Bless the rainy season - rereading LotR

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Eamila Bolger 08/Dec/2006 at 02:47 AM
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I had no idea... after reading the Lord of the Rings two times, but seeing the extended version of the movie many more times (takes less time), I really had no idea how the movie had influenced my interpretation of the book.
And there comes the rainy season. I have been wanting to read the big book again, but then without many long breaks due to work, social life etc. My chance came when my husband and I went to East Africa this fall. I read in the plane, I read during the many long bustrips, I read during the long mornings when the rain was falling and we couldn’t do anything else but reading since it was too wet to go outside.
Bless that rainy season! In two weeks I came as far as the scouring of the Shire (and since the hectic life started again right after coming back home, I didn’t have time to finish it yet...).
And boy, was I surprised. How easily can one forget the REAL story if one watches the movies!
Of course we all know the big differences. But there are so many small things too...
Did you know that Boromir came to Rivendell by foot since he lost his horse somewhere during his journey to the Hidden Valley? I had read the book twice, but seeing him enter the scene with a horse apparently made a bigger impression on me before. I won’t forget it now!
Do you remember Théoden saying "Where is the horse and the rider, where is the horn that was blown?"
In the book it is Aragorn who spoke these words, quoting a Rohirrice poet.
Many words that we think were uttered by Gandalf, are actually uttered by others.
My goodnes... I have learned my lesson.
I won’t have it: I want the book to be my inspiration,  not the movie (as much as I like how beautiful the landscapes are and the clothes, the cultures etc.).
I was wondering if others recognize this experience. To me, more clearly than ever, the movies are a story, the book itself is an epos, a great work that extends the borders of the movie by far!

Laielinwen 08/Dec/2006 at 02:59 AM
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Bless your heart Ea! You are exactly right on all counts!
I’ve read the books numerous times and it is true that the images we see sort of stick there and muddy the waters! Perhaps there should be a disclaimer put on the movies for those that have read the books.
Now you have me wanting to start reading it again myself!  Hmmm...
Arweniel* 08/Dec/2006 at 03:47 AM
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I love christmas time for more than the lights and decorations and food and pressies!  What else is there to love about Christmas, I hear you ask!   Christmas week is usually the time of year where I can sit back and relax again after all of the preparations and re-read the trilogy.  I find that after all of the business of November and December, escaping into ME for a while each day is just the tonic I need to unwind and relax again!
Wentwaley 08/Dec/2006 at 05:54 AM
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I like to read certain chapters whenever I feel like it. It has been a while since I read the books in their entirety, but the chapter tidbits keep some of the differences in the books and movies fresh in my mind. There are some instances that really stood out in my mind.

The words "Kings made tombs more splendid than houses of the living, and counted old names in the rolls of their descent dearer than the names of sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars" were said by Faramir to Frodo in Ithilien. Yet there was something about the film rendition - Gandalf striding across the spacious courtyard, Pippin struggling to keep up. The high tower, the wide sky... those words were heightened.

