I took this the major author’s course attempting to expand my reading interests. I’ve always picked up The Hobbit by Tolkien but as soon as I’d get to check it out, I would decide to put it back. I just wasn’t sure if I had the time to read it or if I was ready for it. I just really never had much of an interest in Tolkien or his writing. I wanted to change that. I thought that maybe if I was graded on reading, then it would actually motivate me to try fantasy. I mean I have read Harry Potter’s series but I wanted to go beyond the adolescent reading level. I’ve always just seen fantasy in the form of its stereotype: knights, a journey, dragons, and a great battle scene. None of that stuff really interested me too much, but something still made me want to try it.
I walked into the classroom without any prior experience. I have never seen any of The Lord of the Rings movies and I definitely have never read the novels. I struggled a lot with the readings. Some days I would sit in class and listen to the discussions without being able to follow everything. There is so much meticulous detail in his writing that it was very difficult for me to get through. It wasn’t like reading a Shakespeare play or anything but it certainly wasn’t easy. I think that it was especially hard to get into such a heavy series, in a short amount of time. I began to realize that you can’t force fantasy. I wasn’t sure how interested in the genre I was and I still don’t know. I have wondered that if I read The Lord of The Rings series at my own pace, I would be able to enjoy it better.
It was suggested in class and by a few people on the discussion board, to try watching the movies. I watched The Fellowship of The Ring, after only reading halfway through the novel. To my surprise, I loved it! I wanted to get back to read the book immediately. It was kind of like reinforcement for me. I’m usually not the kind of reader that uses spark notes or watches a movie to help me get through a book but it was actually very helpful.
There are a lot of things that I did enjoy about The Lord of The Rings. I thought that Middle Earth was such a fascinating place. It’s incredible that an author can create entire cultures, new creatures, and a completely different world all together. As a new reader of Tolkien and of fantasy in general, I would have to say that I am going to continue reading the genre.