Curious about a generational question:
Curious about a generational question:
Anyway ... I was born before 1972, and before I got around to Tolkein in about 1975 or '76, I was reading Arthur Machen, H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and Shirley Jackson. And I think you'll find there's a subset of people born pre-1972 whose entry to fantasy was through magazine fantasy/horror: Weird Tales (Lovecraft, C. A. Smith, Robert E. Howard, C. L. Moore, early Bradbury, etc.), Unknown (Anthony Boucher, Heinlein, Sturgeon, Leiber, Fred Brown, Fritz Leiber, etc.), or The Magazine of Fantasy and S.F. (Poul Anderson, Leiber, Sturgeon, Avram Davidson, etc.). Admittedly the crowd who read WT and Unknown on initial publication is thinning rapidly, still a lot of the work from those magazines was being republished in mass market paperbacks from the 1950s into the 1980s: Conjure Wife, Darker than You Think, and collections of stories drawn exclusively from each magazine.
Then there was the mid-1960s surge of popularity for Sword & Sorcery when the Robert E. Howard collections with the FrankFrazetta (sp?) covers started showing up.
I was born in 1972 and thus am apparently excluded from this poll. :(
Screw it, I'm voting anyway. First fantasy was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
After 72 and my first was also The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. But if we're talking adult sized novels, it was The Eye of the World followed closely by The Hobbit.
Born 82 and only just attempting my first LOTR read through now.
My theory is that a greater percentage of over 40 will have read The Hobbit first because starting in the 80's there seems to be a larger selection that people may start with (e.g. Belgariad, Wheel of Time, etc). Just a theory. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe may upset my theory a little (if YA counts, assuming it is YA, I never read it)
Born in 93 and first fantasy book was Wizard's First Rule.
Born in 1968 and my first fantasy was Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
Born in 78 and my first fantasy was NOTHING like LOTR, "The Sword Of Shannara"
Born in '68... The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe... et al...
Ok I was born before 72 and I had to read the Hobbit in school. Now I don't really consider that my first fantasy since it was assignment, but I suppose it was, and I hated it at the time. As an adult I just started reading fantasy about 10-12 years ago. David Eddings and the Belgaraid were my first choices, and I have been hooked ever since. Of course I've moved on to more adult stuff, but as an adult I read the Hobbit again, and still didn't care for it. Love the story, hate the writing. Never could get into LOTR either. Loved the movies, just as I am looking forward to the new Hobbit one, but really didn't care for the books.
Ditto Obtuse's answer. In fact, I was born on the exact middle day of 1972, so I can't even use that cutoff to decide whether to pick "before" or "after." I was born in the afternoon, so I guess I'll pick "after." Also, it makes me feel younger.
Anyway, Narnia was my first...but The Hobbit came very shortly thereafter.
So far a statistical dead heat. The only solid information I have gleaned so far is that people born in 1972 read Narnia first.
It would be interesting to see how many people kept reading fantasy after starting with YA fantasy (as oppposed to really starting as an adult). Does the number rise after the advent of Harry Pottter? As a youth I read a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs and similar but that did not translate into more (regular) fantasy. In high school I read a lot of Vonnegut but to this day I do not consider it SF. I did not really start untill I was 20 in college and picked up the Hobbit (and Dune).
'71 and The Hobbit during reading time in the third grade with Mrs. Barruzzi. Somewhere around the same time, my uncle gave me a box-set of The Chronicles of Narnia. Later, in the fifth grade, read the various Prydain Chronicles.
Hobbit, absolutely was the first.I want to say it was 75 or 76