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11 Nov, 2018
2018-11-11 4:54:43 PM UTC
This is not so easy to reply to. I first met Tolkien (LotR) on the bookshelf of a schoolfriend when I was 12 or 13. This was 1977/78. But I know that I bought it the same day. I was infected immediately and tried to get other works. Soon I've got The Hobbit and the Silmarillion and also other stuff translated in german. In 1980 I ordered from my local bookstore Pictures from JRR Tolkien.This was a little adventure in pre internet times and all the employees of this bookstore wanted to inspect this order after arrival.
Unfortunately there were no further translations of HoME except BoLT I and II, so I switched to english versions of them during my student time. First I wasn't interested in 1st printings but rather in original english versions of middle earth stories. But in the end of the 80's I began seriously to look for special editions either in german as well as in english.
25 Nov, 2018
2018-11-25 10:03:02 AM UTC
Apologies for joining these discussing really late... I have been occupied but I felt it was better late than never, so I’ll be answering these slowly.

I have to admit it was the movies that introduced me to Tolkien. So my collecting phase began around 2002.

I didn’t want to read any spoilers so I stayed away from buying or reading LOTR until after watching the final movie (I know, blasphemy!); but I got the Hobbit and read it between 2002 and 2003, and then moved on to Roverandom. These tided me over until I could get the LOTR books, and since then Tolkien’s books have been where I’ve spent most of my money on

Besides books, I also collected the movie press kits back in the day. These were really beautifully produced and, I feel, paid tribute to Tolkien’s works in the way they introduced and presented the characters, locations, creatures, weapons, etc.

To get back to the beginning of my post, my
Tolkien collection mostly consists of the HC deluxe editions. But I also have the black paperbacks from the early 2000, and some other works like Black and White Ogre Country and the like.
4 Nov, 2023
2023-11-4 7:10:46 AM UTC
We have had quite a few new members since 2018, feel free to continue this thread.
4 Nov, 2023
2023-11-4 8:42:13 AM UTC
I first read the LOTRs when I was 14 in the early 80s - I had borrowed the books from the school library, it was the 70s style hardback books with the big eye of Sauron on the cover. These are still my favourite LOTRs books for this reason. Needless to say, I was absolutely in heaven for several weeks as I read the books every day on the school bus. I then had Tolkien books every Christmas for the next 2-3 years. Alas, they all got lost years ago.

Then in the 90s when I started working, I started collecting Tolkien art. I have quite a nice collection now that gives me a lot of pleasure. A few years ago I also started collecting books - though I am not a completist, and tend to just buy things I like as they come out, etc. I also collect books about Tolkien by other authors. The original art is still the main aspect of my collecting however.
4 Nov, 2023
2023-11-4 11:20:47 AM UTC
What a nice thread! So many interesting tales.

I've been a long-time reader but am very new to collecting. The seed of that was in the publication of the "illustrated by the author" edition of LOTR in 2021 (the non-deluxe). I hadn't bought any edition since the HC 1-volume PB I had in the mid-1990s. I ended up being a bit disappointed with the maps (in the 2021 illustrated edition), and then became curious about how these had changed over time. Digging around, I found a Reddit thread which talked about the quality of the maps included in the HB GA&U editions, so I bought a 3-volume set (mid-1980s but with the late-80s DJs).

In the course of this digging, I'd come across the fantastic site made by Deagol, and that got me VERY interested in the bibliographic and publication history. And thus the collecting.

After a brief time, I came across some of the more famous early reviews of LOTR, and was particularly drawn to these. I assumed (wrongly) they would be either expensive or hard to track down, but after I found the NY Times Book Review of FOTR on eBay for c. $25, I started focusing my collecting on Tolkien reviews and criticism.
4 Nov, 2023
2023-11-4 11:34:03 AM UTC
I possibly don't qualify as a true collector and yet I have a collection so I'll add my story 😁. I was interested in fantasy and horror from my mid teens in the late 70s-80s and first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings at that point, books from the library. I then bought hardbacks of the LOTR and still have them, having read them many times. I was only vaguely aware of the large related catalogue of books on Middle-earth and beyond and have been collecting single volumes of the new style trade hardbacks for only around 18 months. I now have a more or less complete collection but the recently announced new illustrated cover box sets of HOME resulted in me selling my POD books to harmonise my shelves in due course. I do like a matching set!
7 Nov, 2023
2023-11-7 1:45:41 AM UTC
Started reading Tolkien at age 14-ish around 1989. First LotR, then the silmarillion. I had read the latter 3 times before i read the Hobbit and the Hobbit remains the only legendarium text i don't really get into. Got to collecting books and calendars during the 1990's albeit slowly. Peter Jacksons 'the return of the king' in 2003 was the final drop that made me forget about all things Tolkien for about a decade. Started reading LotR and the silmarillion for my eldest daughter around 2013 and gradually my interest picked up again.

Dedicated collector since 2017-2018. My most important decision was to forget about low-hanging fruit and find the rarer stuff first. A good decision. Back then it was still possible to find a first printing 'Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics' from 1937 for $300. I primarily collect books but also artwork by tolkien illustrators (calendars, postcards, litographs, prints and originals).

7 Nov, 2023
2023-11-7 2:36:29 AM UTC
I started in the 1960s with a few books and maps and posters but did not find many back then. Money was short and missed things but collected somethings as they popped up. In 1987 Christopher came to Mythcon at Marquette and that was a divide. Got many Mythopoeic Society items including back issues of Mythlore. Able to get the A&U deluxe Hobbit and had items signed by Christopher: UK Silmarillion, The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays and the poster with "Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves" for Marquette's Haggerty Museum of Art exhibit: "Drawings, Watercolors and Manuscripts from The Hobbit". Oh my. In the 1990s the internet was a big boost and things snowballed. Now have all kinds of items: commercial to fan produced. Books are likely my favorite (>490 books of the secondary lit) but chess sets are very dear too, 44 of those, a few hundred cloth items mostly tees, besides 2d art & figures, journals, mugs, pins, bookmarks, all kinds of cards, plus calendars, stamps, other games.... The past year or so I've slowed down secondary to $ & space.
7 Nov, 2023
2023-11-7 4:27:09 PM UTC
I'm not a Tolkien collector like folk who post here, but I have about 150 books by and about Tolkien, not to mention fanzines, mainstream newspaper and magazine materials, etc. I think of my collection as a working library, but some parts get a lot more work than others. This all began around 1968, after I first read Tolkien in library copies starting in late 1966 or early 1967. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis are the only authors in my library who have tall shelves dedicated to them (and the Lewis one included some books by his brother, some slim volumes of poetry by his friend Ruth Pitter, etc.). A few of the books on the Tolkien shelves are ones associated with him, e.g. a copy of the edition of Johns' Flowers of the Field that Tolkien regarded as his must treasured book in adolescence, etc.
7 Nov, 2023
2023-11-7 5:18:04 PM UTC
Thanks all for helping this thread resurface, it's been lovely. The Shirrifs all produced videos for our Tolkien collecting stories last year. Here is mine as well as the others, if you haven't seen already

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