It’s National Tolkien Reading Day

“Good Morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.

“What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”

“All of them at once,” said Bilbo. “And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, or There and Back Again

According to The Tolkien Society, today is Tolkien Reading Day. The 25th day of March was the date on which the Ring was destroyed.

And, the date of the first ending if you know THE MOVIES.

Interestingly, the day came about because Syracuse columnist Sean Kirst wrote the Tolkien Society and asked if there was a Tolkien Day you know, like Bloomsday for fans of James Joyce.

If you’ve not put the pieces together, last year I appeared in a stage production of Bloomsday by Steven Dietz, based on the walk through Dublin of Leopold Bloom as told in Joyce’s Ulysses.

Let’s just say I’ve not read as much Tolkien as I would like, but I’ve read far more Tolkien than I have James Joyce.

The Write Side Shop

I met Tolkien and the Hobbits in high school. Let’s face it, I was a product of the 70s. It was a perfect fit.

My love for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings was rekindled when the first of THE MOVIES came out in 2000. Let’s face it, we were just months after the attacks of 9/11. The Fellowship of the Ring provided a much needed distraction.

Every few years, I read through The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I did so last year.

This year, I’ll content myself with watching THE MOVIES.

And by The Movies, I mean The Lord of the Rings, not the disaster of The Hobbit movies. I saw those once, and that was too much.

Last year, I wrote about how the love of Tolkien led to some unlikely friendships forged on the Interwebz. A core group still “meets” regularly via Facebook. We also have a backup for the inevitable day when someone tries to cancel Tolkien.

I’m not reading Tolkien today. I’m currently finishing up a work by his friend C.S. Lewis.

I think I’ve mentioned before that this is my year to focus on British history and literature. So, there will likely be some more Tolkien out there.

I’m not currently sure what I’ve done with my copies of The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. They’re here. Somewhere.

Much of the credit for my love of fantasy and science fiction goes to Tolkien and Lewis.

Though, if we’re telling the whole story, L. Frank Baum plays a part as well. I read all of the Oz books in our public library. But a couple of years ago, I tried to re-read them. I got about halfway through and gave up.

But we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto, we’re in Middle Earth.

Transitions? I can write ‘em.

I digress.

In the best of all worlds I’d have more time for reading T0lkien, and Lewis, and Shakespeare, and…heck if it meant I could retire early, I’d even try reading James Joyce.

All of them at once.

Thank you, Professor.




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Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

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