1st book - "Planet of Death" in the 7th grade. English class assigned us to read a book of a different genre every couple of weeks, genre #1 was SF. Genre #2 was Mystery, and I read "Asimov's Mysteries." Everyone sees the pattern here, right?
Started doing cons as I was finishing up HS in 1978 or 9. Can't really remember back that far anymore! Soon discovered the difference between "Commercial" cons and "Fanac" cons, chose option #2 and never really looked back!
GAFIAted during most of the '90's... then I got better.
SCA - a friend tried to introduce me once, everyone I met was a pretentious poseur... found out why it was called "Silly Conceited Asses." Then a few years later my gf of the time re-introduced me, and everyone I met was great! Calls to mind something about 1st impressions... But since the only road to real advancement in the SCA seems to involve getting hit repeatedly with sticks, I chose other options!
Gaming - Started in '80 with Traveller, AD&D, etc.
Got into reenactment in '98. I can now call myself "A Professional Pirate," since I've actually received legal tender in exchange for doing it... FAIR WARNING: those who ask me to 'Take a closer look' will be severely beaten about the head with a belaying pin. I got lucky and joined a group that doesn't run in the traditional "You'll be a peon serf for the first decade here, waiting on my hand and foot until an opening higher up appears..." Since I don't 'follow orders' well, this is a good thing. PRP operates more along the lines of "An Anarchosyndicalist Commune." They also let me play with blackpowder and sharp, pointy things!
I make beer and mead.
I embrace my geekness!