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 Post subject: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 15th, 2016, 4:48 am 
Dwarf
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I was never a "reader" in my life. But after stumbling upon the movies called Lord of the Rings in March 2010 for the first time ever I was hooked & then was told the movies were based on books & was thrilled that this story was deeper & could of never dreamed how endless Middle Earth is if your will to set aside time to read. I believe all the books I have bought or borrowed from the library was written by either JRR or Christopher Tolkien. But today I decided to by a fan book by Michael Stanton called "Hobbits, Elves & Wizards" and am hoping it is good stuff.

So I just got to wondering how much other fans of Middle Earth read & what books you do read about Middle Earth.

I have a small collection I own,
1. Lord of the Rings (this one keeps me from reading anything else because I feel like the Appendices are just a treasure of great info that leads me to other places to read or back into the LOTR book itself.
2. The Hobbit
3. The Silmarillion
4. Unfinished Tales of Numenor & Middle Earth (this is only one I have more to read before finishing)
I have borrowed & read these
1. The Children of Hurin
2. 1 volume about Isengard from "The History of Middle Earth" wich is a collection I definitely want to own & read soon hopefully.

So I am just wondering do any of you have a massive or small library of Middle Earth books or ones that you've read you'd like to share.
And one other thing I wanted to throw out there is there anyone else that looks at Middle Earth maps while they read the books? It helps me a lot as I have 2 large maps, one of Middle-earth and one of just Rohan and Gondor, and it's just helpful and enlightening to me to be able to look and follow along when I'm reading the book the footsteps on the map.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 15th, 2016, 5:29 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Of Tolkien's books, I have your list, with HoME books #7, 8, 9, and 12 added.

I also have the Atlas of Middle Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad, and a 1978 printing of The Complete Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster, both which I find quite handy.

I had a large parchment poster of the map of Middle Earth and in a past reading in the early 1990's followed along. I had it on a cork board and would put pins in it where I would pause my reading. Unfortunately I lost the map in a divorce, but recently found a new, bigger, better quality map that is now on the wall in the office.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 15th, 2016, 12:50 pm 
Rider of Rohan
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I have Lotr, Hobbit (both collectors edition and a less nice copy for the younger readers), the 1st edition of the Silmarillion, Unfinished tales (2 copies of that for some reason), the lotr sketchbook by Alan Lee, untangling tolkien (this is basically a very in depth timeline), and the first five books of HoME.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 15th, 2016, 7:47 pm 
Warden of the Knight
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As you, Gollum, I have never been much of a reader. It is hard for me to keep my attention on a book and even harder for me to finish it because I read so slow.

That being said (Aside from starwars books) I have read more of Tolkien's work than anything else. I have read the Silmarilion and the Hobbit, but I must confess I have only read pieces of the trilogy.

I find myself gaining more knowledge about middle earth through conversation with learned Tolkien fans than reading but there are several books I really would like to read.... it's just taking the time and giving up something else out of my scheduel since there is always something to do....

Between the hobbit and the silmarilion I must say I enjoyed the Silmarilion WAY more. In fact I would say it is one of my all time favorite books I have ever read and kept my attention better than almost any book (if not better than any other book)

The hobbit was just a little slow reading immediately after the silmarilion.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 16th, 2016, 10:32 am 
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Jax you mentioned something that I basically have none of and that is Tolkien fans to talk to. Now of course I know people that watch the movies but I would love to be able to sit and talk with people that really know the books and just have great knowledge of Middle-earth.

I had one friend that I went to school with my whole life and after I first seen the movies and posted on social media that I had come across these great movies called Lord of the Rings as I didn't realize how popular they were at the time but he responded as I found out he's been reading the books he says about every three years he reads The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings since he's been a kid.
I would like to find people where I could just listen and soak up their great knowledge of Middle-earth. I so wish there was an online class or some kind of local gathering that I could go to and like I said just listen and hear what people have to say that have really studied Tolkien.
I may be getting up to about 50 years old but Middle Earth is something I don't think I'll ever stop loving and enjoying as there's so much that I have found and so much there that I know I haven't even scratched the surface of.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2016, 5:10 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Jax Nova wrote:
The hobbit was just a little slow reading ...

