People born in 1971 doing an honorary full re-read of The Lord of the Rings

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People born in 1971 doing an honorary full re-read of The Lord of the Rings

1riskedom
Feb. 16, 2021, 9:45pm

I seem to be doing things in three's these days. In January, I finished my third lifetime reading of The Histories by Herodotus. Soon after, I thought it fitting, as I'm turning 50 this year, to do my third lifetime reading of The Lord of the Rings. I never read the Hobbit until I was twenty four and between then and age thirty I made several attempts to start reading the rings trilogy. It wasn't until about six months prior to the release of the movies that I managed to pull it off. I had a two week break before taking on a new job as the caretaker of a thirty five acre private estate so it seemed fitting to fully immerse myself into middle earth. So between the second week of June and the second week of July I prepared myself mentally to become a real life Sam Wise Gamgee in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The second time I read the Hobbit and the rings trilogy occurred over a four year period after moving back to the Chicago suburbs. When my son was seven years old (2009) we read the Hobbit together. From age 8 to age 10 we read the Lord of the Rings. Today, I am in southeastern Virginia, working in Norfolk, as the Curator of Gardens at a twelve acre Art Museum. I'm almost finished with the first volume (I didn't bother with the Hobbit this time) and am enjoying it more than ever. Little things are putting a smile on my face. For instance, when Aragorn reveals to Frodo, that the big people knew all along that Gollum had been following them. "Ah so you know about our little footpad do you." Are there any other people turning 50 this year who felt compelled, in honor of Frodo, to give a full re-read to the ring trilogy? Or maybe you would like to join in the fun?

2elenchus
Feb. 16, 2021, 9:59pm

I won't join you now but fully recognise the pull of that particular journey. I read LotR for the third time in the past few years, also with one of my children. No doubt I'll read it again, at some point. The pleasures remain for the major narrative beats, of course. But those little asides and nuanced interactions are especially fun, and only come (for me) on re-reading.

3Crypto-Willobie
Feb. 16, 2021, 10:19pm

Happy 50th!

4anglemark
Feb. 17, 2021, 3:13am

I'm rereading The Fellowship right now. Will of course read the other ones as well. It's only my third reread this century, and probably my twelfth reread altogether. I'm not entirely sure, I lost count somewhere after the first six times I read it in 1978-1980. Happy rereading!

5John5918
Bearbeitet: Feb. 17, 2021, 11:05am

I've reread it most years since my first reading in 1972.

6Crypto-Willobie
Feb. 17, 2021, 1:35pm

Wow, you guys put me to shame! I know for certain I've read it 5 times over the years (1968-2020) plus an audio listen -- and maybe another time or two I've lost track of. But a dozen, or every year? Hats off to yins!

7anglemark
Feb. 17, 2021, 4:28pm

>6 Crypto-Willobie: Well, what can I say. In my teens, I was a real, hopeless trueblood Tolkien nut.

8riskedom
Feb. 17, 2021, 5:34pm

This is the sort of vulnerability I open myself up to by joining a Tolkien group just because I'm reading the trilogy for the third time! In the ancient history group, folks started asking me which translation of Herodotus I was reading and I had to respond that it was the same translation I've had since 1991. I'm sure my best buddy, may his memory be eternal, read "LotR" at least five times by his 40th birthday. He passed his Silmarillion on to me, which I never finished. My son read the whole thing though, so now it's his. BTW- I'm on to The Two Towers now with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli pursuing the Orc trail. In Fellowship of the Rings, I think I appreciated Tom Bombadil a bunch more than I have in the past. The fact that he was brought up again and given serious consideration as someone to hold on to the ring for safekeeping was interesting. I liked Gandalf's assessment that even if Bombadil took the ring, he would forget why he had it and end up tossing it aside. I also appreciated Boromir's remorse for having tried to take the ring a little more because it seemed similar to the way Bilbo tried to snatch it from Frodo and recoiled in horror at himself. Side note: A woman at work bought coffee for everyone on her birthday and I couldn't help remarking that she was honoring Hobbit traditions by bringing us gifts on her birthday.

9Crypto-Willobie
Feb. 17, 2021, 6:44pm

>8 riskedom:
Every reading is a first reading -- welcome!

10John5918
Bearbeitet: Feb. 17, 2021, 11:13pm

>8 riskedom:, >9 Crypto-Willobie:

Indeed. Every time I read it there is something new. After watching the films, I particularly enjoyed rereading the books to remind me of the original story as opposed to Peter Jackson's interpretation of it.

11anglemark
Feb. 18, 2021, 3:55am

The last time I read the work, in 2011, I was a little disappointed and disenchanted, finding the hobbit dialogue childish and some parts slow and tedious. This time I appreciate it much more and can frankly not understand my reaction ten years ago.

12elenchus
Feb. 18, 2021, 1:05pm

>11 anglemark:

I find your experience quite encouraging, actually. I haven't had that experience with LotR, but I recently was disappointed with my recent first-reading of a book I had anticipated liking very much. I still think I should like it, based on descriptions and what I remember from my reading. It might just be a disappointing book, of course. But I suspect it is instead an example of not being the right time for me to read that book, and I might well try it again some other time.

13AndreasJ
Feb. 18, 2021, 3:12pm

I think I've read LotR about half a dozen times, and The Silmarillion a similar number, but I've only read The Hobbit once. I've been vaguely considering rectifying that.

14SandraArdnas
Feb. 18, 2021, 3:41pm

I'm so Tolkien underread in this company. Read LotR twice, once as a kid and once as adult.

15jfclark
Feb. 18, 2021, 5:26pm

Entering each year, I have two non-negotiable reading goals: (i) read an appreciable amount of Shakespeare (several plays, or one play several times); and (ii) read The Lord of the Rings. Everything else is just bonus reading.