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i read my first tolkien book on the 13th november 2004. that book was the hobbit. i liked it so much tha ti finished it in 2 hours. the next book i read was the silmarillion-28 dec 2004. that too i finished in a day and i started to read the lord of the rings on the 30th january 2005 and finished it in a week. i was so enthusiatic that as soon as i got home from college i spent hours reading it. i was competing for my S.C at that time and ias i lived 15 min walk from my college i got home at 3.00 and read till 6.00 or 7.00. i've still not read unfinished tale because i didn't find a single copy of that book in any library i've so far gone!

and all my books are dated just in case you were wondering. Very Big Grin Smilie
Well to my everlasting shame and embarrasment I only started reading Tolkien's works a couple of years ago after being given the books as a Christmas gift.I have no idea in this world why not, I was busy with Tolstoy and other Russian authors, Jane Austen and well.....although I was into Beowulf and read Tolkien's papers on that.
So I am such a late comer it is pitiful. However I mean to do something about it. I am on my third reading of the Lord of the Rings, my second on the Sil and Unfinished Tales, Perilous land, the Hobbit.(That book so wore me out emotionally I shall need to read it in bed w hen I go through it once more) Tolkien's letters I keep handy always, etc.
But I have a long long road to walk . Got The Blues Smilie
I guess we can all be thankful for the internet and technology, now we don't have to walk that long long road alone. Wink Smilie
I guess we can all be thankful for the internet and technology, now we don't have to walk that long long road alone.

Well, still alone, but at least together alone.
Yes, alone but together. I am most grateful to have company in my love of Middle Earth and for others' thought provoking ideas, discussion and fan fiction.

I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time when I was eleven in the 60's and found the Ballantine paperbacks at the dime store. I have to admit I was no prodigy and mostly just followed Frodo and Sam and skimmed the rest. After I was married I read the nice hardbound copies my husband had and read the Sil once. When the movies came out my interest was rekindled and I've read the letters (not sure I finished them- have to go back and see), Unfinished Tales, Lost Tales I and am working on getting more of the History of Middle Earth to read. I've recently bought more old copies of the Ballantine paperbacks I enjoyed years ago and am re-reading them. I'm so facinated by all the details of Tolkien's writing but wish I had studied more when I was younger and had a better memory :-)
I hated reading. I have astigmatism, but I didn't find out about it until my 20s, so I just thought that reading was hard. But there was something about the oval-framed illustration on the front cover of my mom's copy of The Hobbit that spoke to me, "This is 'the one', the book that you must read for your book report." The illustration portrayed an enchanting image of a fanciful tree with strange pink fruit, some kind of long-legged water foul standing in a creek, and an elaborately populated hill in the distance (Hobbiton, I suppose). When I opened the pages, I could smell the fantasy - a rich, inheritted smell - like I was continuing a legacy. (This copy was my mom's from the 60s.) The maps in the front cover made the book that much more enticing, and they had that delightfully aged look from sitting in the attic for decades. I couldn't wait to get to Rivendell. I couldn't wait to defy the dangers of Mirkwood, and discover the treasures of Erebor. And what was the meaning of all of these wonderful images and comments strewn about the map, like the picture of the dragon, and "there are spiders"? So I began reading to find out; I guess I was around 12 years old. I knew nothing of The Lord of the Rings. To me, The Hobbit was its own fantastic adventure. I would seclude myself in the rafters of the garage (there WERE spiders) with a bag of mixed nuts and grains and pretend that I was on the adventure with the dwarves, and I would ration out small portions to see that my provisions would last through Mirkwood. I was so relieved to escape to the Elven king's halls and steal some food (I climbed down from the rafters and raided the kitchen). Say what you will about the childishness, but I will always recommend that a newcomer should start with The Hobbit.

When I was done reading The Hobbit, I cannot even begin to describe the depth of my appreciation and longing for the story to continue. I didn't want to say "goodbye" to Bilbo, the surviving dwarves, and especially Gandalf. When I heard that there was a sequel called The Lord of the Rings, this title struck me as rather strange, and in a way disappointing. It sounded too ominous and generalized to faithfully continue my beloved story. But, as all relationships must, my affair with the ellusive contrast between Hobbiton and The Wild developed and grew into something ever deeper, and I found myself in the midst of a land called Middle Earth. Superficially, the illustrations on the covers gave me a sense of comfort as the Fellowship of the Ring displayed the same tree, bird, and hill, but extended the scene to show what had been hidden by the oval-frame on the cover of The Hobbit - I could only assume this was The Shire. That seemed to be the initial theme of my induction into this new world. I made new friends, some of whom were well acquainted with my old friends, but most of whom had their own stories to tell. But I was always happy to know that my best friend, Gandalf, had stuck by my side into this new adventure. And what an adventure it was. The maps finally showed how Hobbiton was situated against The Wild, and the utter southern regions of Mirkwood (where Gandalf had gone). There were also new wonders to entice me. I cannot explain why, but I was more anxious to see Lothlorien than any other place on the map. When the fellowship finally arrived in Lothlorien, I was not disappointed (albeit a bit sad after what had just happened in Moria). What a description - silver and gold! Needless to say, I could go on and on... But, the rest just gets me exactly where I am right now.

The LotR movies released when I was 12 I guess.We went to see Matilda but not getting tickets for that show,we trooped into LotR not knowing what it was.Thus began my Tolkien-fever.

I finished the trilogy in three days,moved onto The Hobbit and Unfinished Tales and Silmarillion and gobbled them up in an year.I later read Children of Hurin and The Lost tales books.

Funny thing is I don't own any of the books except the Trilogy..all read from school and private libraries,and hence it becomes difficult to give my inputs at times but search engines do help.

I first read the Hobbit when I was REALLY young, possibly 6-8, but don't really remember it (I may not have even finished it). Then when I was about 10 my mom bought me this fancy green leather case version of the Hobbit and I started reading it Christmas day. Didn't appreciate it for the same reasons I do today, but so began my journey into the world of fantasy reading. The next year she got me a hard cover special edition of the LOTR with unique artwork throughout. Read it all within a month or so, and was so in love that it became the standard to compare every fantasy book I read (which was many). Nothing would come close, so I just kept rereading LOTR over many years until I finally picked up the Silmarillion. Read it cover to cover twice in a row, then re-read LOTR, then picked up Lost Tales, then re-read Sil, then re-read LOTR appendices. Eventually Children of Hurin was released and I read it instantly. Now I'm 22 and I'm getting the entire HOME collection for Xmas this year and cannot wait to start.

God I love Tolkien. I am so freaking happy I was born in the 20th century so it was inevitable I'd come across him eventually. I also thank Peter Jackson for reigniting the Tolkien spark. I know a lot of Tolkien lovers dislike the films, but I greatly appreciate what they did. Just wish they had split them all into two parts and just made the Hobbit one...

Well, I am so very happy you are so freaking happy. Your enthusiasm is lovely and it's rather like having a best friend walk with you every step of the way. Thank you for your thoughts. They so deeply matter to me.

Leels I agree,BalrogsRUs= lol

I'm glad for you my friend and also about your recent acquisitions at Christmas.Good luck and happy readingSmile Smilie

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