There is a great entry over at The Most Significant Thing on the movie(s) Back to the Future. It is hard to believe it has been over 20 years since the first film came out. I really enjoyed the films, and strangely it is what got me reading on a regular basis.
Looking back on the dates of release, it was probably part II that did it. I went to the movie with one of my roommates Kathy, who was a big reader. As we were leaving the theater, she said something like, "well if you like time travel and the ramifications of changing events in history, you should read this book".
I was not much of a reader as a teen/20-something. As an example of my reading avoidance, and laziness, I wrote several book reports reading only the first chapters. I even remember writing a book report on Ordinary People based strictly on the book jacket. It probably doesn't say much for our school system either.
It is odd because both of my parents are voracious readers, so I was certainly brought up in an atmosphere that encouraged reading. I had both Nature and Nurture pushing me to reading, to no avail. Must have been the Atari 2600.
Anyway, back to the book. The book she recommended was Lightning by Dean R Koontz. It deals with a time-traveling stranger that jumps into a woman's life at various points to protect her. Just coming off the visuals and story line of Back to the Future II, the book captured my interest, and I have been a reader ever since.
Possibly owing to how I started, I have continued to read most all of Dean Koontz's novels. His characters are well developed and the plots are generally page turners. His main characters are often "everymen/women" who rise to the occasion of unusual challenges. He began in the horror/supernatural genre, but broadened his subject base some time ago (also dropping his middle initial).
I have been thinking about this book lately for another reason. My wife's hairdresser (stylist, whatever the term is now) mentioned to her that he has never read a book cover to cover. I met him once, and he's no kid, probably in his late 20's early 30's. He is interested in giving reading a shot, and now is getting recommendations from many people as to what his first book should be. It is hard to pick out one book to hopefully spark an interest in reading. Some of my favorite books might not grab a new reader.
I have thought of recommending Lightning since that is what hooked me. Looking at the review by Publishers Weekly on Amazon, it appears Lightning was not Koontz's best work. I should re-read it sometime to see if it is as good as I remember, and whether it might spark someone else's interest in reading.