There's no better time to start an unexpected journey than March 25, when fantasy fans the world over will participate in Tolkien Reading Day by reading their favorite passages from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and J.R.R. Tolkien's other works. Celebrated by the Tolkien Society as the day Sauron fell, Tolkien Reading Day is a great way for you to connect with this beloved fantasy author. Whether you're an experienced Middle-earth adventurer or a new explorer of Tolkien's works, CPL has something for you, so check out these great titles and start your own Tolkien Reading Day!
The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again is for many their first adventure into the magical land of Middle-earth and remains today a fan favorite. A great read for the whole family, the very beginning of the novel is extremely quotable and surprisingly musical, peppered with songs and poems that delve into the rich history of Middle-earth. For an especially fun read, try the troll dialogue from the beginning of the novel for a gross (and hilarious) cooking lesson!
The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most celebrated fantasies of the modern era, and only expands on the epic history Tolkien crafted. The characters in the novel are unexpectedly deep—Gimli is far from the comic-relief he is in the films, and his dialogue with Galadriel in The Fellowship of the Ring is surprisingly couth and eminently romantic. Naturally, Gandalf has intoning and proclaiming aplenty for those looking for a dramatic reading, while Merry and Pippin provide sometimes witty sometimes witless dialogue that greatly enlivens the story. Of particular note are the Mines of Moria found in the first volume: a spectral and spooky ride that culminates with one of the most famous lines in literature—a perfect way to start of your own Tolkien Reading Day.
Share your favorite passages in the comments below and help Chicago celebrate fantasy!