I was nine years old. I had never read or heard of SF. I found a book on the bookmobile called Catseye by Andre Norton. Reading that book, I felt like I was floating in this world of blue light and a solo clarinet was doodling low in the background. Honestly. It was a rush I've never felt with any other book. After that, I read every SF book the dear old bookmobile ladies could find. There was a 4 book limit for those of us under the age of 12. I'd borrow my four books on Friday afternoon and had all of them read by sometime Saturday. My one ambition was to turn 12 so I could check out as many SF books as I wanted.
Finally turned 12. I read SF and fantasy on a daily basis for 30 years after that, all the names mentioned here and more. Favorite authors changed through the years, loved some, hated others, read them all. Then one day I'd had enough, can't say why. It's been 15 years and more since that day. I've slowly come back to my old love, but not in the all consuming fashion of previous years. My sons have adopted my passion only to a certain extent - Fantasy but no SF. But I know the boxes in the attic with all my Ace paperbacks and F&SF mags will be a motherlode for them one day.