>>7628679 9 or ten. I vividly remember borrowing them from my elementary schools shabby library.
For all that people here prattle on about how pleb tier its prose and themes are, I wish that people would consider that LotR is foremost a children's book. To that end it's very effective at appealing to its audience.
I was 9 when I read the Hobbit and I loved it. I tried reading the others when I was 10 but I only read the first two. They seemed very boring to me at the time but I should probably give it another go since I'm 11 years older.
In the first half of age ten I finished The Hobbit. That made for a much easier read than LotR did eight months or so later. Both were utterly captivating, but LotR was more taxing on patience while also being more rewarding.
>>7628685 >I moved on when I realized that fantasy is just a substitute for people too dumb to get into history >I moved on when I realized that I didn't possess the ability to indulge the nonexistent imagination my parents had denied me.
9 years old, but I stopped around the middle of Two Towers. I read the Odyssey even before that though, that was the book that really made me like reading. Also did the Hobbit before and Silmarillion a bit later on (10 years?). Didn't much care for the Silmarillion, it very much read like a patched up, incomplete story (which was obvious even at that age)
>>7629298 Almost this. Got the hobbit and Silmarillion in norwegian as a gift from my mother so I started reading them not long ago. Read part of LotR in english when I was much younger but it didn't really appeal ot me as much back then. Now I'm all set to read through it all in english after I finish the norwegian version of the hobbit and I'm looking forward to it.
I've read the hobbit several times in my childhood but I distinctly remember being bored with lotr when I was young, never getting past 50 pages. I read them all including the hobbit again when I was 24... Maybe 25 and enjoyed them immensely.
People who don't like LotR have never read it I'm nearly done with the second book and it's fucking awesome Unreliable characters, incredible imagery, plot structure is classic yet unique to only itself, relation to human ideas like God, friendship, death, war, smoking, things like that. Overall a simple yet enjoyable read. It's dense for sure, but not confusing if you can grasp the language.
It is a problem for those coming of age after The September That Never Ended. I would not be surprised to learn publishers have moved their expected target demographic for maximum sales of Tolkien's work a decade ahead of where it once stood.
Aside from the business end, the sweet spot for commanding attention and absolute immersion is probably now between the ages of 18 to 25.
These days it's a little like throwing Proust at someone who thinks a never ending mass market fantasy series of door-stoppers is the hight of literary experience.
>>7630169 silmarillion is the only book worth reading. all the sequels are just bullshit. >be weak piss ant stoner hobbit >oh shit, responsibility >impossible task >yup i am fucking dead five steps out of the shire >conflict >suddenly a wild wizard/tom bombadil/elves/giant birds/magic spell/sword/armour saves the motherfucking day for no reason other than the author wrote himself into a corner. >everything goes better than expected
>>7632645 Read the Hobbit, then LotR, then the Simarillion, then read LotR again.
I'm not sure when I first read it, except that I read the Hobbit in English class in 6th grade. Then I read LotR when I was in 10th grade, then I found out about the Silmarillion, got a copy of it, then I re-read the trilogy.
Hobbit and LoTR from like... 8/9 to 11 I think? I think I'd read the hobbit when the first film came out, then read the rest of the books. I was surprised that while the cool battles were what were good about the films (to child me), in the books they were boring compared to the characters and the creatures they meet.
>>7628679 16. English is my second language and I waited until I felt I had good enough command of the language.
Also it's not a book "aimed at children" like some dumb anon said, even though they(some, definitely not all) can appreciate it. You just have to see past all the fantastical locations, elves and battles. Hint: realize that all the Middle-Earth writings form an uncompleted mythology, and LotR has a specific place within it, and you need to understand the themes and motifs of the mythology to appreciate it fully. Yes it's timeconsuming but it's well worth it.
It's a kind of shame that the movies were so successful, if they hadn't been, maybe the overall quality of discussion around the books would be higher, since the barrier of entry would be higher and those discussing the stuff would more likely have read everything and have an understanding and appreciation for it. Now it stands next to Star Wars and Spiderman.
Read them when I was 18, before the movies. I enjoyed them but found myself skimming every other page because Tolkien felt the need to explain every detail of his imagination when I could easily fill in the blanks with my own.
>>7633848 >LotR however, has it's roots in his WWI service. I'm not quite sure what you mean by this. Tolkien only conceived of the Lord of the Rings after he had already written The Hobbit. He did begin inventing Middle Earth, however, while he was in the hospital after being injured in the Somme.
11 or 12, around the same time the movies came out. I remember enjoying the series, but at the same time a good lot of it probably kind of went over my head. Wish I waited a couple years to appreciate it fully. Now I'm 24 and I have The Hobbit sitting on my shelf, but I can't be bothered to read it.
The Fellowship is a book whose enjoyment is directly proportional to the skill of the reader. When I was a kid, I couldn't finish it. Just this past summer I picked it up again and it was amazing. It's challenging to be able to picture the fullness Tolkien's world, but being able to picture the angle of the sun, the rich colors of middle-earth, the path under their feet, etc. makes it a really rewarding read.
>>7636647 fellowship of the ring is really good. they fucking nailed it two towers and return of the king worked less well, but had lots of great bits. the hobbit trilogy was a huge bloated mess that fucked up far more than it succeeded at.
>>7636647 LOTR are amazing, probably my favourtie films although they aren't perfect adaptions. I wish he would have included stuff like the Grey Company, the Knights of Dol Amroth and the armies of Gondor arriving in Minas Tirith, and then kept the storyline with the Army of the Dead more true to the books. But on the other hand that would have made the movies even longer.
The Hobbit movies are dreadful. Only the first one is tolerable. They should have been 1 or 2 movies.
i wonder how the movies would have been if they'd preserved the structure of the books, and the two towers was two movies, one about gimli, aragorn, legolas et al, and the other just about the frodo/sam/gollum love triangle and so on
Like the first reply-lad, I was maybe nine or ten. I seem to remember the end of the Two Towers being incredibly boring, like they were running down a hill or something; more generally, there were large descriptive passages that must have gone over my head but I just kept going. I got the important bits of the plot: they start in the shire (again, post-Hobbit), go east (again), then a bunch of shit happens in the middle that I forgot about but for the memory-jog of the movies. Big battle near mordor, nearby they succeed to destroy the ring and go home the end or something.
Somewhere in there I seem to remember "oliphants" as suggestive of elephants, a possible link to our world..?
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