Poll: How Old Were You When You First Read Terry Brooks?

It’s time for a new poll!

When I was 13 years old, my mother brought home a beat-up copy of The Sword of Shannara, a recommendation from one of the girls at her work. And guess who grabbed it first?

Almost thirty years late, I still read Terry Brooks. My mother did until she passed away last year. His work has always been there — through good times and bad — and every once in a while I think back to that 13 year old and how lucky he was to have a mother that encouraged reading.

It got me thinking about all of you and your own stories. How old were you when you read your first Terry Brooks book? What book was it? Did you find it on your own or did someone recommend it to you?

Vote in the poll below and then post your own stories if you are so inclined!


19 responses to “Poll: How Old Were You When You First Read Terry Brooks?”

  1. It was 1977 and The Hildebrandt cover art was what initially drew me to Sword of Shannara. I was 16 and had just finished reading Lord of the Rings and was itching for something in the same vein. Although similar in theme to Rings, it was different enough to hold my interest. Elfstones is what cemented me as a Terry Brooks fan!

  2. His books kept me from killing myself when I was in sixth grade. I owe him much and I am forever grateful.

  3. I’m not going to tell the story of my first time but of my son’s when he was 7 (he’s 8 now) and we’re looking for some longform books to do over several and nights as a bedtime story we tried the cutesy animal stories like Redwall but they were not the realistic stories he was looking for and I wasn’t really wanting to do Harry Potter yet. In my Kindle was “Running with the demon” a book which I’ve been trying to read for some time but time itself has been against me for reading it. Since we share a Kindle account he found it and asked if we could read that as a bedtime story, I thought it might have been a bit too mature for him but it’s turned out to be an excellent book to develop his reading, typically he reads one paragraph and I the next, occasionally I’ve needed to PG’ify’ a few minor elements but other than that it’s brought us closer together and now he’s really into the Shannara series and wants to continue reading them with the books. Over the past nine months we’ve nearly finished the word and the Void series and plan to continue the series chronologically.

  4. I was in 8th grade English class and I had finished whatever book I had been reading, so I was busy making faces at my friends across the room. My teacher promptly sent me to the library to find a new book, with the promise of detention if I took more time than she deemed necessary. I hustled across campus, picked a shelf, and chose a book at random. It happened to be The Sword of Shannara. I’ve always loved to read, but that book pushed me to a whole new appreciation of the fantasy genre, and nearly 20 years later, it’s still my favorite!

  5. I first read one of Terry Brooks’s books, The Druid of Shannara, the summer before I started 6th grade. I used to escape to the local library and discovered the book there. To say that it made a profound impression on me might be an understatement, but I loved the idea that an adult could and would use so much imagination. It drew me in and founded my love of reading both high fantasy and epics. It is also why I now write books of my own. Terry will always be one of my favorite authors of all time 🙂

  6. I was in 6th grade, and the librarian at my school knew I loved Batman, Star Wars, and was trying to find a real book to read. Not a Kids book. She handed me the Sword of Shannara and said I might have trouble with it because it was so long.
    By the time Allanon was hiding Flick from the Skull Bearer, I was hooked.
    Almost 40 years later, I can say that book and Elfstones made me learn to love reading. I became an English major in college because of the path Terry started me on.
    Quite frankly, Terry Brooks is one of the four or five largest influences on my life. I can’t remember a time when his writings weren’t central to whatever it was I was doing.
    I’m so happy to call him a friend.

  7. I was 12 the first time i had read one of Terry’s books. My family and i were holidaying in Rhodes and my brother had just read Magic Kingdom. I decided that i liked the blurb and gave it a read. Although i must admit to never having read the Shannara books.

  8. 1985 when I would have been 15/16 and started with Sword. If I remember correctly the Dragonlance novels started around this time also (Autumn Twilight/Winter Night/Spring Dawning) and with those and the Shannara series, nothing has come close since.