I will admit here and now that the Hobbit was the book that introduced me to Middle Earth, but I have only read it that once. The Lord of the Rings I have read a coupe dozen times, including the Appendices.

Most Precious Gollum wrote:
Jax you mentioned something that I basically have none of and that is Tolkien fans to talk to. Now of course I know people that watch the movies but I would love to be able to sit and talk with people that really know the books and just have great knowledge of Middle-earth.

I had one friend that I went to school with my whole life and after I first seen the movies and posted on social media that I had come across these great movies called Lord of the Rings as I didn't realize how popular they were at the time but he responded as I found out he's been reading the books he says about every three years he reads The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings since he's been a kid.
I would like to find people where I could just listen and soak up their great knowledge of Middle-earth. I so wish there was an online class or some kind of local gathering that I could go to and like I said just listen and hear what people have to say that have really studied Tolkien.
I may be getting up to about 50 years old but Middle Earth is something I don't think I'll ever stop loving and enjoying as there's so much that I have found and so much there that I know I haven't even scratched the surface of.


I hear that! I have been engrossed into Middle Earth since those first readings. One of the really cool Middle earth moments was when I stepped into a small cafe one evening to find they were having a reading. The owner was reading 'Fog on the Barrow Downs' chapter from Fellowship of the Rings, and a discussion followed. Was quite entertaining and knowledge expanding.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 17th, 2016, 7:21 pm 
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Yes, Hanasian. It seems the hobbit, though started it all, would actually tend to be the least read. Indonthink i would have loved it more, however if I read it first and not after the Silmarilion.



Gollum, I feel ya... Inused tontalk to my soblings. (My two older ones read the books multiple times) but we don't talk much anymore and anymore it is mostly just online I read and talk to people. There used to be a lot of good in depth conversation here on this site but as everything has it has dwindled.

Inwould often read entire conversations here and never or rarely comment simply to get the information. I loved that and miss it.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: December 20th, 2016, 4:37 pm 
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I will have to make a list of what I have as far as books. I will post when I get it compiled.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: January 10th, 2017, 2:29 pm 
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I've read Silmarillion, Lotr, the Hobbit and The Children of Húrin something like twenty to 80 times, because I never stop reading them. When I finish one of them, I start again from the beginning and do this about twice a month for one or two of these books. That's why in eight years I've read them probably that many times. I do this with my other books also, so perhaps that's just my style of reading. And yeah, I read something two to four books every week.

The Unfinishded tales I've read a couple of times, and the History of Middle-Earth I haven't read, because it's not available in the local library. I would want to, anyways. Then there's that Story of Kullervo, but I know both of the stories (the original Kullervo and Túrin) so well that I thought that I might read that one later.

This may sound crazy, but I'm only average-knowledged in the Finnish Tolkien society or in any Tolkien Society, some people there speak quenya like it's their mother tongue and can track down a word and the year Tolkien made it up in a couple of minutes. They also make new words from the one's Tolkien created and just casually talk a mix of quenya and sindar. Perhaps it's because the pronounciation is pretty easy for us. They translate songs to quenya, make news in quenya.. all that.

Of course i don't know everything, there's still names and stories I'm not aware of, especially in Númenor because the men never interested me that much like elves and maiar and valar did. I also know just a little sentences in quenya or sindar, and a couple of words, but I can't talk it like that, or even translate, no.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: January 14th, 2017, 7:48 am 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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I never had much desire to read the earlier volumes of HoME... never thought it would add anything to my Middle earth experience. Reading drafts of the same tales isn't my thing I guess.

Neinor, I met a couple at a Tolkien event in Seattle that spoke fluent Quenya. They also could speak Klingon. They were very nice, if strange, folks.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: January 14th, 2017, 6:50 pm 
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That sounds nice, meeting friendly and strange people is always fun. Not fun in a funny way but in a happiness bringing way. It's inspiring somehow.

I think I feel the same about HoMe, it's just that the very draft-ish books like the Unfinished Tales and that are just not for me, because I'm reading them for their wisdom an not for the trivia. That is of course somewhat interesting but not as thought-provoking as the ideas beneath the stories.

