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Minas Tirith Forums » History of Middle-earth » Does anyone else have any preferencies on how these books "should be read"?
Author Topic: Does anyone else have any preferencies on how these books "should be read"?
laurelindo
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I am very picky when it comes to this, because I want to enjoy the books the way they were "supposed" to be enjoyed as much as possible.
For example, I used to start with The Silmarillion since that book is historically "older" than The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but now I have moved to reading The Hobbit first instead, since after all it was the book that started everything and everybody knew of before the other books.
This is also one of the reasons why I started reading the English originals; I'm from Sweden and whenever I read the translations I had this gnawing feeling that "hey, I might miss some point now that was impossible to translate well", and indeed it was a completely new experience to read the English versions, which really made me enjoy the books even more; they are much more consistent with name spellings etc and have a much stronger archaic feeling.

[ 07-19-2011, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: laurelindo ]

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Madomir
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You'll end up reading The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings more than once so I'd go in this order..

1. Hobbit
2. LotR
3. Silmarillion
4. Hobbit
5. LotR

Then maybe head into BoLT or Unfinished Tales. You'll end up reading the Sil more than once too most likely, it generally takes more than one time thru to absorb it all.

Don't be afraid to take a break, don't want to over do it.

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laurelindo
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I've read the English versions several times already, and they feel very different.
The Silmarillion and The Hobbit were the best Swedish translations of the bunch, but they can't really compare with Tolkien's originals.

[ 07-19-2011, 04:07 PM: Message edited by: laurelindo ]

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Madomir
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Well since you've already read quite a bit, maybe go Sil, Hobbit, LotR, Unfinished Tales then head into the HoME series I guess. In the end I don't really think there is a way they're "supposed" to be read, it's a personal preference.
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Halion
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I was going to recommend this page, but the customization form is apparently "out of service": http://tolkien.slimy.com/defaultBooks.html
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Snöwdog
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I'd go with this order:
1. Hobbit
2. LotR
3. Children of Hurin
4. Silmarillion (Bypassing the 'Turin' chapter since its covered in detail in Children of Hurin)
5. Unfinished Tales

Alternatively, you could read The Silmarillion, but stop to read Children of Hurin when you reach the 'Turin' chapter. Just a thought.

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Madomir
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Forgot all about The Children of Hurin.. that's a wise insertion Big Dawg []

[ 07-20-2011, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: Madomir ]

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Roll of Honor Nuinamarthion
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I have a different proposal []

1. The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings
2. The Silmarillion
3. The Letters of JRR Tolkien
4. JRR Tolkien: A Biography
5. The Inklings

The Letters is like a bible to me. It has so many answers about the story and characters. And those gave me extra passion to continue the road to Tolkienish!! Then The Bio and Inklings by Carpenter are also the 2nd-official books I'd recommend.

More detail here at my site, bottom page []
http://www.talkingabouttolkien.com/e_tolkien2_books.html

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Great site, btw [] - but the color scheme makes it a pain to read ...
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Madomir
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A touch off topic but I wonder if in the spirit of The Children of Hurin that perhaps one day we may see The Fall of Gondolin compiled from all the various texts.
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Galin
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Currently the Tolkien Estate answers:


quote:
Are there any plans to produce similar editions of the other two Great Tales of JRR Tolkien's mythology ?

Sadly, neither The Fall of Gondolin nor Beren and Lúthien were ever developed extensively and sufficiently enough by J.R.R. Tolkien to publish them in similar form to The Children of Húrin. Even though - for instance - an illustrated edition of these tales might be possible, the existing texts have already been published, and would remain incomplete.

Technically not every text has been published, considering the updated prose version (early 1950s) to Beren and Luthien -- although the new start to the poetic version was published in The Lays of Beleriand, and Christopher Tolkien implied that the prose version, as far as it goes, does not introduce any notable changes in the tale.

[ 02-14-2012, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: Galin ]

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Roll of Honor Nuinamarthion
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quote:
Varnafindë: but the color scheme makes it a pain to read ..
I know what you mean [] Black background with blue text []
I suspected this before, but failed my attempt to improve it.

BUT! just now I did most the pages in one night. Should look alright now []

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Now that's a lot better []
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Húrin Greenleaf
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If I wanted to introduce someone to the 12 volumes (or 13 if you count the index! [] ) for the first time, I would first suggest 3, for the poetry, particularly the 'Lay of Leithian' with C.S.Lewis' remarks, [] to be followed by 10, with gems such as:

*'Laws and Customs among the Eldar': Information about the Elves, including their marriage and naming customs.
*'Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth': A moving look at the differences between Elves and Men, through a dialogue between two characters, one being a woman in love with an male elf, rather than the other way around. []
*'Myths Transformed': I particularly liked the discussion there about the difference between Morgoth and Sauron.

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