It definitely started with fairy tales in early childhood and later on with greek and norse mythology.
I then read a lot of german romanticism writers, in particular E.T.A. Hoffmann who has written a plethora of most astonishing novels (I would recommend "The Golden Pot", a lavish contemporary urban fantasy fairy tale, and "The Devil's Elixirs", which is heavily influenced by M.G. Lewis's "The Monk").
Both fairy tales and mythologies contain the elements of modern fantasy already. Hoffmann and contemporary writers merged well known folklore motives with modern novelization.
Some of these also had elements of the later following gothic novels and horror tales which I enjoyed very much (especially H. P. Lovecraft who started a mythology of his own making).
My first fantasy book by modern definition was naturally "The Lord of the Rings" which paved the road for a lot more high fantasy.
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