King brought me back to reading 3 different times in my life. All throughout junior high I listened with keyhole curiosity as some of the braver kids talked about Stephen King books. I was always fascinated with horror, but had only dabbled in horror-lite, i.e. Monster Squad, Gremlins 2, that Garfield Halloween special with the terrifying old man. When they talked about IT, I sat wide-eyed and horrified. Spoiler A clown with fangs and claws? Yikes. That turns into a giant spider? Are you kidding me?! My mother--looking a little green--threw her copy of Pet Sematary in the trash 3/4 of the way through. She had a hardcover copy of The Stand that was thicker than the Bible. I was more than a little intimidated. Decided I was ready to pick one up by eighth grade. Ended up being The Dark Half. Loved it. I made up my own pen name right away (first name-George, after nasty Mr. Stark; last name-Murphy, because Beverly Hills Cop 3 was so cool--I was a kid, all right) and started trading ball-point horror erotica with some of the other little darklings in my class. As an avid movie watcher, I've fallen out of the habit of reading several times throughout my life. It just sort of happened. By the time I was 20, I was barely reading anything at all except for the occasional issue of Entertainment Weekly. One day, I was sitting around my tiny apartment in North Hollywood, CA, having recently moved across the country. I was broke, bored, and lonely on a day off from working at a theme park. I'd watched all my VHS and all of my roommates VHS and didn't know what to do. I picked up her copy of Four Past Midnight and got sucked into The Langoliers. I didn't do anything for the next two days but read that book. The other stories were good, but it was The Langoliers that really showed me how fantastic words on a page could be. Headed to a used book store on my next day off and dove back into novels. The third time was after moving back to the Midwest after L.A. kicked my ass. I felt displaced and a little hopeless about my future. Once again, had fallen out of the habit. Maybe magazines here or there, but I was working at a video store, so I had a bottomless supply of movies and TV shows on DVD. My lady worked at a library though. Having just moved back in with my parents, I tried to stay out of the house as much as possible, so I was sitting in the library waiting for her to get off work with nothing to do. I was just thumbing through a magazine. She told me that a new Stephen King book had just come out and handed me a hardcover with a cell phone sitting in a pool of blood. I cracked it. As soon as Spoiler pixie light and pixie dark went feral I was hooked. I tore through that book. Absolutely love it. That's when reading and I decided it was time to stop with all this on-again-off-again kid's stuff. We moved in together and haven't looked back since. I started my King collection and he's my default setting when I'm between books. All three of those feel like my first time.