Miscellaneous Monday: Have you read your Tolkien?

Barbara Szczesniak
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March 25, 2024

One of the designations for March 25th is Tolkien Reading Day, apparently because it corresponds to the fall of Sauron in The Lord of the Rings.

I first read The Lord of the Rings trilogy in high school, and I've probably read it 5 times throughout my life. Strangely, I've only seen the full 3 movies once, even though someone bought me all the DVDs and they are also shown on television periodically. 

I have also read The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and Farmer Giles of Ham.

I've never read The Hobbit, though I have listened to it (and seen the movies). A friend in college had the "audiobook" that we used to listen to. It was on 4 records, so you needed to make sure you played the correct side in the correct order. One passage has stuck in my mind all these years (not sure if this is the exact wording or correct punctuation):

They came to a town by a lake. Lake Town, a precise, if somewhat unimaginative, name.

I have found that most of my generation of tech folks are big fantasy and science fiction readers, so have you read Tolkien? What are your favorites? Do you prefer the books or movies?

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Katherine Jones March 25, 2024

I have read Tolkien and as much as I appreciate the movies, the books will remain favorites.  I love  detail and nuance, which movies, for timing sake, can't include most of the time.  

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Rebekka Heilmann _viadee_
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March 25, 2024

I unfortuately never got myself interested in reading - even though i made it quite far in the reading competition (where you read out loud in front of a jury and audience) in 5th grade ;) I was always more of an Audio book listener but wish I could read more than 10 pages / hour.

So i never read Tolkien, nor Harry Potter nor any other book from the "Books you should read Top 100 List". I did thoroughly enjoy the movies and the Lego PC games though ;) 

 

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Alex G March 25, 2024

I haven't read anything yet, but it's a very interesting topic and the world Tolkien created is fascinating!

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Shawn Doyle - ReleaseTEAM
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March 25, 2024

I have read the Hobbit and the Trilogy too many times to recall.  Probably not in the last 30 years tho, so maybe it's a time for another reading.  I still have a picture book of The Hobbit from when I was a kid, which I read as bedtime stories to my kids.  I have 4 copies of the Trilogy people have gifted me over the year, most are unread.  I think my son read one of them in his teens, almost 20 years ago now.  I have The Silmarillion, but have never been able to read it cover to cover, I do look sections up when referenced by Colbert.

I prefer the books over the movies however the movies were great.  Did the Hobbit need to be three movies? yes, yes it did.  I have also enjoyed the Amazon series, The Rings of Power.

 

 

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Andy Gladstone
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March 30, 2024

Totally agree on the 3 movies for one book comment! It was like Peter Jackson needed to deliver another trilogy on top of The Lord of The Rings, but that WAS a trilogy and The Hobbit was a single book!

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Summer_Hogan
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March 25, 2024

Thanks for the conversation @Barbara Szczesniak! I have never been much into reading so I have never read a Tolkien book. I saw the first Lord of the Rings movie and please don't hate me, but I could not wait for it to end and end it never did! I thought that movie had 3 endings and I was so disinterested in it, I never watched another one. All of my family members are readers and they all love Lord of the Rings. 

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Barbara Szczesniak
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March 25, 2024

@Summer_Hogan I'm sorry you didn't like the movie, but I think the movies would mean more and make more sense to you if you had read the books. Your mind fills in all the parts they skip over for the sake of time and you have an idea of where the story is going.

I guess the fact that I've only watched the movies once is my indicator that I prefer the books.

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Summer_Hogan
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March 26, 2024

Definitely as possibility that I will read them one day @Barbara Szczesniak!

John Funk
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March 25, 2024

The books are almost always better - but of course, take more investment of time than watching a movie in a couple of hours. Do yourself a favor and read at least one - maybe start with the Hobbit - and read it all the way through. Or even start with the audio book if you like. 

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Andy Gladstone
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March 30, 2024

I grew up in the 1980's when there was a repetitive informercial on network television for the Hobbit Animated Videotape on VHS or Beta Max - which as a Kid I really wanted to get but my parents told me was not appropriate. Instead I waited until my 30's to read The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, and then only after having read them watched the films. The films were a masterpiece, but I enjoyed the books more. 

As part of a local cycling club, nine of us gravitated towards one another and we started our own WhatsApp chat - The Fellowship of the Rings (a play on words due to the chainrings on a bike). A year into this group's existence there was a falling out between two of the members and one left - just like Boromir in the books and film - so the name turned out to be perfect! 

 

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Sam Nadarajan
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April 1, 2024

I read The Hobbit in high school when I didn't like reading it, and it was enjoyable. Never did LOTR books, but for a movie series based on books Peter Jackson's series was pretty good!!

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Sam Nadarajan
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April 1, 2024

I also seem to be allergic to books that are >300 pages, so that may be an issue there

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Andy Gladstone
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April 1, 2024

When we were growing up it may have been called an allergy, today they would just diagnose it as ADHD...

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Hana Kučerová
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April 6, 2024

I don’t know exactly why, but I have never find my way to the Tolkien books. I love reading, I love a lot of books, but these one didn’t seem interesting to me. And also movies didn't help this.

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Josh Shepherd
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April 9, 2024

I read the books as a child. I watched the movies as an adult. The movies were epic and now that I have watched them, the images become the standard in my mind as I read. I usually tend to not watch a movie made from favourite books as a rule for that very reason (why I have never watched the Wheel of Time series). I'm absolutely glad I did watch LOTR however. :) 

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