View Full Version : Your first book

The New Nonsense
09-03-2009, 02:13 PM
I thought this might be a fun thread for people to share memories of their first book (assuming one can remember it). It could be the first book you remember reading, the first book you purchased yourself, or simply a book that was important to you at a very young age.

The first thing I ever bought with my own money was, I'm proud to say, a book. I recall saving up $10 to purchase Mercer Mayer's One Monster After Another. It took a while to save up for it and was all the money I had in the world. I was about 5, I believe.


A sign of things to come? I still have the book to this day, plus the book-buying habit it created. As they say, old habits die hard.

G. S. Carnivals
09-03-2009, 03:04 PM
Other than a Gingerbread Man story book, the earliest books I remember receiving were four Dr. Seuss titles: The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and Hop on Pop. I was in kindergarten. :cool:

Russell Nash
09-03-2009, 03:26 PM
Probably these two. "Platero y Yo" (Platero and I), and "El Principito" (The Little Prince).



09-03-2009, 04:21 PM
It wasn't my first book - i can't remember it to be honest- but it was the first book that had serious impact on me. That was Ende's, Momo. Such a wonderful story. I'm reading it again these days, after twenty years.

09-03-2009, 07:36 PM
Before my 12th year I only read comics and I didn't like what I termed 'books without pictures'. All this changed with The Lord of the Rings, which my cousin had recommended to me. I read it, lived in Middle Earth for several unforgettable months, and came back wanting to be a writer. So Tolkien changed my life or, put another way, woke something in me which had been lying dormant during my childhood years, for I was already fascinated by language ever since I was 7 years old. The Lord of the Rings was my gateway to the literary future which is my present.

Viva June
09-05-2009, 11:26 AM
It wasn't my first book - i can't remember it to be honest- but it was the first book that had serious impact on me. That was Ende's, Momo. Such a wonderful story.
This is the one with the grey men who steal time, right? My mother read that to me.

My first book was probably Eventyr om nisser og trolde (original Swedish title: Bland tomtar och troll, English title: Among Gnomes and Trolls), a collection of Swedish folk tales illustrated by John Bauer, full of stuff like this:


Also, like Jezetha, I have never really recovered from reading Tolkien. My father's copy of Hobbitten (The Hobbit, obviously) had this map (http://www.douglas.eckhart.btinternet.co.uk/maps-wilderland-01.jpg) printed on the back cover, and I think that, at that age, the map fascinated me as much as the story itself.

09-07-2009, 10:52 AM
This may not be my actual first book, but it is the first one I remember:


The Mystery of the Loch Ness Monster, by Jeanne Bendick. I got this book when I was 7, and it t started my lifelong interest in the unexplained. Amazingly, I still have it, 33 years later. It is written with a younger audience in mind, and there is at least one drawing or photo on just about every page. It even has a bibliography and index - to this day, nonfiction books with no bibliography make me suspicious, and I find the lack of an index exasperating.

One day I shall visit Scotland, and make the journey to Inverness.

Somewhere around age 11 or 12, I read "The Call of Cthulhu" in an anthology (I forget which one). I was so taken with it that I rode my bike for miles to the nearest bookstore and asked the nice lady to direct me to the Lovecraft books. They only had a couple of paperbacks - I'm not sure which editions they would have been in 1980 or '81, but I picked one and bought it with saved lawn-mowing money. I was enthralled, and have been ever since.

09-07-2009, 04:48 PM
The Little Black Fish
By Samad Behrangi


the Stone Flower
By Pavel Bazhov
http://www.mythinglinks.org/GoddessDanila%7Ec%7EbyRogatov%7E995Dollars%7Erogst f3.jpg

I posted images in case that it rings a bell to someone.

09-07-2009, 10:31 PM
Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, given to me when I was perhaps 6 or 7, by my mother. I actually have the original book that was given to me as a child and gave it to my daughter as a gift. She's 4 and it's one of her favorite books. That and The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and Fox on Socks, and Harold and the Purple Crayon.

I also loved Hansel and Gretel and Rumpelstiltskin as a child.

Dr. Bantham
09-07-2009, 10:57 PM
Corduroy by Don Freeman. The isolation of the department store struck me more than the alleged happy ending. I think of this bear and our predicament when I hear the following song. They share both nothing and everything in common, I knowingly admit ignorance theretwain.

