Welcome to How I Got Here, Part Deux
“I wonder what I should read next,” I wondered aloud at work one day. Stephanie, from the cubicle across from me, said, “I know exactly what you’re going to read next.” The very next day she handed me four paperbacks with odd titles about hobbits and rings and towers and things.
“I’ve actually been meaning to read these for a while,” I said. “I even started The Hobbit in sixth grade, but I never finished it.” For some odd reason I was told it was “too advanced” for me. (Never mind that a ten year old Rayner Unwin didn’t have a problem with it.)
I ripped through Bilbo’s adventures in no time and was eager to begin on the first book of the
trilogy Ed: Hey, it’s NOT a trilogy. It’s a single novel published in three volumes for post-war economic reasons. But a funny thing happened to me on the way to Rivendell. I got a bit lost. First, I couldn’t figure out where Bilbo went. He turned eleventy-one, then vanished. And we’re left with Frodo? Are you kidding? Bilbo’s the hero. What kind of sequel is this?
A few chapters into it, I found myself in Austria on business. I decided to start over, in a clear frame of mind and away from it all. My second start was much better. The story gripped me exactly the way it did millions before me. I remember not being able to put it down until I knew if Strider, Legolas, and Gimli would catch that band of orcs heading to Isengard. I was simply stunned to find out Gandalf the Beige was actually Luke’s father. And who didn’t cry at the end when Aragorn finally defeated Oz and married Professor Trelawney?
In all seriousness, though, I took to (what’s since come to be known as) The Books like a duck in water. I’ve read them once a year since then with no plans to stop any time soon.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves now.
Next in the series: The first book I wrote.
In the meantime, watch this.