Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Hobbit Habit

In celebration of the 37th season of Sesame Street beginning tomorrow, the Lovely Mrs. Davis organized a blog fest to answer the following question:

What television, music, movie or book from your childhood are you excited about sharing with your own children?

There are so many fabulous stories to share that it's really hard to name one. Sesame Street, of course, My Neighbor Totoro, and Shel Silverstein come to mind, but I'm going to stick to the question and just choose one outstanding book for how it has grown with me since childhood.

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

My classmate Sandy recommended the book in fifth grade, and I remember locating the faded copy in the library and reading late into the night, until my parents sent me to bed. With carefully saved allowance money, I bought a set of paperbacks that accompanied me from home to home and sit on our bookshelves today, battered and precious.

SwingDaddy was introduced to The Hobbit even earlier. His mom is a huge fan, having written her thesis on Tolkien, so she and his dad read it out loud to him at the age of three. After overcoming a series of nightmares about giant spiders, SwingDaddy also developed a lifelong love for Bilbo and the greater adventures described in The Lord of the Rings.

The language of Tolkien is meant for reading aloud. It's simple at times, majestic at others. Early in our courtship, we read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to each other, chapter by chapter, over a year and a half. There are so many stories entwined together in a world so loved by the author, that he created the history and languages first. And there's just a whole of fun to be had too!

Note to self: Must remember to reassure Q before bedtime that those giant Mirkwood spiders don't exist.


Bob said...

Great to find so much commonality.
That was a lot of reading. Expanding the mind and knowledge.

Jenny said...

My mom read me the Hobbit when I was little.

I can't read it now without hearing her voice in my head.

And that's a good thing.

Kristen said...

My husband read these, but for some reason, I didn't. It's completely inconsistent with the rest of my childhood that I DIDn'T read them, though, so I have no doubt that we'll introduce our kids to them pretty soon as well.

Daisy said...

My first grade teacher read The Hobbit aloud, and I had nightmares about the giant spiders. Thankfully, I read the LOTR trilogy later in life when I could appreciate.

Mamacita Tina said...

Oh how I love the Hobbit. I read it to my fourth graders the last year I taught. They all couldn't wait for the daily reading of it. If I dared skip a day, they threatened to tie me up and do the read aloud without me.

Lady M said...

Yay, fellow Hobbit fans!

Daisy - After hearing your story too, I think we will modify the reading of the spider chapter for a few years. :0