‘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 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. 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…
 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.
 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.