I guess my point is that there’s more to it than just remembering what was written in the book. After watching the movie, reading certain parts just isn’t the same. There’s an added emotional value.
Endril 08/Dec/2006 at 06:32 AM
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I agree that watching the movies after not reading anything from the books for a long time makes you be confusen and think at the story in the movie than at the one in the books, the real one. I read LOTR two times and I am sure that I have to read it again as I have glimpses of the movies too sometimes, and not the greatest and exact glimpses.
Míriel Aditu 08/Dec/2006 at 06:40 AM
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I think I’m the opposite, I’ve read the books so many times since last watching the movies, then the other night I got out the fellowship and watched it, and found that I was more overly critical than I had been before about the things that were different. I still love the movies, but I have to try and watch them without nit-picking them for their imperfections.  
Region 08/Dec/2006 at 12:18 PM
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Yes indeed Ea! No matter how many times I read the book, I still encounter new things, things that I will hopefully remember. Sometimes it’s indeed those small things that make a difference between the movies and the book between what’s average and what’s sheer brilliance. (luckily I read Lotr immediately after seeing Fotr, since the movies did draw me in)
Vugar 08/Dec/2006 at 02:45 PM
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I do look forward to those seemingly minute rediscoveries that mean so much more in the long run.  I can recall losing myself for many an hour in the Appendix alone to the Lord of the Rings.  History just seems to be my niche, whether that of our own world or another.  During my break from school, I shall certainly do my best to read as many of Tolkien’s books as I can.  Perhaps I shall finally purchase copies of my own instead of relying on the library.
Helekwen 08/Dec/2006 at 03:50 PM
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Well, I shall see for myself this holiday because I’ve set aside time both to watch the extended films and to re-read LotR all the way through. Surprisingly, I believe I’ve only read the whole thing through once, although like Æscthryth I enjoy ’chapter tidbits’. But I’ve always enjoyed the books more, so it will be great to finally get around to re-reading them- and it will help no end with my upcoming Junior Drill matches! So I have to say- thank god for the (hopefully) snowy season and the holiday!
Brandywine74 08/Dec/2006 at 06:41 PM
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Here in Australia we’re just heading into the long Summer school holidays and this always gives me an opportunity to read and watch LOTR. It’s fantastic to be able to sit for an hour or two and really get into it. It’s so hot in the middle of the day that if you’re not at the beach it’s best just to rest indoors. Perfect for sleeping, reading and watching. Yay!
Arvellas 08/Dec/2006 at 07:30 PM
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If you ask me, there is nothing like a mug of tea and a very thick book on a dark, cold day, especially during the holidays, when the indoors seem all the cozier.  It is right about now that I look for something that will keep my brain extra busy in a fun way, and LOTR is perfect for that.  Some books get old after you read them once or twice, but LOTR is not like that.  I think it gets better with each successive reading, because when you know the general plot, your mind is freed up to look at the little things, and LOTR is littered with little things, and I enjoy savoring each one.  I’ve only ever seen the first movie, and only once, but I remember waiting to see all those little touches that I had come to love and being disappointed when they were not there.  After that, I think reading the books has become an even more special experience to me.
Aragonia Dunami 08/Dec/2006 at 08:24 PM
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I am in the process of finishing the trilogy after a very long time since my last reading, over 20 years. I have seen the movies numerous times, being a big fan of them, but I had forgotten how many differences there were between the books and the movies. It is interesting how many poetic items and vast descriptive paragraphs are missed in a visual interpretation of a book. Re-reading the books again makes me appreciate the genius of Tolkein. I do have to say that my first read of it many years ago was more magical. I am not sure why, perhaps because back then I had never read anything bordering on fantasy, and bercause I am so much older than I was when I first picked up the books. I do think seeing the movies first does skew ones point of view when one reads the books. For me, it is a pleasure to re-read these great works. 
Dragon1160 08/Dec/2006 at 08:41 PM
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I have just picked up the books again for the third time and even though I have just started The Fellowship, I can see the differences that are so small that if we don’t think about them then we forget about them. I too have earned my lesson to not take the books for granted again, and I will always treasure the minds imagery and not what the movies have to offer. I am loving the books even more now than I did when I first read them.
TobiasFalco 08/Dec/2006 at 11:26 PM
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Well having been sick with pneumonia since earlier this week I have suddenly found the time to start reading the books again and I plan to do my own trilogy Saturday (today) and re watch all three extended editions. I have noticed though in years past that every time I have the movie fresh in my mind and I start to reread the books I notice the differences in the movies. Now unlike some it doesn’t necessarily make me hate the movie’s (elves in Helm’s Deep set aside) but I do see my love for Tolkien’s work reborn every time. So after this weekend even though my pneumonia will still be around I’m sure I will have a wonderful and magical feeling for the books pumping through my veins.
Battlehamster 09/Dec/2006 at 12:49 PM
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Nothing like Tolkien to distract you when you’re sick.

I have tried to block out the movies as much as possible, because the stuff in the book is so much cooler.   And I always like how whenever I read it I find new things, like Legolas’ horrible pun in the middle of Helm’s Deep.

Tenharien Calmcacil 09/Dec/2006 at 01:18 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Battlehamster on Saturday, December 09, 2006

Nothing like Tolkien to distract you when you’re sick.

I have tried to block out the movies as much as possible, because the stuff in the book is so much cooler.   And I always like how whenever I read it I find new things, like Legolas’ horrible pun in the middle of Helm’s Deep.


I dont remember that well. What horrible pun was that? Hmm maybe i should just go back and read it again myself too. I love those books. I wonder if i can finish them all before i have to read edlest and the children of hurin as well. Jeez, so much to do. Theres really not enough hours in the day.
Endril 09/Dec/2006 at 01:43 PM
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I’d like to read the trilogy once more but this time I would like the english version, that’s why I didn’t read it yet. Wonder I I read anything else except books by Tolkien the last year. Maybe the newspaper. But I admit that I tryed to read all that I could found and that was written by him.
Mirkwoodworker 09/Dec/2006 at 06:15 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Eamila Bolger on Friday, December 08, 2006

I had no idea... after reading the Lord of the Rings two times, but seeing the extended version of the movie many more times (takes less time), I really had no idea how the movie had influenced my interpretation of the book.


