I was always a voracious reader, but I returned again and again to histories and historical novels. At first, novels like Howard Pyle's Robin Hood and Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe drew my attention to the Middle Ages, but as I grew older, I became interested in Rome, and it was to become my primary interest throughout high school and college. I gradually focussed on military history, which lead to my interest in wargaming.
Here are a few of the historical periods (in chronological order) that I find especially interesting.
Prehistory: In grade school, I read a "young adult" novel called Eo of the Caves (by Florence Wightman Rowland, and long out of print) that sparked an interest in prehistoric times, and a few books on archeology in junior high and high school solidified that interest.
The Ancient World (Non-Rome): This includes just about everything before 600 AD (except Rome which is covered later), but rather haphazardly. I became interested in the rest of the ancient world originally as a side-effect of my readings on Rome. Under Construction.
Imperial Rome: Although it wasn't always my favorite historical period at first, Imperial Rome became my favorite period after Life magazine ran a series of major articles on Rome in the late 1960s. These, coupled with my discovery of a treasure-trove of color paintings in a back issue of National Geographic, fanned the flames of my passion for Roman history. It remains my primary interest.
The Medieval Era: As I remarked earlier, this was my first historical interest, due to reading the novels of Howard Pyle, Sir Walter Scott, and others. Under Construction.
The 18th Century: I don't remember specifically what caused me to become interested in the American Revolution (reading Johnny Tremain, perhaps. My interest in the European wars revolving around Prussia and Frederick the Great came from wargaming. Under Construction.
The American Civil War: My interest in the ACW (American Civil War, as wargamers call it, to distinguish it from several other civil wars) came from reading Bruce Catton's popular histories. Under Construction.
The Late 19th Century: Like most wargamers, I have a working knowledge of the Napoleonic Wars, but what interests me most about the 19th Century is the late Victorian era, coveres by Space: 1889
The Early 20th Century: Reading about labor problems in my home state of Illinois in the 1920s brought about an interest in the "Roaring 20s." Under Construction.
World War II: It is hard for a military hiistorian to avoid an interest in WWII.