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: January 14th, 2017, 7:41 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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I like UT for the 'filler' parts, like the Fords of Isen chapter. I usually read that one when I get to the part in Lord of the Ring's where those events take place.

I like the Gladden Fields chapter, and the rare glimpse in to Numenor with the Aldarion and Erendis chapter. There was good tech info on the Palantiri, and a further convoluting of Galadriel's history too. It's the background bits for Lord of the Rings that I wanted out of HoME, and so that is why I have the volumes I listed. :)

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: January 15th, 2017, 11:19 am 
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Sorry to be a parade-rainer but I don't believe anyone can speak any of Tolkien's languages fluently. The language of the Klingons? Yes [though there might be more than one Klingon language, I don't know, in theory or "reality", or perhaps different dialects anyway]. But not even Quenya or Sindarin. What I think you're likely hearing is a version of what some folk call Neo-Quenya, which is described in short on the FAQ of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship [E.L.F.] website, which includes...

"Is it possible to speak Quenya and Sindarin?

No. The vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Tolkien's invented languages, even of Quenya and Sindarin, are far too incomplete to allow its casual, conversational, or quotidian use. As Tolkien himself stated, "It should be obvious that if it is possible to compose fragments of verse in Quenya and Sindarin, those languages (and their relations one to another) must have reached a fairly high degree of organization — though of course, far from completeness, either in vocabulary, or in idiom" (Letters p. 380). (What's more, it is plain that nearly every occasion upon which Tolkien set about to compose in one of his invented languages resulted in a flurry of new invention, reconsideration, and change; so that the fact that he could compose something at one time did not mean that either the result or its bases were fixed, either at that time or at any time thereafter.) Indeed, it was never Tolkien's intent to make Quenya, Sindarin, or any of his languages into spoken, written, auxiliary, or otherwise "useful" forms; rather, they were done for purely personal enjoyment. As Tolkien wrote, "It must be emphasized that this process of invention was/is a private enterprise undertaken to give pleasure to myself by giving expression to my personal linguistic 'aesthetic' or taste and its fluctuations" (ibid.)."
E.L.F. FAQ, Carl F. Hostetter

The FAQ goes on, but I'll add that not even Tolkien could speak any of his languages fluently, for various reasons. The Klingon language has a different history, and (generally speaking) has been expanded over the years to allow the possibility of being spoken by fans, in a measure that approaches fluency at least. For the long version of the argument, I recommend Tolkien language expert Carl Hostetter's article Elvish as She Is Spoke linked at E.L.F., and also published in The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004, Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder. For the record I have nothing against Neo-elvish (the linguist who invented a lot of the Neo-Elvish for the films has also expanded Neo-Dwarvish), but to my mind it's basically the linguistic equivalent of fan fiction.

To be more on topic, I have a lot of Tolkien books... and I'm also probably older than some here, and likely more pedantic! :-D

I have issues 1 through 49 of Vinyar Tengwar for example, a linguistic journal focusing on Tolkien's languages, although I'm late in ordering issue 50! I had two copies of The History of Middle-Earth books, but for space I've donated some of the hardbacks.

Well... I have plenty of other Tolkien books, but my favorite Lord of the Rings so far is the big "Red Book" that came out years ago. My second favorite is a fist edition purchased in Winchester (it's not a first edition first impression however, which would be a lot more expensive). Although the red book is a bit heavy for reading, it's still the best looking to my mind, and goes well with the "green" Hobbit. Both have cases.


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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: January 15th, 2017, 6:32 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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:lol: doesn't rain on my parade. I just took their word for it. You can bring it up with them. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: January 15th, 2017, 8:39 pm 
Gondorian
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Here's the "Red Book" by the way (image from someone's website)...

http://www.isildur.com/tolkien/books/lorleath.gif


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 Post subject: Re: What Middle Earth Books Do You Read?
PostPosted: April 14th, 2017, 7:26 pm 
Dunedain Ranger of Arnor
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Elthir wrote:
Here's the "Red Book" by the way (image from someone's website)...

Image


Nice graphic!

I'm looking forward to the Beren and Luthien book that should be coming out any time now...

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