What I’m Reading – A Very Nice Surprise

Lord of the RingsI usually have a dozen books on the go, flipping between fiction and non-fiction and yet more non-fiction on other readers.

In the last week that has come to a grinding halt, surprising the crap out of mildly-OCD me.

What happened?

Two things.

Number one

I bought a Brian Tracy book on Amazon, who offered me the Audible edition at a sharply discounted rate, so I shrugged and bought it.

That doesn’t seem too ground-breaking, does it?  But:

  • It was my first audio book purchase, ever (don’t look like that!  I’m an anal-retentive writer who likes her text).
  • It was my first Audible purchase and I was encouraged to download the Audible app for my phone, which I did.
  • Then I discovered that, of course, this now meant that I could switch from music in the music player app, to audio books in another app and not lose my place in either.  Bliss!

Number Two

I tripped over a Kindle edition anthology of all three of the Lord of the Rings volumes, with absolutely shitty one star reviews glittering like quartz in tarmac.

Fascinated, I read them, and found that most of the problem wasn’t Tolkien’s prose (phew!), but the conversion to ebook – the script was error-riddled.  One reviewer reproduced an example in her review:  The typo completely changed the meaning of the sentence to the complete opposite of what Tolkien had originally written!  Horrors!

Another reviewer kindly pointed out that the single book editions by another publisher were relatively error free.  I flipped over to look at the reviews there and there was, indeed, a review at the very top that said this edition was mostly error free and a safe purchase.

It suddenly occurred to me that I don’t have an ebook version of Lord of the Rings, and I had a positive balance at Amazon…so I bought it the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring.

Then…I started reading it.

Actually, what happened was that I opened the book up in my Kindle app to see if the maps that came with the print copy were included (they are), then found myself on the first page of the introduction.  I found myself reading the first paragraph.  Then the first page.  Then I gave up and settled in to read the whole introduction, promising myself I’d stop there until I really had time to read.

I think you can guess how that went.

I’m now where Frodo, Sam, Pippin and Merry are standing on the road to Bree, talking about how they’re now outside the Shire and in the world of the Big Folk.  Strider is just ahead.

I’ve fallen in love with the book all over again.

I realized just this morning that it has been over ten years since I read Lord of the Rings.  I used to read through the books and some of the appendices at least once a year…before the movies came along and made sitting through the movies a Christmas-time tradition for me, instead.

So Tolkien’s story-telling is suddenly fresh and …well, not fresh – Jackson and Pippa Boyens picked up a huge amount of dialogue straight out of the book, trimmed it up and put it into the movie.  But I’m re-reading with new appreciation.

Now I have visuals and aural effects to go along with my reading.  I can hear Ian McKellan rumbling in my head as I read Gandalf’s dialogue.

After ten years of watching just the movies, I’m discovering with a nice bit of surprise just how much didn’t make it into the movies.  All the critical elements did, of course, but there’s hug swathes of history (Tolkien was a history nut, and a linguist) that simply couldn’t find a way to the screen.  I’m so enjoying those bits!

Even for a movie as long (11 hours and 22 minutes) as Lord of the Rings, there’s still more to be found in the book – which holds true for just about any movie based on a previously published book.  I just forgot this rule, in relation to LOTR.

To my great surprise and delight.

I’m wallowing in this read through.  I’m not rushing it.  I’m reading slowly and enjoying each section.

It’s such a treat.  Between Lord of the Rings and the non-fiction on Audible for times when I’m walking (with neither losing their place) I’ve been monogamous for a week.

Wow.

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4 Comments

  1. Robyn Larson April 18, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Haven’t read the books since High School. Guess I’ll just have to go and get the books. I did go out and buy “The Hobbit” though. And I have a book that is ther folklore behind the Lord of the Rings.Haven’t read them yet though.

    • Tracy April 20, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Ah, The Hobbit — that’s one I’m putting off reading. I remember it being fairly simplistic. It was written for kids. But the movies are presenting all sorts of characters and developments I don’t remember in the slightest, so I think I may just have to have another read of that one.

  2. Bettyl1946 April 18, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I really thinks that you will find that almost ALL kindle books have a lot of errors. Guess after a while you just learn to read behind the lines!

    • Tracy April 19, 2014 at 5:26 am

      Hi Betty:

      I read ebooks almost exclusively (I get grumpy if I’m forced back to print — and I can’t remember the last time that happened). The vast majority of books I read are as error-free as one would expect of commercially-released fiction. That is, very few to zero typos.

      I don’t know what books you have been reading to reach the unfortunate conclusion that Kindle formatted books are all full of errors, because in my experience this is simply not true. If the books you are buying ARE error-riddled, then return them and demand your money back. You should expect your fiction to be professionally presented. You should not be “reading behind the lines”!

      Cheers,

      Tracy

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