James Bond is a pop culture evergreen. I suspect most people's first exposure to 007 came via one of the 20+ films made that feature the character. He's an icon who has survived bad parodies, bad actors and bad movies. Sometimes Bond will lapse back into obscurity for a while, such as the first half of the 90s before the film Goldeneye introduced Pierce Brosnan as the new screen Bond. Much like Doctor Who, 007 is a hardy perennial that will always return.
Of course, Bond did not start on celluloid. The character was originated by author Ian Fleming, appearing in more than a dozen books in the 50s and 60s. I'm not sure if I saw a Bond movie before I'd read one of Fleming's novels, my memory of childhood is not that accurate. My older brothers introduced me to a lot of things early in life, including the original Bond novels. They used to buy paperback editions from secondhand book shops, and I read 'em too.
The thing that stood out most strongly about those well thumbed tomes were the covers. My brothers searched out the 1963 Pan Books paperbacks, which reissued all 14 books with specially commissioned covers. Some were better than others [I've always thought the Diamonds Are Forever cover was especially - and ironically - lacklustre], but the best are mini-masterpieces. Above are two I like, and below is my favourite. I'd pay good money to have it as a poster.