Although March 25 marked the official Tolkien Reading Day, fans know that every day is Tolkien Reading Day when you just love the Lord of the Rings, and that it's never too late to celebrate! (March 25 does have special significance, though, as it is date of the fall of Barad-dûr—and you would have to be a pretty devoted fan to know it.)
The works that someone chooses undoubtedly speak not just to the type of reader that they are, or the adventures they prefer, but the type of person they are outside the world of Middle Earth, too. So what does your favorite Lord of the Rings book say about you?
The Hobbit is often seen as the easiest read of Tolkien’s heavy hitters, and an entry point into this world, but if this is a favorite, that doesn’t mean that the reader needs something simple. Instead, fans of The Hobbit are fans of faster adventures, lovers of a more lighthearted approach to life, and definitely people who enjoy a happy ending (and a quick path to it). Hobbit-fans are brave and loyal, but also probably a bit impatient. They want to get straight to the good stuff, and aren’t too concerned with the deepest lore, the heavy backstory, or things that take longer than they absolutely need to. Just like the book, the want things to be fun, fierce, and to the point.
The Fellowship of The Ring
Fans who actively love the first book in the trilogy are certainly not people who place a higher priority on completion or happy endings. Instead, they love new beginnings, along with the start of Frodo and Sam’s journey. They are also more likely to be deeply sociable people. The love of seeing the fellowship come together points to the kind of reader who wants to hang out with lots of friends and go on adventures—and who likes things to be pretty straightforward, too (not jumping around through multiple different points of view).
The Two Towers
Two Towers fans are the most competitive of Tolkien fans, and they have no fears of uncertainty. In fact, quite the opposite! The Two Towers is the book in the main trilogy that introduces new characters, involves huge amounts of change and development, and includes multiple complicated points of view - after the first book, which is very focused, and before the finale book, that brings everyone back together again. Because of this, Two Towers fans thrive on change and uncertainty, and yes, they have a bit of a battle-happy side to them, too!
The Return Of The King
The last of the core trilogy, The Return of the King wraps everything up, and so it’s no surprise that fans of the book love happy endings and the satisfaction of completing a task! Fans of this book read through the entire trilogy every time (and possibly The Hobbit, too), and love the feeling of accomplishment that it gives them. Not to mention the vicarious accomplishment of seeing the heroes of Middle Earth all get their just desserts.
Published posthumously, The Silmarillion is a collection of stories, drawn from the notes of Tolkien, that chronicle the histories of Middle Earth—and it’s not an easy read! This is definitely a book for the more scholarly fan, those who adore studying, really digging into the details, and who are more focused on lore than on plot. Silmaril fans are also likely to be curious, lovers of fun facts, and absolute powerhouses on trivia nights!
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is part of the Middle Earth legendarium, and brings together 16 poems and verses about this world. Tom Bombadil is, obviously, a feature, as are some other details about the world of Middle Earth, and fans of this book are likely to be fans of Tom’s, too. This means that the first thing anyone should know about these fans is that they are still angry about Bombadil being left out of the movies! More than that, though, these are readers who are nature lovers, deeply peaceful, and incredibly creative.
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth
Finally, the Unfinished Tales, a four-part series of essays about the backstory of Middle Earth. Given that many of these are also found in The Silmarillion, lovers of the Unfinished Tales are the ultimate completionists. These are the people who are perfectionists, a little bit obsessive, and passionately driven to find out every single detail about the things they love. They probably work harder than any other Tolkien fan—even when they might be better off relaxing, just a little bit…maybe even kicking back with a book!
Do you agree with what your favorite books say about you? Tweet @quirkbooks and let us know!