I can't remember the first one I read, but it was probably in one of Mom's Reader's Digest Condensed books. I then had to read the full version and discovered a whole new world. Horse racing of all things! From horse racing to horse training to flying to photography to glass blowing to cooking to betting. Oy!
I skipped an afternoon of sight seeing in London so that I could hit several bookstores to get copies of his books in 1983. They weren't available in the US at the time (some were out of print). It was an adventure - I had to take the train and bus all on my own - and get back again.
His books were one of the few that I bought in hardback as soon as they came out - even in my poor student days.
Many of his books are "comfort books" - I go through and re-read them (or listen to them) often. To The Hilt, The Edge, Rat Race, Sid Halley stories and Decider to name a few.
His books were one thing that Auntie Mary and I had in common, so it was always something to share.
His books usually came out around my birthday, so it was always a present to myself.
There will be one more this year and that's it *sniff*