I think I was quite late along to the party, as I first picked up one of the Discworld novels when at University. "
Eric" was the first one I read I think, then I went back to the start and read all the Discworld novels, and continued to do so, as soon as a new one was available in paperback (hard back books take up so much space).
There are a lot of funny authors out there, but I can list on one finger the number who could so consistently make me snigger and laugh out loud when reading his books. He had such a great way of looking at the world, then mirroring it back to us in a way that made the mundane seems absurd. Add to this the fact that it was not unknown for me to shed a few tears when reading his work to, and we have the sign, IMHO, of a truly great author.
The fact that he was always a genre writer always worked against his credibility, especially at the start, but the sheer number of people who read his work, and the way in which he spoke on the subject did so much, more than any other author in my mind, to bring works of Fantasy and Science fiction to light in more serious literary circles. I contest the works of the gazillionaire J. K. Rowling would never have received the attention they did if Sir Terry hadn't already broken the ground for her.
I searched for a pithy quote to put here, but there are just so goddamn many of them out there that are so witty and perfect, it just goes to show what a sharp mind he was, which makes the manner of his passing all the more poignant.
I am happy to say there are a couple of his books I have yet to read, but I am extremely sad that when they are done, there will be no more. But to ask for more in some ways would be greedy, as he has left so much of such a high quality, it is just churlish to think otherwise.
All that is left now is to pass the books on to the girls, and hope they get as much pleasure from them as their mum and I have.