Tolkien Reading Day began following an enquiry from a New York Times journalist in January 2002:
My grandparents were fishing folk from Buckie in the north of Scotland, carriers of the old stories and legends, and the trilogy has filled a certain hole in my life. I have many friends here in New York who were equally moved by the book, reignited by the film, and we all wondered: is there any day devoted informally to readings from the trilogy, in the way that “bloomsday” is devoted to Joyce?
The committee liked the idea so much that they choose 25 March 2002 to be the first “Tolkien Reading Day”, and the rest, as they say, is history!
The idea is simply to promote the reading of Tolkien by encouraging people to pick up one of the books and start reading. The Society suggests a particular theme each year. Many local groups organise events based in a library or museum.