Tolkien Collector's Guide
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How were you first introduced to Tolkien?

Jul 9 (edited)
2020/7/9 13:30:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

This is inspired by onthetrail in this thread https://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/n ... t_id=25649#forumpost25649

onthetrail wrote:
I honestly owe him much for introducing me to Tolkien and many other great writers. He never saw age as a barrier to reading so I maybe read some stuff that other parents would deem unsuitable but it set me up for a lifetime of reading. We read The Hobbit together when he was very ill and wheelchair bound so it was something I remember so vividly after he had been in a coma and in hospital for much of my early childhood. I was hooked from those now famous opening lines and read The Lord of the Rings soon after, it took me the best part of 1989 to read it, I was 8 after all. I didn't understand much of it that first read but I have read it every year since. Middle-earth was an escape for me, a place of shelter from some harsh times for a little boy so I have much to be thankful for in finding Tolkien and Middle-earth.

Please post your first experiences with The Professor's excellent works!

Would like to keep this thread on topic, posts on this thread not on topic may be deleted.
Jul 9
2020/7/9 13:48:34 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
When I was 7, my school teacher, Mr Flowers, read The Hobbit to the class, I can still remember him reading it, but not the other books that he read out, apart from one other.

This got me interested in Tolkien, my Mum was a librarian, and so could borrow Tolkien books for me, very easily, but also both my parents encouraged me to read, and gave me birthday and Christmas book tokens to buy books and I bought these three books at the age of 11.

So glad that I did

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Jul 9 (edited)
2020/7/9 14:36:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'd heard of Tolkien on and off throughout my life before actually reading it! At the very earliest, I knew that were there four: The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King; and that The Hobbit took place a while before The Fellowship of the Ring. I went on reading other things until I was 17.

It was Peter Jackson who I've got to thank for piquing my interest in reading Tolkien - I wasn't against it, I just had other books and other authors I was following. I still remember that trailer for The Fellowship of the Ring: "Lost for centuries, it has been found...." 17-year old, Star Wars-loving me, who was also interested in fantasy, HAD to see that movie. It was then that I realized that this was Tolkien, who I've heard of on and off throughout my life: "oohhhh....those!"I'd read The Hobbit ahead of time, as I knew it came out first, though it wasn't the first film. However, I'd missed reading The Lord of the Rings before the film came out (my friend was a head of me and read The Fellowship of the Ring before seeing the film.).

And that movie changed me: I'd never thought to like or appreciate nature beforehand. I was willing to try beer (always thought it smelled gross growing up). I'd taken an interest in history and forgotten places. But, now to move away from 'Jackson' and get to 'Tolkien.'.

These are the first-ever copies I'd ever owned (I originally had a paperback Hobbit but I gave it to my dad to read, and got him his own set of Tolkien books)

The Hobbit:http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=212
The Lord of the Rings: http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=470
The Silmarillion: http://tolkienbooks.net/php/details2.php?id=745

For, Christmas 2001, I got the 1-book edition, shown above. I remember my parents asking: "do you want The Lord of the Rings in hardback, and fewer gifts; or do you want it in paperback with more gifts?" I chose the hardback.

Since Christmas is practically the end of the year, I often say that I've been a Tolkien fan since 2002 at the latest - as that's when I'd known that I knew it would be something that I'd love.

Who knows - if Peter Jackson's films didn't exist, maybe I'd still hear of Tolkien and been keen on reading at 17, or perhaps later in life. Either way, I have him to thank for opening the door. Or, as Gandalf says in the first film: "If you're referring to the incident with the dragon, I was barely involved. All I did was give your uncle a little nudge out of the door."

I like to think that Tolkien made my life better, and make me into a better person.

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Aug 11
2020/8/11 13:13:21 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I owe learning about Tolkien from my dad. Long story short, he is actually my step dad, but my biological father died when I was very young, and my step dad has really been the only dad I have ever had. That being said, We are both huge fantasy nerds, so Lord of the Rings in particular was a huge bonding point for us. I was about 10 when the movies came out in theaters and that's where it all started for me. I had a lot of trouble reading as a kid, so I didn't even attempt to read the books until early adulthood. But those movies will always be so precious to me because of what they started. Now at almost 30, I have begun my deep Tolkien lore dive and can now share that with my dad and teach him things he didn't even know about the books.
Aug 11
2020/8/11 13:45:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Keeperofthethings wrote:

I owe learning about Tolkien from my dad. Long story short, he is actually my step dad, but my biological father died when I was very young, and my step dad has really been the only dad I have ever had. That being said, We are both huge fantasy nerds, so Lord of the Rings in particular was a huge bonding point for us. I was about 10 when the movies came out in theaters and that's where it all started for me. I had a lot of trouble reading as a kid, so I didn't even attempt to read the books until early adulthood. But those movies will always be so precious to me because of what they started. Now at almost 30, I have begun my deep Tolkien lore dive and can now share that with my dad and teach him things he didn't even know about the books.

Welcome to the site, really pleased that you have been introduced to the magical world of Tolkien, and I suggest that if you are really interested in his works, then reading his works is much more fulfilling than watching the films
Aug 11
2020/8/11 14:05:53 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
oh yes! I only got started with the films. I have read the Hobbit several times, and just finished the trilogy the first time all the way through, and starting the audio for the silmarillion. :)
Books are always so much better.
Aug 11
2020/8/11 15:27:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'd dabbled with high fantasy via Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, and my family owned a cheap paperback of the Hobbit, but it wasn't until Peter Jackson's first film hit theaters that I was "in". If the Fellowship was released in 2001, that would've made me 13 or 14.

Needless to say, it was a revelation. I quickly purchased the single volume paperback from Books A Million, the one with the black rider near Bucklebury Ferry. I devoured the book, then went onto the Hobbit and Silmarillion before the release of The Two Towers. I'll never forget my young indignation at the many changes made by the movie (no Shelob!), but I managed to cherish the experience anyway.

The beautiful thing about coming into one's Tolkien-ness is that you become aware that his influence is everywhere. Every other work of fantasy seems to owe the man inspiration, or else makes a conscious effort to deviate from him. I'm rambling now, but to this day I feel intensely grateful that such a storyteller existed, and I have ready access to the breadth of his work.
Aug 11
2020/8/11 18:58:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Actually, I just remembered that I'd watched the old animated Hobbit and LotR movies when I was much younger. The Hobbit made more of an impression than LotR, I remember Gollum terrified me... I suppose that counts as my first exposure!
Aug 11
2020/8/11 20:56:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Caudimordax wrote:

Actually, I just remembered that I'd watched the old animated Hobbit and LotR movies when I was much younger. The Hobbit made more of an impression than LotR, I remember Gollum terrified me... I suppose that counts as my first exposure!

I love Rankin/Bass' / Brother Theodore's take on Gollum: large, creepy and insane.
Aug 18
2020/8/18 6:33:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
My first approach to Tolkien was the animated movie that I saw when I was about 5 years old.
When I was 8 years old, they bought me the first book of fantastic literature, it was by Guy Gavriel Kay and when I was about 9 years old, I had my first Hobbit book in my hands.
From then on, almost all of my gifts from my childhood and youth were books by Tolkien and other authors of fantastic literature.
Now that I have children, I am trying to instill in them the pleasure of reading Tolkien and since Spanish editions are rather scarce, I have started to buy English editions, of the books not published in Spanish.
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