Book Review: The Hobbit

The Hobbit: Or There and Back AgainThe Hobbit: Or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read this novel in March of 1991. I had to do a book report about a novel I had never read. On a whim, I asked the Librarian, at the County Branch near our house, what was good and she asked me what I liked. I responded with, “Dinosaurs and Dragons.” It was a forgone conclusion. I consumed this book repeatedly, reading it through at least half a dozen times in the ten years following. However, I have not read any of the LOTR cycle since the first movie was shown. Twenty years later, The Hobbit is still one of my favorites and I plan to share it with my daughter for the first time very soon. Hence, I am beginning to look for a new copy that I can read and give to her one day.

This is what I know and why I will buy this addition. Anyone looking to read Tolkien should purchase the Ring books and/or Middle Earth writings in individual trade paperback or hardback form, if at all possible. The Omnibus editions, produced during the movie PR blitz of the LOTR, are so large that the binding does not hold up well over time or multiple readings. Additionally, the dust jackets and book cover illustrations of the larger editions look wonderful on the shelf.

I first purchased copies a mass market paperback anniversary edition box set in 1994. I have never been happy with it. Even though the box looks nice, the font size is small and difficult for lengthy reads. In addition, it is missing some of the illustrations that are found in the larger print copies. What copies of the trade paperbacks and hardback editions I have collected have all been used. I truly enjoy reading an older personally annotated copy. Its like reading the book with an unknown friend.

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