Thread: me new
I don't think that there is a right way or a wrong way to read Tolkien. I'd recommend that you read the Hobbit when you're done the Lord of the Rings, because it's a fun read and paints a bit more of a picture of some of the characters and places that you meet/hear about in Lord of the Rings.
I'd then say read the Silmarillion. I consider it an initiation into exploring the depth of Tolkien's mind. Be aware, however, that it is a difficult read with so many names and places that even the most avid fan can have trouble following it. Wait until you've finished that before you get all keen about what else you want to sink your teeth into.
Whatever you do, just make sure that you're enjoying it. I'm jealous of you; I would love to read them all again for the first time!
And I suggest that after you're done with Silmarillion, if you don't mind, give them all a read again in the following order:
1. The Hobbit.
2. The Silmarillion.
3. The LoTR Trilogy.
And after that read the Unfinished Tales to heighten your experience. And if you find that your thirst for Middle-Earth hasn't been quenched yet, yu can drink up Letters from JRR Tolkien for further knowledge enhancement and understanding of Middle-Earth. Happy Reading.
And yeah, before I forget, welcome to PT!
I read the hobbit first of the book series then i read LOTR, it made more sense as you know about the ring and stuff. the i would read the silmarilion (sorry to all those who can spell it im too tired it's about 9:10 in the morning!!!!) or read the silmarilion first coz itz the first age then read the hobbit then LOTR??? ur choice
oh yeah welcome start some threads but dont go to crazy on them i do that im the next tommie.......
But welcome to PT! Your time here is sure to be enjoyable. Go to any forum you like and see if you can put in a few comments of your own. We're looking forward to seeing you in the threads!
As for the order to read the books in. I'd suggest reading the Hobbit or the Silmarillion after LOTR, and then the Unfinished Tales after the Sil. The History of Middle-Earth books may follow after. But you don't have to read all the HOME. A lot of it is just repeating stuff from the Sil. but some are still worth a read (the Lays of Beleriand, Morgoth's Ring are just two of the more important ones). You may read the Letters of JRRT anytime after you've finished the LOTR and the Hobbit, as most of the letters deals with these books.
I would add the same warning Mungo gave: careful of the Silmarillion. There are just too much names, but you'll get used to it after the first time. I myself like the Sil. most of all the books, and I've had to read it quite a few times before I had all the characters, places, and themes firmly in my head. So don't worry if you don't get it at first, just read on and you'll be captured by the story.
Of course, you read Tolkien's work in whatever way you deem best. But it's one thing to start with The Hobbit and completely another one to start with... Unfinished Tales, for example. What I'm trying to say is that if you want to understand as much as possible of Tolkien's world, you should follow a certain order in your reading.
This is my own option (though that does not mean it's the best one):
1. The Hobbit
3. The Silmarillion
4. Unfinished Tales
5. The History of Middle-earth (I've read only 4 volumes of the 12, and it is a bit repetitive. But vol. 10 "Morgoth's Ring" and vol. 11 "War of the Jewels" are great! And some parts of them should've been in the Silmarillion, as Christopher himself admitted)
6. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (very interesting, especially since you find Tolkien's own view on some of the controversial aspects of his created world)