Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17. Lord of the Rings

When I was 8, a strong reader, living in an era of few challenging books that were not adult-themed (nowadays the choices for kids! If I had access to Harry Potter and the like!), my father handed me his hardback copy of the Silmarillion. I remember lying on the top bunk of the wooden bunkbeds he built for me and my brother (and which my middle daughter still has in her room) and having him show me the enclosed map and explain how the book worked.

I tried.

That Christmas, his dad gave me the boxed set of the trilogy plus the Hobbit. My grandparents never gave us gifts (we didn't know until later that they subsidized Christmas for their 8 children and all the grandchildren instead of trying to handle gift-giving), but that year alone I received a gift from them. I opened it there and I was so enchanted by the gold cardboard box and the kid-friendly paperback size. I told my dad on the way home that I thought I would read these first.

I read them over the course of the next few years, starting with the Hobbit. I had a hard time with The Two Towers, so boring. But I read the whole thing and the appendices and loved them.

My 6th grade year, we were supposed to come dressed up one day as our favorite book character and I made my outfit and came as Aragorn. I even carved a walking stick and cut runes into it.

When my daughters were young, I read aloud the entire series. I think I lost Maeve in the description paragraphs, but man alive, Tolkien wrote his stories to be read aloud. They are once upon a time stories like no other.


  1. I found The Hobbit perfect to read aloud, but bogged down too often in LOTR. You were a pretty amazing 6th grader to pick Aragorn, and to carve the runes.

  2. I adore the fact that you chose Aragorn.

  3. I've yet to read the Silmarillion, but I did read LOTR when I was in my late teens. I am impressed that you read it much earlier. I never tried to read it aloud, but my 6th grade teacher read us The Hobbit. Then we built a Hobbit hole.