“Not all those who wander are lost…”

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"Deep roots are not reached by the frost." - J.R.R. Tolkien (Focal length 70mm, Shutter: 1/750, Aperture: f4.8)

‘Tis the season to read Tolkien’s works again, I believe. I read them at least once a year, from cover to cover, and every time I do, I find some new nuance or element that I had previously missed. Some books change with you and you are companions on this journey through life together. As I grow, The Lord of the Rings books seem to grow with me (although The Hobbit[1] doesn’t). Some books are like that. I’m finding that the Harry Potter series is rather like that, as well, although I didn’t find this until the final two books pulled everything together. Ellis Peter’s Cadfael series is another old favourite and companion.

I suspect (and truly hope) that religious books do that for their adherents, which possibly explains (in part) why I’m not a member of any religious group; none of the books or stories of any of them ever really grabbed me, no matter how often I read them or in what languages[2]. I’m not sure why that is.

Other books remain what they were when you first read them and transport you back to what you were when they sucked you in. I can still read Enid Blyton, Franklin W. Dixon or C.S. Lewis and be a child for a few hours.

Conversely, I now find I can only read The Lord of the Rings from the perspective of an adult, even though it is a book of my late childhood and adolescence. The layers of past readings are still there, of course, but the book gets richer as I get older. Surprisingly, this doesn’t bother me at all. I thought it would, but books seem to be the one setting in which I don’t mind or notice aging…

[1] I first found The Hobbit at the age of nine, having been given a copy by my Aunt Helen and Uncle Gordon. To this day, I find I can only read the exact edition (and tome, even) that they gave me and am precisely nine-almost-ten when I read it.

[2] This comment is meant as merely personal reflection. Please take it as neither a criticism of any faith or religion, nor an invitation to persuade me regarding my beliefs. I believe in the live and let live philosophy of religion and am quite happy with who I am, as I hope you are, too.

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Erin says:

    I’ve found myself really looking forward to your blog posts… enjoying them thoroughly. 🙂

    1. VickyTH says:

      Aw, that just made my day. I enjoy writing them! I used to write all the time and fell away from it. I missed it.

  2. Jeyna Grace says:

    Im not a tolkein fan, maybe cause i never really tried to read his works.

    1. VickyTH says:

      Jeyna – The great thing about books is that there are so very many of them out there that each person can find what they like and what works for them. Some folks just aren’t Tolkien fans and I can certain understand that. They’re not light-weight books and take some time to read. If the characters or theme don’t interest a particular person, I can appreciate that the effort to read them would simply not feel worth it.
      What do YOU like to read?

      1. Jeyna Grace says:

        I like fantasy, but even in it there are books i like and dislike. A few of my favs are of course the hp series and the hunger games.

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