This is one in a series of posts where the content is provided by a guest who has graciously answered five questions about their experience as a Tolkien reader. I am very humbled that anyone volunteers to spend time in this busy world to answer questions for my blog, and so I give my sincerest thanks to Onthetrail and the other participants for this.
To see the idea behind this project, check out this page
I want to thank Donato Giancola for allowing me to use his stunning portrait of J.R.R Tolkien as the featured image for this project. If you would like to purchase print of this painting, they are available on his website!
If you would like to contribute your own experience, you can do so by using the form on the contact page, or by emailing me directly.
Now, on to Onthetrail’s responses:
How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
Tolkien books were on our shelves from as early as I can remember and when I was 7 my father and I read The Hobbit together over the Christmas holidays. I then read The Lord of the Rings shortly after. I quickly picked up The Silmarillion which was somewhat of a blur during the first read and like The Lord of the Rings took months to finish but I was already hooked.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
As a child I would have said reading anything set in or around the Shire but now I am far more interested in Tolkien’s early forming of his imagined world, I am especially fond of The Book of Lost Tales. The Cottage of Lost Play is my favorite Tolkien work.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
Probably reading The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and volume one of The Book of Lost Tales during a hike around North Wales.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
I have two modes of approaching Tolkien now, so I would say yes. I read for enjoyment and also for study (which of course I enjoy but I try to focus differently). I study at the desk and I curl up on the sofa when I just sit and read for the joy of it.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Absolutely. If I meet people who show an interest but don’t own a copy then they always go home with a copy. Mostly a copy I picked up second hand for that purpose.