As we’re trying to think ahead to the future of a small space, I’m combing through all of our books (of which there are many) and reading as many of them as I can rather than branching out too much right now. It’s possible that many of my little literary friends, which have for so long sat and watched from a shelf will be stored in a box for four years, and so I’m going to give as many of them as I can one last good read (or, in some cases, a first good read) before packing them away for the forseeable future. Gosh — Debbie Downer all of a sudden.
I feel like I read The Hobbit at some point in my young life. I feel like it, but now having read it either again or for the first time, I’m not sure I ever did. Perhaps my maternal unit will read this post and can let me know if we ever actually read it together — we read books together at bedtime until I was in late middle school. It was the best way to end the day — me and Mom, squashed together on my little twin bed, taking turns reading chapters of Lizard Music or maybe Buffalo Brenda. Patrick and Drew and I end each day the same way now, and it’s so fun — books and bedtime just go together.
I knew the story — well, at least the basics. I VIVIDLY remember the amazing adaptation at the Children’s Theater in MN when I was younger. Smaug took up half the stage, but it was so dark, he was only a shimmering outline of jewels. And I remembered the dwarves and all their wonderful rhyming names. But as I read it, there were so many parts to the story that I feel certain I would have remembered if I had read it before. Beorn? How could I have forgotten a character like Beorn?
I do love Tolkien’s way of understated drama, making it seem only as treacherous as you, the reader, are willing to make it in your own imagination. He has a gift for touching scenes of brevity as well. When Bilbo and Thorin speak for the last time, it did tear me up a bit — he’s got a knack for really making you feel the sorrow in a moment with very few words. I read back over the section a few times, but couldn’t really pinpoint exactly what he said that made me so emotional — it was just there somehow, in the words.
Whether a read or a reread, I really enjoyed it. At this stressful time, when so many things are changing for us (albeit for the positive!), it was soothing to read just a chapter a night — just like with Mom — and think about Bilbo and his adventure that was only an adventure after it was finished. So much more calming to think about someone else’s difficulties and tribulations than to consider your own right before sleep. And I do love the hobbits. Their world view is one to strive for.
And who can possibly wait until December for the movie?!? Martin Freeman? Yes! Ian McKellan, back again? Double yes!
And of course! I did remember the trolls!