If you are a geek like me, and enjoy The Lord of the Rings, then listen up for some fantastic news. Tomorrow is Tolkien Reading Day!
The Tolkien Society founded Tolkien Reading Day in 2002, and organized it since 2003. The society is an educational charity, literary society, and international fan club, devoted to promoting the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. They chose March 25 for the reading day because it was an important date from the book, the Downfall of Sauron.
Tolkien wrote his books long ago, but the popularity of the Lord of The Rings film trilogy brought new awareness to the books. Tolkien Reading Day was set up with hopes of getting even more people reading and discovering that there is much more to Tolkien than just The Lord of the Rings.
One does not simply walk into Tolkien Reading Day unprepared. Here are some suggested ways to celebrate:
The Hobbit: or There and Back Again
George Allen and Unwin, London, 1937. (There was a second edition in 1951 and a third in 1966; reprinted many times.) The bedtime story for his children famously begun on the blank page of an exam script that tells the tale of Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves in their quest to take back the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon.
Ed. Christopher Tolkien. George Allen and Unwin, London, 1977. Tolkien’s own mythological tales, collected together by his son and literary executor, of the beginnings of Middle-earth (and the tales of the High Elves and the First Ages) which he worked on and rewrote over more than 50 years.
Ed. Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond. HarperCollins, London, 1998. In the 1920s a toy dog was lost on a seaside holiday, to cheer his son up Tolkien created a story of the dog’s adventures.
The most known works of Tolkien are now on the big screen. Consider having a marathon starting with The Hobbit series and continuing with The Lord of the Ring Trilogy. You can drink your Mountain Dew from silver goblets and eat more food than a dwarf eats. Just be sure to help clean up for your host.
If you are limited on time, and know the stories, but want to catch up quickly, you can watch Jon Cozart’s YouTube video, Lord of the Rings in 99 Seconds. Think of it as the very, very abridged video version. Hey, not everyone has time to read a trilogy.
Dress for Success
If you are really into Tolkien, you may have some swanky garb to wear. You can don a hat just like Gandalf has or get some hairy feet like Frodo. I recommend not putting on any inscribed gold rings; they tend to draw the wrong kind of attention.
If you believe that, “little by little, one travels far,” and “not all those who wander are lost,” even though “it’s a dangerous business going out your front door,” then Tolkien Reading Day is for you.