  9. It was 1986, I was 13 years old. I had read The Hobbit and the Lord of Rings earlier in the year. It was already a year of firsts for me. Now I was to embark on my first ever aeroplane flight, for my first ever trip to Canada to visit my aunt and uncle in Vancouver.

    As with any holiday, you need to chose, with care your reading material. I chose The Sword of Shannara. Since when I have been a believer!

  10. I was given a copy of The Sword of Shannara by my seventh grade English teacher in 1980. I’ve been a diehard fan, ever since.

  11. I was fourteen when my older brother brought home a PC adventure game called Shannara. The game also came with a copy of the Sword of Shannara. I LOVED the game, and played it about a million times, but didn’t read the book until I was sixteen or seventeen. I have dyslexia, and at that time, i hated reading; i also found the size of the book very intimidating. When i finally tried reading Shannara it was slow going, and difficult at times. But I kept it up, and kept reading, and ended up felling in love with the characters and the world Mr. Brooks created. The Sword of Shannara helped me find a love for reading, and I’m very greatful to Terry Brooks and his wonderful book series, as well as the video geme that started me down this path.

  12. In 1983 I was 11 almost twelve as I liked to tell people (was February and my birthday is in December) I was volunteering at the local library on a Saturday morning when I stumbled across the Sword of Shannara, I’ve been hooked since. I have also shared my love with my sons who are also hooked.
    Thank You Terry x

  13. At 23 I was given SWORD by my husband. On that day my life changed, and I felt I wasted so many years not knowing the JOY of reading. Now, Terry and his work has influenced me to be a writer as well. Thanks Terry! 🙂

  14. I was 11 years old in 1993 when a friend in my 6th grade class gave me The Elfstones of Shannara to read. It was the first substantial book I had ever read at that point in my life. After I was finished, I immediately picked up The Sword and read it before rereading Elfstones again. It was a perfect age to become immersed into this world. It was an escape that I really needed and I’ve been an avid fan all the years of my life since then. Terry’s books have gotten me through more than I could ever explain. Thank you!

  15. Terry Brooks started capturing my imagination when I was very young. I was about 10 years old, wandering around the house and being a kid, when my eyes spotted “The Sword of Shannara.” It was a paperback in my parent’s bookcase. As I think about it now, that bookcase had 100-150 books, and I didn’t look through all of them. My eyes went right to it. So the discovery really was a magical one. When I saw it, I was curious, and started looking at it. The first thing that struck me was how Terry described the world. With each paragraph, he made everything come alive. I felt like I was there, wandering through the woods with this mysterious man, Allanon, in a world that was dark and treacherous. I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the characters and had so much fun reading about their adventures. The Shannara stories have somehow connected to me in every way that a story could connect.

  16. I was 8 years old & I still have my original 1977 Sword of Shannara paperback copy. I’ve sold most of my books due to weight & lots of moving…but never that book.

  17. Found my first book by accident in a second hand bookshop, I was early for a Job interveiw so decided to have a look around. The bookshop was a few minutes walk so thought it would kill some time. I found wish song and then became a ravenous fan scouring any bookshops for the rest of the series to read.
    Loved Shannara Chronicles and cant wait for next season 🙂
    Thank you Terry, my imagination has been set free by yours !

  18. I found it in a bookstore in Victoria, BC before I had to ride the train back to Salinas. I judged the book by its cover and was thrilled by the way it started and then kept me hooked. I think that was the summer of 1982 so I would have turned 12 that September. I didn’t have to wait long for The Elfstones of Shannara to come out. Good timing. I didn’t have to wait too long for The Wishsong of Shannara after that.

    So, yes, I love the Hilderbrant art and was surprised at the change in illustrators. But I must say DKS had then become one of my favorite illustrators after The Elfstones of Shannara and other books came out.

  19. It was 1977 at as a Sterling High student and having been Terry’s paperboy I just had to read his first novel. I have been collecting them ever since. Thanks Terry for so many years of enjoyment!

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