LOTR Read-Along: Beginning with The Hobbit

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Last year, when I was watching the LOTR movie, for the umpteenth time, I was yearning to read the books. Funny, isn't it, how watching some movies make you want to read the books they are based on. Especially when they are books you have read so many times. I rarely feel that when it's a book I haven't read, since I would already know the major plot points and wouldn't want to read it, at least not right away.

I've loved the LOTR movies, probably they are the only book-based movies that I respect. Almost all others have been huge disappointments. And yes, Aragorn is my favorite character in the movie! But hey, why am I talking of the movie here, this is a book blog!

So, after half of January has become history, I am finally taking my copy of The Hobbit out of my shelf! I really can't wait to read it. I have never read this book before, so I am excited to move my bearings to Middle-Earth and meet Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf! Since I am very lazy to take a photograph, I am pasting this picture from Goodreads which is identical to the book I hold.


I love this picture. It looks a lot as I imagined Bilbo's hobbit-hole. The whole shire and its lush-green splendidness are reflected as well, with Gandalf striding towards the entrance of the hobbit-hole. There, Bilbo Baggins is sitting, smoking his pipe and probably planning some adventure (Oh precious, I love to make it up!)

Anyways, Eva @ A Striped Armchair has asked a set of questions, to kick off the LOTR read-along.

When did you first hear of The Hobbit? What made you decide to join the read-a-long?
I first heard of The Hobbit, when I started reading the LOTR books, which was not really too long ago, but probably during my college days. But I never read it then, though I wish I did. I guess I didn't want to be disappointed. When I heard of the LOTR Read-Along, I jumped right in, both to finally read The Hobbit, and because I was already planning to read the LOTR books this year.

Have you read it before? If so tell us about that experience.
Sadly, I hadn't read this book before. I somehow wish I did.

If you’re new to The Hobbit, do you have any preconceptions going into it?
The only expectation I have is that it will be a good thrilling ride through Bilbo's adventures. I have always been curious of Bilbo's story when reading the LOTR series, and now I am glad to finally be able to enter that chapter.

J.R.R. Tolkien pretty much founded the modern fantasy genre. So let’s take a moment to think about the genre as a whole; have you always loved fantasy? Or perhaps you still feel rather skeptical towards the whole idea of wizards and dwarfs and magic? What was your introduction to the genre?
I have never been a huge fan of fantasy. I can handle some fantasy, so long as the characters are believable and can be related to. Occasionally, I read a bit of fantasy, but only if a book has been recommended strongly. I thoroughly enjoyed J.K. Rowling's world of magic (which incidentally is also my introduction to this genre), as much as Tolkien's world. That probably had more to do to the amount of detail these authors gave to their respective worlds, than just the story. Eventually, it comes down to that for me, whether the fantasy world as created by the author can exist in my mind, or do I find myself struggling with its aspects.

Do you have a certain plan for reading it? A few pages a day, spacing it out over the month? Or are you just going to race through it? Let whimsy decide?
I have a couple of other reads running currently, so I will be reading this with the other two.

So then, get... set... go... and let me bury myself into the book.

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