September 22nd is the Birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two Hobbits from Hobbiton in the Shire. Both of these “Halflings” set out on great adventures through the lands of Middle Earth as they fought the forces of evil- saving the world in the process. After a multitude of books, comics, games, and movies, both of these characters have earned a place in the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. For this special day, I thought I would tell my history with Bilbo, Frodo, and their creator- J.R.R. Tolkien.
Lord of the Rings came out when I was still in high school. At the time, I worked at a movie theater that showed the films. I know we weren’t supposed to do it, but after the theater closed at night my friends and I would set up special screenings just for our schoolmates. One night, the word got out about the special screening of the second film, The Two Towers. Much to our dismay, about 100 students that were not invited showed up to see the movie at midnight. I am pretty sure our boss knew about it, but luckily enough we did not get in trouble.
The next year, I was studying abroad in Italy. While out there, I felt pretty alone not having my friends around and not being able to talk with the locals (my Italian was very rudimentary). The one area that I was able to seek comfort was in books. Luckily, there were a few English bookstores in town that had everything I needed. Over the course of several weeks, I worked my way through the entire Tolkien library. I actually read the majority of The Hobbit on a train to Naples. Getting into that universe really helped me feel less lonely as it felt like I had some friends along for the trip.
Tonight, I plan on diving into the movies again as it has been some time since I last watched them. I encourage everyone to do the same. In case you need some for your library, feel free to check out our selection here.