A lot of it really depends on money, it is very expensive to learn to fly (if it has wings or a skirt you can't afford it). Sure you need 40 hours of instruction but say that costs $100 an hour (a conservative estimate at least in my area). Not a lot of people can just throw down the whole wad of cash and say lets get private pilot certified in a week. Also it takes some people more time than that to get comfortable enough with flying. I also believe there is an additional time requirement at least in the US to become private pilot rated.
I found most of the ground school instruction books to be a quick read and the questions fairly easy for someone truly interested in aviation. Pick of a copy of the FAR
/AIM (Federal Aviation Regulations/Aeronautical information manual) and start reading that as soon as possible too. Also go to the local airport and find an instructor. Many community colleges offer an Aviation program and those are usually a good way to start out. Also in the case of the community college I took aviation at the classes were a lot of times taught by commercial pilots with major or not so major airlines that had either recently retired, or had a predictable schedule. In which case if you do decide to pursue a career in aviation that can be a good networking opportunity.