There and Back Again

Posted by in books

The one book I must always have on my shelves. The one I would have with me on a desert island. The book I would have if I could have only one. (But if I could have more than one, say one more, the LOTR trilogy, in one volume, would be the other. Illustrated by Alan Lee, of course.)

I’ve been there and back again for twenty-eight years, since the story was first read to me in grade three, under a large tree in the Alliston, ON, St. James cemetery beside my elementary school. Mrs. Henderson read from a giant hardcover plastic-covered library book, illustrated by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass, the copy of which I years later inherited when the book was discarded and my mom worked at the library, and which I promptly, lamentably, lost at a friend’s house. The Hobbit has been the single-most influential book in my life.

Mrs. Henderson, if you’re out there: thank you. I still have a crush on you.

I get the urge to read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings every Christmas. Unfortunately, I can’t live in the Shire or go on adventures on the neverending road, but I can read myself there!

Which books do you love to revisit?

[For those like me who care—though if you do, you probably already have it bookmarked—I give you The Hobbit Blog. Watch the production videos! And the trailer. Oh, the trailer.]

To see it much larger and clearer, and just all around better, click here.