When I was a kid (in the 1960s) we had at home that huge Modern Library edition of Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural
. I was around 10 years old, and was poking around for something to read. My dad -- knowing my taste for the spooky stuff -- pulled the book out and directed me to "The Dunwich Horror" as something I might enjoy.
The description of Wilbur Whatley's corpse in the Miskatonic library blew my mind!
Sadly, there was no Lovecraft in either our town's public library or my school's library. One of my English teachers suggested Dracula
, Edgar Allan Poe, and "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne as a way to scratch that itch. Later on that year, the Scholastic Book Service catalog came through the school, and lo! The Shadow Out Of Innsmouth and Other Stories
was available for the princely sum of sixty cents! Over the next several years I was able to pick up some used paperback anthologies at yard sales and such, and eventually Lovecraft came back into general release and availability in regular bookstores.
Over the years, my dad became irritated with my enthusiasm for HPL, but I was always able to take pleasure in reminding him that he
was the one who introduced me. I actually was able to repay him, slightly in-kind, by turning him on to Guillermo del Toro's "Hellboy" movies, which, at the age of 83, he really loves. One good turn deserves another...