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Today is Tolkien Reading Day!
Tolkien reading The Hobbit. Taken by Pamela Chandler and © Diana Willson

Today is The Tolkien Society’s international Tolkien Reading Day! The theme this year is Nature and Industry.

Share a video, or let us know what you’re reading in the comments below or by using #TolkienReadingDay or #ReadTolkienatHome2020 on Twitter.

What’s going on?

Tolkien Reading Day is held on the 25th of March each year. The date of the 25th of March was chosen as the date on which the Ring was destroyed, completing Frodo’s quest and vanquishing Sauron.

It has been organised by the Tolkien Society since 2003 to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages. The Tolkien Society are launching a social media hashtag especially for this Reading Day. It will appear on Twitter and Facebook and will encourage the Tolkien community to include it in their own recorded readings, posts, reflections, quotations etc on their own social media pages. The hashtag will be #ReadTolkienatHome2020 and will be launched on Wednesday 25th.

What can you read

Leaf by Niggle

The theme for this year’s Tolkien Reading Day is Nature and Industry. You can, of course, read any works by Tolkien – fiction or non-fiction – that you personally enjoy. But some suggestions for what you might like to read as part of this year’s theme:

  • The Lord of the Rings, such as the chapters “The Old Forest”, “Lothlórien”, “Treebeard”, “Helm’s Deep”, “The Scouring of the Shire”;
  • Tales from the Perilous Realm, particularly Leaf by Niggle;
  • The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, such as letters 75, 78, 131, 155, 181; and
  • Beren and Lúthien.

How else you can participate

Share you stories and photos in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or by following us on Twitter and using the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay. But, most of all, we’d love to see videos of you reading!

The Tolkien Society are launching a social media hashtag especially for this Reading Day. It will appear on Twitter and Facebook and will encourage the Tolkien community to include it in their own recorded readings, posts, reflections, quotations etc on their own social media pages. The hashtag will be #ReadTolkienatHome2020 and will be launched on Wednesday 25th.

You can also view a selection of scholars reading Tolkien’s works, which we produced for our Tolkien Reading Day five years ago, on the theme of friendship.

Whatever you’re doing, take the opportunity to enjoy Tolkien’s works.

1. Library e-book loans

Many libraries are now granting e-book loans (university, college, school and local) so it may be worth contacting them or looking on their websites to find out what you can be loaned. Also liaise with your friends and your closest Smial members about your local options.

2. Audible.co.uk

Audible houses many Tolkien works, not just The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but other works such as The Fall of Gondolin, The Silmarillion, and Humphrey Carpenter’s Biography. The website also offers a great offer whereby if you set up an account, you can access the website for FREE for the first 30 days as a trial. Your account can then be cancelled on day 29 or 30 (unless you have fallen in love with their services).

3. Podcasts!

The 21st century has given rise to the podcast. In some podcasts, the hosts read out extracts from Tolkien’s texts and discuss them. Perhaps the most well known is The Prancing Pony Podcast – who, additionally, has been providing Reading Day Specials since their first year. However, there are more: The Tolkien Professor and The Tolkien Road to name just two. Tolkien Gateway (http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/List_of_Tolkien-related_podcasts) and Player FM both provide lists of podcast and links can be found on their websites.

4. Tolkien Collector’s Guide (Discord Reading Event)

This year, the Tolkien Collector’s Guide is hosting a reading event on Discord which will involve a vast range of guest readers from Tolkien scholars to stars of the Peter Jackson trilogies and Tolkien artists. If you are interested in finding out more about the event you can visit their webpage.

5. Amazon’s ‘Look inside’

Amazon is unlike any other. It allows potential buyers to view the ‘first pages’ of a book. This can be done with a whole host of Tolkien books! If you’ve never encountered this feature before, simply locate a copy of the book you wish to read and on the top-right corner of the book cover will be the words ‘look inside’. If you click on the cover, it will open up the book and you can read a small portion of the text. 100% legal. 100% safe.

6. Talk to a friend

This may sound simple, but arranging a call with a friend can be enough just to share your favourite passages and thoughts from Tolkien.


Although we are currently facing our own enemy in the shadows, there are ways in which we can continue to enjoy the works of our beloved Tolkien. As the Tolkien Society we do not encourage or condone piracy or breaches of copyright in any way. We advise that any links that are shared on social media pages are those that are legal. Below is a list of possible ways you can enjoy reading or listening to Tolkien this Reading Day.

About the Author: Shaun Gunner
Shaun is the Chair of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2013, Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time can be found in the cinema, playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter.