We wants it...we needs it!

When the first of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films came out in 2001, my brother David told me he was reading the books again, one a year so that he would finish a volume just before the corresponding film was released. I decided that was a good idea and I would do the same.

My parents gave me a boxed paperback set of The Lord of the Rings when I was about 16. I think they were tired of David and me arguing over who got to read their copies. I kept that boxed set for many decades, returning to read the books several times over the years. But during this last film-associated reading, time and many handlings finally took their toll.

These are not my books, but this is exactly what they originally looked like:

This is what they look like now (these are my actual books):

I had been thinking of getting a new set for a long time. I gave it so much thought because I wanted certain features:

  • a hardcover set in three separate volumes, preferably but not necessarily in a slipcase
  • sewn bindings, not perfect bound
  • cool illustrations (I really wanted Tolkien’s illustrations, but that feature was negotiable)
  • dust jackets on the books
  • fold-out maps of Middle Earth
  • a reasonable price (meaning, reasonable to me)

But when I started looking around in the bookstores, I found that many of the copies were perfect bound. The ones that weren’t were way too expensive. I found very nice omnibus editions with leather-like covers but no dust jackets. I found that there were no more copies being printed with the fold-out maps. I thought about getting used copies, like ones from the 1960s that had fold-out maps. But when I checked out that option, I found that older editions in good condition with fold-out maps were also very expensive.

So I went without. But every time I passed my bookcase and cast my eyes on that pathetically ragged paperback boxed set, I thought, “I have got to find a new Trilogy.” (Yes, I know it’s not really a trilogy, but I’ve been calling it that for about 40 years.)

Well. Recently I found a set I could live with. It was one I had looked at previously – it had all the features I wanted except the Tolkien illustrations and the fold-out maps – but I had passed on it because of the price. Now it was on sale for like 70% off. So I bought it. It came in the mail last week and is very beautiful.

The cloth covering the boards is so soft, I wish had a pair of pajamas made out of that material.

Not only is it beautiful and meets almost all my specifications, but the dust jackets are so shiny that, if you position them just right, they reflect the light in such a manner that you can do shadow figures on them.

A duck:

A rabbit:

A dog (that looks kind of like Scooby-Doo):

Anyway, I'm almost afraid to read these new books because they’re so pretty.


jared & megan said...

haha... so congratulations on the new set. what ever gave you the idea to do shadow figures???

Shannie said...

thou dost make me laugh.

Marlyse & Kenny said...

YOUR new set IS pretty. If i could I'd make you pajamas out of that material. I've been meaning to read your blog for so long now but I wanted to give it good time. Finally I pulled it up at home and got the chance to read a lot of it on the plane! You made me laugh.

Baxter Bugs said...

I thought perchance you were stretching the truth about the shadow figures. I'm elated you included pictures and must add you're rather talented in the shadow figure arena. I didn't even need your description of each figure because I could actually identify them myself. Well done.

Jeanette said...

I just kinda stumbled upon your blog. I was looking at people on blogger who had listed Testament of Youth as a favorite book and your user name caught my attention I clicked on it and started reading your blog and realized you are LDS, as am I. I've enjoyed reading your posts and thought I'd just drop a comment and let you know.