This morning I sent my three year old off to nursery, clutching his favourite book to share with the rest of his class. ‘Super Worm’, was the title of that much loved book and just as he will relish in sharing and listening to one of his favourite tales, he will also enjoy the many other, wonderful books that are shared with him by his friends and teachers.
Given that today is World Book Day, I also want to share the beauty that is the written word with you. We all have a battered, dog-eared book somewhere in our lives, that has been repeatedly thumbed through in the name of escapism – a tome that has touched, helped or inspired us in some way or another, and one which we can’t bring ourselves to part with. If you’re like me, then you probably have many books of this kind, sat patiently on dusty bookshelves, in a pile beside your bed, in your bag or on a table, waiting to be re-read for the umpteenth time. They’re like old friends that offer some comfort, when life becomes too much.
Care to meet my old friends?
The Lord of The Rings trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
You’re probably quite familiar with them and if you haven’t read the books, then maybe you’ve watched the films, or even played the games (being the nerd I am I’ve done all three and then some!). Whether you have or haven’t, I’d like to introduce you to three of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Yes it is an epic fantasy adventure. Yes, it has Elves, Orcs, Dwarfs and Goblins, and many other fantasy creatures and yes, it has created a dedicated following of Middle Earth fanatics, who go so far as to learn Elvish and learn every aspect of Tolkien’s lore, but they are also so much more than that.
Reading this trilogy, is like jumping inside the very pages of the book, hitching a ride on a Rohirrim War-steed and journeying alongside the fellowship, as they adventure across the vast landscapes of Middle Earth. You feel the joys and woes of each character in acute detail and can’t help but choose sides, in their battle against the great evil that threatens their very existence. You laugh with them, cry with them and ride the adrenalin-filled wave of war with them and when the tale is over, the story lives on in your imagination, never quite leaving it and having no small effect on you.
No book I have read since, has ever quite lived up to Tolkien’s masterpiece. Even after reading George R.R. Martin’s, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, I still didn’t have the same lasting sense of inspiration that ‘The Lord of The Rings’ left behind and I guess that just illustrates why Tolkien’s works have stood the test of time, and will continue to inspire generations of bookworms to come.
I have many more books by Tolkien on my shelves, but these three were the very first ones that I read and so they will always have a place in my book-filled life. What books inspire you to re-read them over and over again? Let me know by leaving your comments and perhaps you can introduce me to some more great literature.