Right on Eamila! I’d been considering recently whether I should reread LotR. I think it’s been over 20 years since I’ve done so.

On one hand the movies provided me with images that, for whatever reason, I had trouble creating on my own while reading the books (I couldn’t figure out what Orcs looked like, for example). On the other, the PJ screwed up so many things that when I occasionally reread some passages, I’m quite surprised at HOW screwed up the films are.

So maybe if I sat down and the read the whole book I’ll have started to exorcise the worst parts of the movie from my mind (can’t be done thoroughly, sad to say).
Battlehamster 10/Dec/2006 at 06:35 PM
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I entirely agree with you. 

Out with the movie images!  In with the book images!  Balrogs don’t have wings! I’ll stop right here and not start that debate!

The horrible pun in the middle of Helm’s Deep is when (I’ll have the rest white so you can highlight it if you want to know) Aragorn says "Things go ill, my friends" and Legolas replies "Ill enough, but not yet hopeless, while we have you with us." Aragorn= Estel=Hope

Nenarye 10/Dec/2006 at 07:21 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Battlehamster on Sunday, December 10, 2006

<FONT face=Arial size=2>I entirely agree with you. 

<FONT face=Arial size=2>Out with the movie images!  In with the book images!  Balrogs don’t have wings! I’ll stop right here and not start that debate!

<FONT face=Arial size=2>The horrible pun in the middle of Helm’s Deep is when (I’ll have the rest white so you can highlight it if you want to know) Aragorn says "Things go ill, my friends" and Legolas replies "Ill enough, but not yet hopeless, while we have you with us." Aragorn= Estel=Hope



I’m afraid you may have started that debate, not with me, but someone else might start arguing with you.   I’ll simply say that I love reading on a rainy day, with some coffe or hot chocolate sitting next to me . . . *sighs*
Battlehamster 11/Dec/2006 at 05:49 PM
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Ah, that sounds very nice right now. I am definately going to have to do that as soon as finals are over.  The only problem with that is that my copy of LotR is the full all-the-parts-in-one book, so it’s a little big to try to juggle while drinking cocoa.  And it has a disturbing tentency to fall apart if I don’t hold it with both hands.
Laielinwen 14/Dec/2006 at 01:54 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by Arvellas on Friday, December 08, 2006
If you ask me, there is nothing like a mug of tea and a very thick book on a dark, cold day, especially during the holidays, when the indoors seem all the cozier. 

I agree Arvellas! Add some rain to that day please and it would be perfect! I’m also into reading in the bubble bath each night! Something about water and reading.  

Legolas I am anxious to hear how it goes for you and what your impressions are when you read it in English.  

Nenarye 14/Dec/2006 at 03:17 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Battlehamster on Monday, December 11, 2006
Ah, that sounds very nice right now. I am definately going to have to do that as soon as finals are over.  The only problem with that is that my copy of LotR is the full all-the-parts-in-one book, so it’s a little big to try to juggle while drinking cocoa.  And it has a disturbing tentency to fall apart if I don’t hold it with both hands.


Ahh, yes it does!   I am so very fired up for finals to be, well, finally over, and I am most likely going to make some hot chocolate, sit down with a book, and read for the rest of the day. (Hopefully there will be some kind of winter storm raging outside) As for your big book; I love those big books! Who cares if they are hard to read while drinking hot coco and fall apart?
Battlehamster 14/Dec/2006 at 05:17 PM
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Just thinking about it is torture, it sounds so nice.

Laielinwen- I have to agree that reading in a bubble bath does sound like heaven, but it seems like it might be a little risky.  (Especially for my copy of LotR, whose life depends on some really old duck tape.)  Ever had any book casualties?

Laielinwen 15/Dec/2006 at 04:21 AM
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Battlehamster I must admit I’d never take a really valuable book to the bubble bath with me. Though I’m pretty good at it and have never dropped one in the water. I have my Starbucks, my cell phone, my candles and my towel all right there. I can dry my damp fingers if need be. It is just one of my favorite things to do. Also... I’m going to share your comment with Naith about the duck tape. He thinks I’m the only one in the world that calls it that! Yay you and HUGS!
Battlehamster 16/Dec/2006 at 09:41 AM
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Oh, Duck tape vs. Duct tape? Duck tape is so much more fun!  And the dictionary agrees with us that it can be either one. 

