Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Wise Monks,

I know that learning Perl or any language for that matter takes time. Its more like learning one's native language which one can speak but to master it, it could take a lifetime.

However, from the point of view of being able to do stuff in Perl like automating tasks/reports etc, or do some real production level work, how long does it take?

Whats the average time taken to learn Perl to a comfortable level?

Also, kindly suggest a book to start learning Perl. I am familiar with basics of C (Very basic level stuff). Ideally looking for a book that would get me to write production level scripts. Ofcourse, its my input that will matter, yet, any suggestions would be very helpful.