Yup, I'm older than dirt, sort of. I got into SF in the 7th grade. As a reading project, I picked up a book that changed my life. I was absolutely captivated with the story, getting one hour every couple of days to read the book, and I had to fight others for it. Well, as life is, I moved from the West coast to the East coast. The problem was, I could not remember the title of the book when I got back into school as an eight grader. A further complication was, I was restricted to the 'childrens' section - in the basement. Crayons were not my style. But when I got to high school, I could go into the adults section, up on the street level. My first act as a freshman in high school, and eligible to take out books in the adult section, was to find my 'book'. I had no title, didn't know the author's name, just that it was 'Science FIction'. The librarian was not much help but directed me to the SF section where I started to brouse. Eventually I found it. The searching process did get me to read a lot of SF books. As a result, I got into more real science, from the component end thru the design phases and ultimately to the engineering portion of - space. I have worked on tracking stations, computers, commercial and military satellites and made a small contribution to a satellite launched by the space shuttle.
Oh, the book - Red Planet, by Robert Heinlein. I started to read it in 1952. I have two copies - one for me, and one to give to a 7th grader.
My only regret in life is that I will not be able to walk on the Moon.