Now that I think back, I remember dropping a copy of Misty’s Twilight in my grandparents’ hot tub when I was little.  But I had another copy of it, so that was OK.

Eltara 16/Dec/2006 at 11:25 AM
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Yay!! Duck tape is definetly better!!!! Reading a book in a bubble bath is good but I find that I’m too catious about getting my precious books wet! I tend to like to read in my big overstuffed chair by the fireplace where I can curl up with hot chocolate or my favorite sugar plum spice tea and read while looking out at the swirlling snow tumbling over the lake which was completely unexpected due to the suddenly warming weather. Actually I think I will go do that right now..... 

Lanthir Lamath 16/Dec/2006 at 12:37 PM
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I’ll say amen to that... I remain aware of the alterations through the rellocation/displacement of all the songs from between books and movies; to wit:
My favourite song from the books is the one that begins with "still round the corner there may wait", and it’s at the beginning of FoTR, sung by 4 Hobbits... and everyone remembers it as "Pippin’s song from RotK". I was once at an interview of Billy Boyd and everyone asked him if he wrote it himself...and he said yes, meaning the notes, but everyone understood the words!

Same with the Bath Song_ it’s that song which Pippin and Merry (in the movie) sing in the tavern. *sigh*.

But to top the lot...Sam’s words about Gandalf ("the finest rockets ever seen/they burst in stars of blue and green...") really *is* a mourning song for Gandalf, or rather, a chunk thereof.

Laie: you need to read the Acorna series (by Anne McCaffrey. I believe there’s a nice analysis on the (many) uses of duct tape in book 2!)

Battlehamster 16/Dec/2006 at 03:25 PM
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I have a confession to make.   I have sung The Bath Song in the shower.  The one in the book, not the messed up one in the movie, of course.

Argh, I hate what they do to all the songs in the movies.  Where do they put Sam’s rocket song in the movies?  I can’t remember and I don’t really want to watch them to find out.  Is it when he and Frodo are talking about when their journey will be made into a story at the end of TT?

I was especially sad at the loss of Frodo’s song at the Prancing Pony and the lament for Boromir.  And Galadriel’s songs.  And the versions of Ah Elbereth Gilthoniel.

Jinniver Thynne 17/Dec/2006 at 11:18 AM
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This is why I keep strategically placed copies of Tolkien books not only all over the house but on my desk at work. Then when I get the urge I can dip in and read something. It’s like looking in a photo album; sometimes one picture may stir a memory, sometimes another, and you cannot predict which will catch your eye when you open it, and sometimes you will notice a small detail that you’d never seen before. The other night I picked up my bedside LotR and turned to the Lothlorien chapter and found myself interested in the Dwarven remains in the Dimrill Dale outside Moria that had never caught my eye before.
geordie 17/Dec/2006 at 12:06 PM
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My favourite song from the books is the one that begins with "still round the corner there may wait", and it’s at the beginning of FoTR, sung by 4 Hobbits... and everyone remembers it as "Pippin’s song from RotK".

I don’t.

Jinniver - I like the ’photo-album’ analogy.
Battlehamster 17/Dec/2006 at 12:46 PM
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oh, I love that song!  So sad it was made into a depressing song in RotK, it’s so awesome.  I also like the hybrid of that song and "the road goes ever on and on" that Frodo sings at the very end.   Very appropriate for going to Valinor.

For some reason, my brain always considers "’And now to bed, and now to bed,’ sang Pippin in a high voice " part of the song. 

Eorl Boarhelm 18/Dec/2006 at 08:21 AM
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I was sick last week, so, bored of lying in bed all day, I decided to start re-reading LoTR. I am currently in the middle of Treebeard. It’s the small things you love about the book, like Treebeard’s little play  about ’Ent’ and ’A’int’. And the little facts you had forgotten, like that Bilbo’s fireworks were made in Dale , and that Gandalf’s hat was blue.

On a sadder note, I found that my birthday  is also the date Frodo got stabbed at Weathertop. Should have picked a better day  to be born, like the day of the victory at the Ford. 

Does anyone else feel, in the middle of a re-read, at a random page, ’Man I love this book !’ ? 

