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Re: your first paleo book was:

More support for the How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs.

I've been following this thread with interest, and couldn't escape the vague notion that I'd posted something similar before. Turns out it was from my inaugural DML posted (9 Nov. 2006), excerpted here:

Dinoholic since: 1971. If you're at all curious about the hook, for me it was the How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs. For better or for worse, I was also born with the collector bug. Among my collections, I've acquired a growing array of items that others told me triggered their fascination with dinosaurs, such as the February 1942 National Geographic issue, the September 7, 1953 Life magazine, an assortment of Sinclair Oil-produced stamps and booklets, and a mint-condition set of those beautiful 1963 Brooke Bond tea cards, featuring the art of Rudolph Zallinger. It seems like each decade had at least a few of these catalysts. Not sure if it's appropriate discourse for the DML, but feel free to email me off-list if you want to share the item that did it for you...

I inherited my first copy of How and Why... from my eldest sister at age 3. I fondly remember all three of my sisters working with me to help me master the pronunciations printed on the last page of the book. Can't imagine I would have ever parted with it, but after an exhaustive search some years back, I wound up replacing my much-loved, dog-eared original with a pristine copy acquired through eBay. Only recently did I learn that the title was later reprinted with a different cover. (IMHO, far inferior to the original, which was indeed a classic). Pictures of both versions can be seen at http://members.optushome.com.au/intabits/HowAndWhy.htm, along with the vast majority of the other titles in the How and Why series. My family had quite a few of them, and fair to say they were largely responsible for spawning my interests in paleontology and science in general.

Rob Taylor
Lansdale, PA