Tolkien Reading Day was set up to encourage people to get together and explore some of Tolkien’s stories at school, university, in reading groups, or as a family; the theme for 2011 is
…This year’s theme, “Tolkien’s Trees”, is allied with the “International Year of Forests” and encourages families and library reading groups to enjoy exploring the dark confines of Tolkien’s many forests as well as focussing on individual trees.
Readers might venture into Mirkwood in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; into the Old Forest on the borders of the Shire, and the Golden Wood of Lothlorien, or meet the Ents of Fangorn. Or why not read about and discuss the importance of trees and their meanings in “Leaf By Niggle”, or the ‘Two Trees’ beloved of the Elves in The Silmarillion, where there are more great forests and woods to discover….
I have been reading Tolkien’s works over again recently. Like many, besides perhaps Grimm’s fairytales, Tolkien’s writings were the first fantasy stories I ever read. Last year, over several sessions, I read the entire text of The Hobbit to a friend of mine that had never enjoyed Tolkien before. I think I derived as much pleasure reading it aloud as my friend did in hearing the tale! 🙂
I am currently reading the SIlmarillion, so here is my choice for Tolkien Reading Day.
“The one had leaves of dark green that beneath were as shining silver, and from each of his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling, and the earth beneath was dappled with the shadows of his fluttering leaves. The other bore leaves of a young green like the new-opened beech; their edges were of glittering gold. Flowers swung upon her branches in clusters of yellow flame, formed each to a glowing horn that spilled a golden rain upon the ground; and from the blossom of that tree there came forth warmth and a great light.” The elder tree, the silver tree, was named Telperion, while the younger, golden tree was named Laurelin. In seven hours, each tree waxed to its full glory and waned again. Each came to life again an hour before the other, so twice a day in Valinor, a soft light emanated from the trees when both the faint silver and golden lights mingled. The first time Telperion bloomed to full stature, the Valar counted as the first hour of time, naming it the Opening hour. After the first waxing and waning of Telperion and Laurelin, the Days of the Bliss of Valinor began, and also the Count of Time.”
(From The Silmarillion)
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
—J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)
Have a wonderful Tolkien Reading Day 🙂