Battlehamster 18/Dec/2006 at 11:02 AM
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All the time. I forget how much I love LotR. I mean, I know I do, but it’s not until I really am reading it that I realize how much. My birthday is boring; I don’t think anything happened that day.
What is Treebeard’s Ent/ Ain’t wordplay? I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it.
Miriath 21/Dec/2006 at 02:46 PM
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Nothing like good old LotR to cheer you up; especially on a cold winter’s day when there’s nothing better to do that sit inside your dorm room and snuggle up and read. I must say that, many times, when I read the book (or watch the movies) I just say, "Gosh, this is my favourite book of all time." Just like while I’m reading - especially during a battle or something.
Quetildil 21/Dec/2006 at 06:01 PM
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This might sound pretty corny, but I have a tradition of reading both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings once every year around Christmastime. I started when I was 12 and have read the books four times now (I just finished my latest readthrough last week). That is not as many times as most fans, but I plan on doing this until the year of my death. People ask me how I can re-re-re-reread a book of this magnitude, but I really love returning to Middle-earth every year; it’s such a release for me.
Ankala Teaweed 22/Dec/2006 at 05:10 PM
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Why not? Christopher Lee does the same thing, Aryane, except he starts on September 22 (the Bagginses’ birthday). He has been doing that since the books were published, so I will let you do the math.
No, I don’t think anyone of us here would say you are corny!

I am currently rereading Appendix D, on the languages, yet I am sipping it slowly like a good cognac. So much to absorb and assimilate!

Arweniel* 23/Dec/2006 at 03:38 AM
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Aryane - Christmas time is a great time to re-read the trilogy.  I do the same thing every year!  After all of the hustle and bustle of the leadup to Christmas, it is nice to be able to just relax and join the world of ME for a few weeks!
geordie 23/Dec/2006 at 04:57 AM
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I stopped counting the amount of times I’d read LotR around the eighth time - some time in the seventies.    But I don’t read them all the way through nowadays - my eyes get tired quickly. Fortunately, we’re allowed to take cassette players etc in to work, so I can listen to the story, an unabridged reading by Rob Inglis. Sometimes, I go on to listen to his reading of ’The Annals of the Kings and Rulers [that is, App. A] also by Rob. Or sometimes I just go back to tape one.
Battlehamster 23/Dec/2006 at 08:54 PM
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They have a version of the books on tape where they read the Appendices as well as the rest of the book?  Or is it just that part.  I imagine the bit about the Tengwar would be rather difficult to have on tape: "then there’s this one, which is sort of like a T with a loop at the bottom and more woogly at the top..."

I think I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read them.  And I’ve only been a Tolkien fan for 7 or 8 years.

geordie 24/Dec/2006 at 12:34 AM
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Just App. A. Which is quite enough.
Morgil 24/Dec/2006 at 01:14 AM
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Rainy days are always good reading weather. But then again, any weather is good for reading! Rain usually promps me to want to read something related to Scotland. My favorite "Tolkien reading weather" is a cold, clear night, and the brighter the moon, the better. I don’t know why, but they have just always been condusive to me enjoying the works of the master.  
Beregond Abell 24/Dec/2006 at 10:11 AM
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Well here in Wisconsin its been raining alot too. I work at a ski hill and when its raining we cant make snow, and theres nothing to do so i read alot. I started to reread the book about a month ago, and now with all this rain i have no work and am sitting home doing nothing. So im reading the book when im not on the plaza    its amazing how you can read somthing somany times and then you read it agian and you see somthing that you missed the first time.
Galadriel0204 24/Dec/2006 at 06:44 PM
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I haven’t read the books in a while and am planning on rereading them soon. I hope its raining when I do though, because I too like rainy weather when reading books. There is nothing quite like laying in the bed while the rain is genlty pouring down onto the roof.Though lately you would think the rain would be snow.No snow here in Virginia either although it has turned off cold.
Steophan 25/Dec/2006 at 09:14 AM
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Finished re-reading a couple of weeks ago, and will move on to HoME 6-9 soon (will have to buy them first, but got enough money for Christmas  )
Must have read LOTR 10 or more times, and it gets better every time, especially if I’ve read Silmarillion, UT or other books in between - more and more understanding of the background, and the nature and relations of the different races. There is really too much to absorb even in 2 or 3 readings,and I hope to read it many times more!
Anarríma 25/Dec/2006 at 09:25 AM
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The whole autumn has been a long rain season here in Sweden, I’ve barely seen the sun! But unfortunately, the music academy has taken up almost all of my time and definitely all of my energy. So I thought the Christmas holidays would be perfect to re-reading the trilogy - and so when I go home to visit my parents over the holidays, I forget the books! Gah! I like to make notes in the margin while reading, quoting other books by Tolkien for example, so it’s not that easy to just go to the library instead.