(Above: notice the bookmark in ‘Unfinished Tales’ … currently in my second read – notice also, the horrendous lighting setup in all these pictures. Apologies.)
– Your first introduction
If your intention is to read and re-read as much of Tolkien as you can (whether you are a serious collector or not), paperbacks are an indispensable element in your reading experience. Light, easy to handle and containing pretty much the exact same text as any other version, paperbacks will always be there with you. Sure, after a couple of years you’ll start noticing ugly creases along the spine of your books, or brown marks littering the edges of the pages, but the words and the emotion contained inside will still be there.
It seems only natural that, when you’re introduced to a new book or author, you instinctively try and acquire a paperback. If, after reading, your interest increases exponentially (and you start to acquire a taste for collecting), you’ll be making your way through hardbacks and deluxe editions in no time.
Because paperbacks are your first introduction to a particular author or genre.
They are the “stepping stones” towards a new and uncharted reading experience. They’ll be there even after you’ve long since passed to more “suitably presented” books (unless you throw them away … blasphemy!).
The same thing has happened with my own collection of Tolkien. Whenever I decide to re-read (or tackle for the first time) a novel or collection of essays, I tend to use a paperback. Furthermore, whenever I need to research a particular subject in the vast framework of Tolkien’s fantasy I prefer the ease-of-use that comes with paperbacks.
If you went through my article on ‘Discovering Middle-earth: Part IV’, you would have read about my ridiculous attempt to begin reading ‘The Two Towers’ first … hence, the reason why I have a different version of the book compared to the first and third one – and honestly, I never got around acquiring a ‘The Two Towers’ paperback which was of the same edition and look as the others … procrastination at its best!
– Special Mention
I had nowhere else to place this, but considering that it’s an essential part of what makes ‘The Bookcase’ so special, here it goes – my very own lenticular poster of Gollum!
It’s wonderful to be treated by the 3D-glare of Gollum, as soon as you swing the bookcase doors open – he almost lunges out at you …
And with that, we conclude the ‘My Tolkien Collection’ series. In the meantime, I need to go back to ‘The Bookcase’ and do some dusting!
Which reminds me … my next post will be tackling how I take care of all these books – and the right way to handle them.
- My Tolkien Collection: An Introduction (atolkienistperspective.wordpress.com)