09-08-2009, 06:55 AM

Russell Nash
09-17-2009, 01:47 PM
"El Libro Volador" ("The Flying Book"). This book is read at age 6 or 7.

Picasa Web Albums - Martin - El Libro Volador (http://picasaweb.google.com/Perramus/ElLibroVolador#)

It also has a witch on a broom

Picasa Web Albums - Martin - El Libro Volador (http://picasaweb.google.com/Perramus/ElLibroVolador#5240852225262851570)

and a rocket

Picasa Web Albums - Martin - El Libro Volador (http://picasaweb.google.com/Perramus/ElLibroVolador#5240853317843494754)

09-27-2009, 04:33 PM
The first book I can remember being given was My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss

Amazon.com: My Book About Me (0038332269970): Dr. Seuss, Roy McKie: Books

Alas, it's the only book I've ever written.

The first book I can remember buying for myself was The Hellbound Train - a apaperback collection by Robert Bloch. Once I read Yours Truly Jack the Ripper I was an instant horror addict.

01-06-2013, 06:29 PM

This is one of the first books that I remember having. I got it in elementary school back in the mid 70s from the Scholastic reading program. I used to get the little catalog of books, make a list of all of the ones I wanted, and then whittle it down to one or two books that I could afford. (Pretty much the same thing as I do now)


The Devil's Footprints
The Loch Ness Monster
The Abominable Snowman
Old Mose
The Sea Monster
Momo: The Missouri Monster
The Giant Snake

The two stories I remembered most were "The Devil's Footprints" and "Mothman". "The Devil's Footprints" is about a small town that woke up one winter's morning to discover a pair of cloven hoof prints left in the snow by a visitor in the night. The prints went up to look in certain windows, and even appeared on the roofs of houses! It left quite an impression.
"Mothman" is a now familiar story about the sighting of a strange creature down south. I used to read this one to my little brother and scare the bejesus out of him. The mothman flew after the car, and with a thud landed on the roof. Scratch! Scratch! Scratch!
I searched for this book for years, but I misremembered the title so I couldn't find it. I finally found it on this blog:


I got a copy from Abebooks.com for about $15 - $20. Not too bad. Some sellers have tried to take advantage of the nostalgia craze and are selling copies for over $200.

I got Kevin's OP book One Monster After Another by Mercer Mayer from the library a while back. That is a great book! Funny, and the illustrations are wonderful.

01-06-2013, 07:36 PM
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. God, I loved that book and it is the first one I can remember buying with my own money and reading and rereading. I think I was 7 or 8 at the time. And bendk, I completely am with you on the Scholastic Books. The Book Fair was my favorite time of year. So freakin' cool.

Amazon.com: The Phantom Tollbooth 50th Anniversary Edition (9780375869037): Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer: Books

01-06-2013, 07:40 PM
The first book I remember as having an impact on me was Who Will Comfort Toffle? by Tove Jansson, a large format picture book in which Toffle, a small black-clad loner with spiky hair, wins the heart of the similarly tiny and lonely Miffle by travelling through a dark forest and over a barren sea to find her, and then rescuing her by standing up to the icy grey menace of the Groke. My subsequent life and writings have been little more than minor variations on this core narrative.

01-06-2013, 08:16 PM
My first was a paperback collection of EA Poe stories I bought (at a B Dalton in Cincinnati, IIRC) at the tender age of 8 years. A year or two
later I bought an HPL collection through a school book program. The HPL had a profound affect on my future tastes and obsessions.


01-06-2013, 09:40 PM
The earliest books I remember are the 1983-84 New Book of Knowledge encyclopedia set. My parents firmly believe in books as a great way to keep kids happy and constructively diverted, so I had lots of books as a kid and was into Poe and Stephen King by 3rd grade, but i was hitting the encyclopedias in kindergarten.

I believe it had a lot to do with my first words being "What's that?" I learned to go look things up myself rather than pestering others, which was good. and also learned that books are best in groups and Complete Sets, which the neighborhood comic shop certainly appreciated when I started coming in for graphic novels and tabletop RPG books.