January 30, 2011 § 7 Comments


Dear Noble Readers,

I write to share with you all the sad news, so that you may lament with me.

My copy of The Lord of the Rings is broken.


In that book one has detached itself from the cover and is attempting to escape. It is a three-volumes-in-one hardback, so this should not be occurring. It makes it quite an interesting challenge trying to read it.

Now, I realise this looks pretty black for me. Have I really read this book so many times that I have driven a hardback book to complete despair? Have I so mercilessly used and abused it that I have, single-handedly, destroyed its will to live? If this is true, my subconscious must be steeped in Tolkien, soaked through with elves and dwarves and talking trees and the curious (and apparently universal) habit of singing all the time. This would not bode well for the originality of my writing.

Fortunately, this is not the case. I can declare my innocence in this matter. I hear you breathe a sigh of relief; had you begun to fear you were talking with yet another tired Tolkien-imitator? Another wannabe elf-queen with a better of grasp of elven languages than modern, and no capacity for original thought? Fear not. The book in question has served two generations of fantasy readers with faithful dedication. It has been passed around multiple family members, multiple times, and has graced my own bedside-table only twice before the current reading.

At any rate, I must now face the task of replacing it. Since my partner is also an enthusiast for Aragorn and Frodo Baggins, I would love to get for us a beautiful box-set, with each book individually published in hardback. Unfortunately these appear to go for at least £60, which is more than I can justify spending on any book at present. Paperback is obviously out of the question.

To await the opportunity to acquire that box-set, then, or to hazard some other edition? Any recommendations? This delicate problem requires considerable research and some careful thought, as I am sure you will appreciate.

P.S. As this is my Sunday post, I must also fulfil the promise I made several weeks back and share my new word count on The Beast, sometimes known as The Ongoing Novel.

The word count is now: 25480


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§ 7 Responses to Broken…

  • lyonesse2710 says:

    I think theres a good hardback copy of all three books with illustrations by alan lee… its about £20 if you shop around, I think… let me see if I can find it…

  • What a great description. I can literally see the pages escaping from their bond!
    What’s wrong with paperback? I have THREE copies of Lord of the Rings (both in English and in Dutch), and want to buy a fourth hard copy leather bound set. Somewhere in the future. With maps and everything 😀
    Nice post and good luck with finding a replacement.

    • Charlotte says:

      Multiple copies is pretty sensible for those books one can’t live without! There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with paperbacks per se – most of my large book collection is in paperback – but I like to get hardbacks of those I’ve been reading for years and I know I’ll want to keep reading for many years more. Especially if they are ever shared around. They last better! And they’re beautiful to handle. For now I may settle for getting the Kindle edition, and save up for that delicious boxed set later whenever/if ever I can afford it.

  • I have this one:

    It’s a beautiful book, but the pages are so thin I have to be a little careful reading it. The Silmarillion and The Hobbit in the same editions have thicker paper. It just feels good reading those editions though.

    I wanted the history of middle earth in the same edition, and regret the fact I didn’t buy it when I had the chance a few years back, since they don’t come up very often, and now they’re just ridiculous prices!

    Fortunately I do have some trashy editions for bus/bath usage too 😉

    • Charlotte says:

      That’s a beautiful-looking book, I’m sorry I missed those editions. It’s true that it can make a real difference to the reading experience if you’re using a really lovely, high-quality book – it’s a second layer of pleasure.

      There’s much sense to having multiple editions for different uses. I do this with my Jane Austens, and perhaps I should expand the principle to some other classics. A paperback or two, a hardback and a Kindle… it’s like having one to wash, one to wear and one to air 😉

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