Programming Perl, my first Perl book, probably holds the most responsibility for my going on to learn more Perl. And it wasn't any property of the language - it was the writing. It was clever, it was funny, it introduced concepts clearly and concisely. It was a far cry from any other programming text I'd gone through: "This is language structure/property X, it means Y, here is an example, repeat ad infinitum."
I'd been looking at programming as a burden, a work tool I endured because it did the job, but after reading it I started to try to do things for fun. (And eventually I learned to enjoy the programming component of $job).