There's a thread running on a mailing list I'm on: 'Where did you first read that book'? I was reminded of one book in particular by Private Eye's Literary Review of Garrison Keillor's new book, Liberty. They hate it, of course; they only review in order to be nasty. The anonymous reviewer should at least acknowledge that the first book in the series has something going for it.
I was in Orlando, Florida, in bed in a swish hotel. I knew nothing about the book, the same edition shown here; American with '#1 National Bestseller' on the cover. A few pages in I got to, 'it would make a good picture, if you had the right lens, which no one in this town has got.' I laughed out loud and was converted. The same thing happened with the first Adrian Mole book, which I also started in complete ignorance. I shrieked when the dog came back from the vet's after having a pirate extracted from its paw (you have to have read the book) and there began another love affair. That would have been Christmas 1982, on the sofa. I still re-read Lake Wobegon Days and my current bed book is The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole .
Any books linked forever with the place you first read them?