Anyone who knows me well knows my tendency toward obsessions. When I find an author or TV show I like I'll read or watch everything I can get my hands by that person- at least until I figure out exactly what it is I'm trying to figure out.
When I was maybe fourteen or so, I was crazy about the Redwall series. I had whole sections of Mossflower practically memorized. The Redwall books taught me that just because your characters are fuzzy little rodents doesn't mean you have to play down things like death or injury.
With Dickens I learned two things. One: if you try to strike up a conversation about Dickens you'll get weird, panicky looks followed by some mumbling about A Christmas Carol. Two: when you mix comedy with suspense, you get some really powerful writing.
I've never had an obsession that I haven't learned from. Some of my obsessions (like Dickens and Shakespeare) turned out to be pretty handy when I started college. I've also never had an obsession that didn't get me some weird looks, and `can we change the subject please?' Maybe you can't win them all. Or maybe my next obsession should be learning to be a better conversationalist.