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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 Hope and Courage.

Share a video, or let us know what you’re reading in the comments below or by using #TolkienReadingDay or #TolkienReadingDay2021 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. Join the Tolkien Society on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and the Centre for the Fantastic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Watch out for our posts between 1st and 25th March!

Share your stories (Facebook and Instagram), fleets (Twitter), comments, and photos on any social media platform and use the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay2021. Most of all, we’d love to see videos of you sharing what Tolkien means to you and how he inspires Hope and Courage!

Events

For this year’s Tolkien Reading Day the Tolkien Society is extremely excited to be teaming up with the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic at the University of Glasgow to host and celebrate the event.

We are working with the Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic to create engaging and interactive social media throughout March. On the 25th March we will come together and you will be able to attend one of the three Zoom meetings that will be taking place throughout the day for readers around the world to share their favourite passages and react to the passages shared by others. Did we also mention that these events are free to attend?

If you want to attend one of the free Zoom sessions on March 25th then you’re in luck as we are running sessions in the morning (9-10am GMT), midday (1-2pm GMT), and evening (6-7pm GMT) with the hope that you can find a session that is comfortable for you. Please use the Eventbrite links below to register for your preferred session! (Please note that the times shown on the Eventbrite pages automatically sync to your time zone.)

Register for the Morning Session

Register for the Midday Session

Register for the Evening Session

What can you read

The theme for this year’s Tolkien Reading Day is Hope and Courage. You can, of course, read any works by Tolkien – fiction or non-fiction – that you personally enjoy. But check out our reading packs:

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!

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. First elected in 2013, Shaun has overseen the Society's expansion from 600 to 2,500 members. Shaun regularly speaks about adaptations of Tolkien's works and the future of Tolkien scholarship whilst passionately believing the Society needs to reach out to new audiences. In his spare time he can be found playing video games and Lego, or on Twitter.