I can't remember a time I didn't love Star Wars, but my first step into that larger world was when my mother (on a lark) one day bought me "The Crystal Star". That pretty much hooked me on the Expanded Universe. Since then I've bought virtually every book... and yeah... that takes up a lot of shelf space.
As far as art goes: I've been doing Web Page development since I was 15. I went to college for a bit and absorbed as much info about 3d modeling as I could.
Now I teach myself what I can, and learn from others as much as possible. There are so many great artists here; it's been a real encouragement, and is a wonderful place to make friends.