which he graciously admitted.
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