I am re-reading Lord of the Rings for the nth time. I have always enjoyed the story and found new things to be savoured in each reading. Even reading at different ages and moods affected the perception of the story itself. It is truly a wonderful story, written by a most talented writer.

The first time I read the book is when I was eleven. I remember that I skipped all the songs and poems, impatiently flipping to get to the end of a most interesting story. At that time, I was competing with my cousin sister two years older to see who can finish the Lord of the Rings first. To my surprise (for she started two days earlier), I finished the tale first. Later, she told me that she read until “The Two Towers” and then stopped, tired of the poems and songs as well as the language used. She was also apprehensive of the ending of the story. Until now, she had not finished the book.

I read it the second time directly after the first time. This time, I took some notice of the poems and songs within, but not too much (remember, I was only eleven and do not want to look at ‘boring’ songs). Then, I did not appreciate the beauty of the language (it is difficult for one whose first language is not English), but marveled at the descriptions which turn the story in to a living history in my mind. After that, I lost count of the times I read it. Of course, I did not have my own set of the books then (I read library books). But slowly, I found one, and then another in a second hand bookstore and collected for myself a mismatched set of the Lord of the Rings.

Each time I read it, I read a little more of the songs and poems contained within. Each time I failed to finish all the songs and poems. Even now, eight years since I first read the books, I still have not read all the poems and songs in one go. It is interesting, and full of subtle details that just make the stories real.

And then there is the different languages and races and the division and quarrels and the final, desperate stand from which no man expects to return alive. It is all very exciting. I remember that when I was reading it for the first time, my feet were cold with dread and excitement and I couldn’t go to sleep without finishing it. For some time, I really thought that it is true history, until I am older and started to find out more about the history of men.

So saying, I am running out of time. Maybe I will talk more about my experiences reading the Lord of the Rings again on another day.

Oh, and one word before going: the movies are good but definitely the books are thousands of times better. If you had watched the movie, read the book! Skip the poems and songs if you had to, but read it. You will be surprised by the abundance of details that the movies missed.

This post is interesting, and is one of the examples of details missed from the movies. Thanks David Stewart for pointing these out.

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