My grandfather's bookshelf was eclectic. The books that made the strongest impression on me were his Horatio Hornblower novels -- Grandpa idolized Horatio Hornblower -- and his (I will remember this author's name sooner or later) mystery novels.
I had already developed a taste for Agatha Christie, and the (author's name not yet remembered) novels irritated me with their violation of the "fair puzzle" rules. It is precisely because they irritated me, causing me to analyze what I considered to be a good mystery, that I credit Grandpa's collection for my lifelong interest in mystery novels.
Grandpa himself was living history. My relationship with him gave me a perspective on my own times that perhaps others who are not close to their grandparents never get to develop. It may be why I developed a lifelong interest in history, including folk tales, historical novels, biographies and historical study.
I am fond of old novels -- Thirty-Nine Steps, etc. -- Horatio Hornblower and other old sea sagas. Which may or may not relate to my fondness for sea chanteys, but I'm going to tie it in here anyway.
My grandfather would recite poetry out loud. Very loud, as a matter of fact. He was fond of epic and didactic verse:
Be not like dumb-driven cattle,
Be a leader in the strife from "Psalm of Life" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
which is not at all like the kind of poetry I write these days, but I do think that hearing rhythmic verses read out loud did contibute to my love for "accentuated syllabic verse."
Family poems, including poems for my grandfather.