I’ve been thinking back to when I was young and the kind of books I used to read, wondering what it was that led me to read SF almost exclusively.
From when I was about 8 until I was 11 (when I first got books out from the adult section of the library) I read things like the Famous Five, Secret Seven, Three Investigators and The Hardy Boys. I also loved Willard Price’s Adventure series and the Choose Your Own Adventure books which led on to fantasy role playing books.
The SF books that stand out in my mind are Douglas Hill’s Last Legionary quartet, which I read four times altogether. There was also his Huntsman and ColSec series, Dragonfall Five (don’t know who wrote those) Asimov’s Norby the Mixed Up Robot and numerous one-off books, the most memorable being one called Citizen of the Galaxy. Plus all the Dr Who novelisations.
I also read some fantasy, notably The Chronicles of Narnia (which I read three times), but also the Black Cauldron series, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was 11.
There weren’t any Young Adult books in those days and despite having read a lot of mystery books, the adult mystery section never appealed to me. Moving on to the adult SF section of the library seemed like the natural thing to do, and of course the Fantasy section that was always adjacent. So I moved on to a whole new set of shelves…