Today is The Tolkien Society’s international Tolkien Reading Day! The theme this year is Love and Friendship.
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. Share your stories (Facebook and Instagram), tweets (Twitter), comments, and photos on any social media platform and use the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay2022. Most of all, we’d love to see videos of you sharing what Tolkien means to you and how he inspires Love and Friendship!
For this year’s Tolkien Reading Day we are holding three reading sessions on Saturday 26th March to enable people throughout the world to participate, outside of work time! Each session will last an hour and will take place at 9am (UTC/GMT), 1pm (UTC/GMT) and 6pm (UTC/GMT), and you can register for these free events here.
What can you do
The theme for this year’s Tolkien Reading Day is Love and Friendship. You can, of course, read any works by Tolkien – fiction or non-fiction – that you personally enjoy. But check out some of our suggestions:
- “Of Beren and Lúthien” and “Of the Return of the Noldor” in The Silmarillion
- “The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen”, “Mount Doom”, “The Grey Havens” and “Song of Eärendil” in The Lord of the Rings
- “Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife” and “Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan” in The Lord of the Rings
- The Children of Húrin
- “Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth” in Morgoth’s Ring
- “The Return Journey” in The Hobbit
Also check out our resource pack which isn’t just for students and teachers, but you can have some fun exploring Tolkien’s works as well!
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 seven 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.
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).
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 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.