Happy Tolkien Reading Day! (2021 Edition)

Happy Tolkien Reading Day, everyone!

Each year, the holiday looks a little different for me. One year (before kids), I read The Hobbit in one day. It satisfied my soul, though my eyes certainly complained the next day. Last year, it was a beacon in a dark season. It reminded me that, like Easter, darkness can’t hold back the coming dawn.

This year, my focus is cultivating a love of Tolkien into my children so that they become third generation Tolkien fans. Between Lord of the Rings Little People, the Unexpected Party from The Hobbit film, and Middle-earth-inspired food, we’ve already had an adventurous day and there’s more to come after naptime.

Obviously, I want them to like the same fandoms that my husband and I do. (I converted him not long after we got married.) But more than that, I want them to understand some of the most important things that I’ve learned from the lore of Middle-earth. Heroism. Sacrifice. Courage. Friendship. Contentment. The beauty of becoming immersed in a magical world that is unlike our own yet shares truth that they can hold onto.

As I enjoy these last few minutes of quiet before naptime ends and the Chelsea buns are ready to be rolled out, I reflect on how grateful I am for inspiring stories, like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. They have shaped my life, and I hope that they shape my girls’ lives for the better too.

My kids’ new favorite Little People…

Are you celebrating Tolkien Reading Day? What are your favorite ways to celebrate?

The Hope of Tolkien Reading Day

Today is one of my favorite holidays of the year: Tolkien Reading Day. The odd thing, though, is that I forgot about it until my day had already begun. Of course, I suppose it’s not that odd considering the odd turn life has taken lately.

For the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve been living in a Twilight Zone episode. (From its original run in the 1950’s and 60’s, just to be clear.) As the pandemic came closer to home, everything began closing its doors. And a miasma of fear and uncertainty followed. Sometimes, the air feels a little clearer, but uncertainty continues to cling like a twilight fog.

Back to today, though. When I finally did realize it was Tolkien Reading Day, the first thing I did was change my shirt. The first Tolkien shirt I found bears the Tree of Gondor. Seven stars, seven stones, and one white tree.

When I saw it, I felt like Sam as he and Frodo trekked into Mordor. They passed a statue of a King of Gondor that had been defaced by the enemy. Its original head lay on the ground, and it reflected the hopelessness of the situation. But then some sunlight broke through the clouds and Sam could only smile. He realized that the King’s fallen head had a crown again–one made of a flowering vine growing over the statue’s brow. It was a whisper of hope.

Like us, Gondor once sat in its own miasma of fear and uncertainty. Mordor’s forces were growing, and Sauron thought he was poised to win the war and conquer all of Middle-earth. Little did he know that the King was on the way and his source of power was about to be destroyed.

While this might not be fictional Gondor, we can hold on to the same hope that Sam felt seeing the statue’s flower crown. The same hope Tolkien clung to through two World Wars.

As Sam so eloquently puts in The Two Towers (film), “Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.”

As this moment in history happens, let’s cling to hope too. The King still has his crown, and a new day will come.

Happy Tolkien Reading Day!

Sorry it’s been two weeks since my last post. Mix one of the busiest parts of the school year with the flu, and the result is that barely anything gets done. But I’m back now.

Anyways, today is one of my favorite holidays: Tolkien Reading Day!

There are several things I love about the holiday, especially on years like this. First off, it’s an homage to one of my favorite authors. Even though I love many writers, Tolkien’s influence on my own writing is undeniable. It’s a great excuse to read at least a few pages of one of his works and wear some of the geeky Lord of the Rings paraphernalia that I own.

My favorite excerpt to read (especially on years when I can’t sit and read the entirety of The Hobbit in one day) is about the reason this day was chosen to be Tolkien Reading Day in the first place: it’s the anniversary of the Fall of Sauron.

Even if I don’t get to read anything else, I always read The Return of the King, specifically Book VI, the last part of chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4, where it all goes down.

The Fall of Sauron
One of the best parts : )

Sometimes, like this year, it very appropriately falls on Good Friday. While The Lord of the Rings isn’t allegory (and Tolkien would roll over in his grave if such a thing were said of his works), it does ring true to what he and CS Lewis called the One True Myth. I think it’s one of those things he would make him smile.

So, happy Good Friday, Easter, and Tolkien Reading Day!

And here’s to being back after far too long.

Do you celebrate Tolkien Reading Day or any other booklover holidays?