I'd be interested to hear how others got into King's work. For me, it was a family thing. My Grandfather was a high school drop out, a greaser from the 50's but educated himself through reading. He became a fan of Stephen's work and as a child, I admired the "large" books he read. It wasn't until high school that I developed a passion for reading and writing that I picked up my first King Novel (Bag of Bones). It became a bonding experience for my Grandfather and me, something outside of the Yankees that we could discuss, an intellectual meeting ground for the uneducated and the educated, a bridge through generations. Since my Grandfather passed away, I read King's work with a duel interpretation: how I interpret and receive the words as well as how my Grandfather would have read them.
I was a late-bloomer, a slow-learner, and I did not get it when a younger brother told me here, read this, this is good, sometime in the early 90s. I was this old (flashes all ten digits three times + another five & a half digits) when I read It. It was good. Alas, it did not dawn on me that King could possibly have another winner, not after watching The Shining w/Jack Nicholson years prior, not after watching a number of other movies since that first exposure. I don't purchase reading material based on movies...only sometimes I do. When Dreamcatcher came out in hardback, I liked the cover, made my purchase, liked the story. Was that around '99, 2000? I've always been hesitant to join the Best Sellers List...and I can think of more than one recent example to proof a point...and so it wasn't until I picked up a copy of the revised The Gunslinger, summer of ought-six, vacationing out west, in a gunslinger mood, having visited Deadwood among other places...and like a true gunslinger, I was sniffing books in a store in Rapid City...looked at the cover and asked what did he do with this one. Read the first line, read the story. It was good. I did not realize at the time it was a series...not sure I realized that until the end maybe...maybe I was flipping through the various pages not-story when it hit me...hey! this is story one of many! When I got on the plane w/Eddie, I was ready for rock & roll & have since read everything listed on the "also by" pages. More than once.
120 miles S of the Waffle/Pancake line in pancake territory
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Re: How did you start reading Stephen King?
I was in high school and there was a buzz going around about "The Shining" (you know, "dude, this book is so awesome") so I picked it up and loved it. It still is my favorite to this day. This was when the first paperback was released because my book had this cover (I think I still have it). It's my favorite of all The Shining covers I've seen.
Growing up on a farm, one of the very best parts of summer was going into town with my aunt to the library. She was reading Pet Semetary, and I was so intrigued by the cover, that cat and the font, just everything screamed out READ ME! But, she told me it was way too scary for me. A year or so later, while going to garage sales with another aunt, found a paperback copy. There was that cat! I snapped it up. Was the end of summer before 7th grade, and I never looked back. I still have that copy.
I started reading Stephen King when I was about 13. Somebody (I somehow do not remember who, but I guess it was one of my friends) told me that if I like mystery I would love Stephen King's books. At that moment I knew just few movies based on his books, but did not know any book, so I asked my grandmother who was working in a library back then to find me any book by Mr. King, and she found there The Shinning. Since then it's been my most favorite book, and it will remain so forever, but I also discovered that there are so many SK books that I would love. I am really happy I've been introduced to Mr. King's works.