I’ll include both books here as they’re part and parcel of what became the same story.

I grew up with these books. We used to listen to the radio show during the 6hr trip to South Wales every year, almost religiously. I’ve read the Hobbit probably four times and LotR three although I’ve read individual chapters many many times over. I’ve  listened to audio tapes and radio plays dozens of times, seen the films maybe 6 times and am eagerly awaiting the film of the Hobbit.

(I’ve just written and deleted a long paragraph trying to put the book into context and justifying some of its faults. But you know what, I bored myself. I love these books for my own reasons, faults and all. And do you know what my favourite part is? .. the journey from Bag End to the Last Homely House. that brings back so many memories of holidays in Wales, of walking with friends and family of .. just the feel of it, the scenery, the smell, the sounds. Definitely a case of rose tinted hindsight there but I really don’t care. There are many things I will be grateful to my dad for and introducing me to these stories and this world is certainly one of them)

So, for me it still stands as an important and defining book that should forever have a place on my shelves, if not on my bedside table (except for the copies shown here .. they’re hidden away from grubby fingers .. but I’ve half a dozen other copies dotted about!)

Just for the sake of it . .the last Amazon links for the two books below are the editions I grew up with. The LotR’s sadly fell apart. But I replaced that one of my dads a few years ago and recently got a copy myself. The cover pictures bring back memories of a very different Middle-earth than that which the films created. One that was darker and more sinister but more beautiful, and far more British.