"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R Martin

13 March 2012

My Tolkien Obsession...

It is no secret that I am completely obsessed with Tolkien and his magical world of Middle Earth. I've been meaning to write this post for a while, showing you all my growing collection of Tolkien books, but I can see it being one long post! I am absolutely obsessed with The Lord of the Rings and all of Tolkien's work and want to own all of the books possible that are of Tolkien's own work or works that discuss his books. I thought I'd just show you all of my books and comment on them all just that I can share with you all my little collection :) The picture opposite shows the twenty two books that I currently own, but there are plenty more on my Tolkien amazon wishlist! I really can't pinpoint when my obsession began but I can remember seeing the first film as a 9 year old and was completely confused because Aragorn and Boromir looked similar and I can remember gripping my seat terrified in the scenes with the black riders. Sends a chill down my spine now because they are just too creepy! I can then remember reading the book as a 10 year old not really understanding the whole story and completely convinced that Gollum and the Ring survived and somehow the whole thing just uprighted itself. Obviously as a 10 year old I didn't read it properly and two years later I read it again and was enlightened! And my obsession began. 

So the first stop on the journey through my Tolkien collecting is the main book itself, the trusty paperback version of The Lord of the Rings. It is a tome of a book but I don't like reading the books in its three book form and even though my hands tingle with pins and needles holding the weighty book it just feel right to read it all in one. And I love the illustration on the cover; it is one of my favourite illustrations of Gandalf. I love the cover for Tales from the Perilous Realm. This book is truly beautiful, as it is illustrated by the talented Alan Lee (who's work I LOVE). I haven't read this version of the tales as I bought the cheaper version before and it didn't have Roverandom in it or the essay on Faerie stories. So I'm really looking forward to reading those two extra gems in this book. The cover of The Children of Hurin is also amazing to look at too. I really enjoyed this book. It was different in narrative to The Lord of the Rings, but it was a great and tragic story. I also loved The Silmarillion. I tried to read it a few years ago and could not get into it because it was so different but I finally read it a year or so ago and loved it. The depth and scope of Tolkien's work is evident in this and it was his greatest work, a work that he fought all his life to get published. And finally, we have The Hobbit. It is such a funny book and a brilliant adventure story and a nice little book to read before taking on the masterpiece that is The Lord of the Rings.

The Histories of Middle Earth books are next. I had the first five bought for me in a set a few Christmas' ago but when I recieved them I was a little disappointed. Not to sound ungrateful, but I wasn't too fussed on the covers and they are quite small in size so the writing inside is minscule. I bought the sixth and seventh books and I very much prefer these. The covers are amazing and they are much better inside. I hope in the future to be able to buy all of the first five again but in this style because they are beautiful books. I haven't got around to reading them yet because there is so much in them to read and learn, I think I need to be in the right state of mind and have no distractions! But I hope to read them one day soon and I hope to own the rest of the collection as there are 12/13 in all, so I have alot of saving to do to complete it! I just want to know all about Tolkien's thought process when it came to creating Middle Earth and all its stories, and see all of his ideas coming to life throughout the years. 

Now these books are all centred on the main man himself and his works. The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien edited by Humphery Carpenter (review here) was amazing. It took me a while to get through but every single letter showed a little bit of his personality and showed his little thoughts about his work. I loved seeing little glimpses of the man who created Middle Earth and this book really showed how much of his life he spent on his works, The Silmarillion in particular. The biography about him was a great read also. I loved that you could see where the inspiration for some of the themes in his works came from. The other two books, The Lord of the Rings Readers's Companion and The Road to Middle Earth I haven't read yet, but I can go abit crazy on amazon when I stumble across new books. I just love owning anything that is centred around The Lord of the Rings or Middle Earth and I'm sure these two books are invaluable to my collection. 

The Tolkien Illustrated Encyclopaedia is possibly one of my favourite Tolkien centred books that I own. It is amazing. It was given to me by my sister and I love just dipping into it now and again and reading about some little detail. It covers geography, characters, races etc in Middle Earth and describes every little thing. There's also some very nice illustrations to go with all the info. I believe that every Tolkien fan should own this book. The Making of the Movie Triology is also a nice little book. I love watching the special features on the extended versions of the films so this book is a great little extra. The Atlas of Middle Earth was one of the first buys out of the little fortune that I had my 18th birthday and its a great books filled full with maps. It also discusses distances and temperatures in Middle Earth, so its nice and handy when you read the book and want to know exactly where you are. 

 These are my two new favourite books that I own. I had them for Christmas off my lovely boyfriend who indulges me and my obsession. They are the biggest books ever and weigh a ton but are beautiful. I have always wanted to own the illustrated hardback version of The Lord of the Rings and when I unwrapped it on christmas day I nearly had a heart attack. It is a brand new copy too and every page is just perfect. Alan Lee's illustrations are dotted here and there throughout the book and he is my favourite Tolkien artist and I just love his work. My boyfriend doesn't quite understand the fact that he spent so much on something I swear that I wouldn't read! It is just too perfect to possibly crinkle a page or get dirty finger prints on. I can just hold it in my lap and stare at it, turning the pages to admire the illustrations. It was a perfect gift. Also under the chrimas tree was Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle Earth. This is also a weighty hardback but it is beautiful and I was concerned about Ted Nasmith's illustrations in it because I wasn't impressed with a calendar he did one year. But they are beautiful and the book is filled with them. Every little thing in Tolkien's work is accounted for in this book and discussed in detail. It is a gorgeous book and one that I will treasure. 

I also own The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun, which I think was a great inspiration for Tolkien's works but I just haven't got around to reading it yet. It's a lovely hardback though and any Tolkien book looks great on my shelf. And no Tolkien fans collection is complete without Peter Jackson's amaaazing movie trilogy (the extended version of course!) I am actually watching The Two Towers for the bazillionth time as I write this. They are great adaptations of the books and I can't go a month without watching them. I also love the special features and have watched them millions of times. And I've even watched all three films with all the commentaries (haha!). They were really good actually and you can find out a lot of new information by watching them! 

So there is my Tolkien collection as it stands. I am completely obsessed. I can't really pinpoint why I love all of his works so much. I can just pick up a book and be transported into a different world and have amazing adventures. If you love Tolkien and any of his works please comment below, I'd love to hear what you have to say even if it is to call me a big geek (and very proud of it!)


  1. :O I just realised I missed out Unfinished Tales! Oopsie...

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  3. I would love to have the extended trilogy, but it is out of stock everywhere I know of :'(


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