I was very pleased to see that nobody picked the ‘Books? Eurghh!’ option. All of you either voted to see my books, or see my books+the wigeon, so I thought I would do a Wednesday Wigeon post on books, and then tack the wigeon on the end as usual.
Of course, I own a whole stack of required reading from my many, many English classes, as well as a few volumes given to me by distant relations (most friends & family don’t buy me books because they know I get everything from the library). But I’ve never been one to buy books all that often. When I was younger, it was because I wasn’t allowed to spend money on something I could easily check out at the library, and now it’s because it doesn’t make sense for me to buy a book unless I’m going to really treasure it. So my collection is tiny, and I actually bought all of the books last year, after giving it some serious thought. I’m done for the time being, because these are the only books I know I’ll pull out on a frequent basis.
The least fancy of my books, The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings box set is the most precious to me. I first picked up Fellowship of the Ring around the time when I was in second grade. I ran out of children’s books to read at my babysitter’s house, and she had this sitting on her shelf. Needless to say, I read the words but didn’t understand a thing.
I tried again in sixth grade (with all four Tolkien books), and liked them a lot. After that, I gradually started a tradition of checking them out once a year. In ninth grade, I began checking them out twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer. Last summer, I realized that I might as well buy my own copies so I could read them in bed. They now reside in my candle drawer (may have to rethink that arrangement), and I’m currently wrapping up my 2011-2012 winter reading cycle.
For those of you who haven’t read these books, I can only gaze at you imploringly. Please go do it. They are fabulous, and I don’t think any other book in this genre comes close to Tolkien’s creations (that’s debatable of course, but it’s my opinion). There’s so much bad fantasy in the world that it makes me want to scream into a pillow, but these books embody everything that is so wonderful about fantasy novels. If only more authors could reach Tolkien’s level. Or at least come close.
And yes, I have also read bits and pieces of The Silmarillion, but have always seen it as more of a reference book than a bedtime story. I still get that one from the library.
I had a fairytale book when I was little, and it contained all of the non-Disney tales. I don’t think my mom pre-read that one before she handed it to me, or my young and impressionable eyes would never have glanced upon those pages. The majority of those tales were truly traumatizing, but nonetheless sucked me in. There’s something very inspirational and beautiful about fairytales, no matter how grisly they get. I think my fascination with literature largely sprang from that first encounter, so when I saw these two beautiful volumes, I knew I would read them for years to come. I still read a fairytale or two most nights. There’s just something about them that makes me feel…dare I say, enchanted?
As you may have noticed, all of these books fall under the ‘fantasy’ category. In case anyone was wondering, no, I wouldn’t actually say that fantasy books are my favorite. As I said before, there is a lot of truly terrible fantasy out there, which makes me feel rather lukewarm about the genre as a whole. But I’ve always been drawn to really good fantasy, or fiction that has a fairytale undertone (it’s why I love Perfume by Patrick Süskind so much).
Hope you enjoyed that! Tell me, what are your favorite reads? Do you have a favorite genre? Have you read anything by Tolkien? Please say yes.
Makeup Morsels &