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Old 10-09-2003, 10:07 PM   #1
miellien
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Question How old were you the first time you read LOTR?

I have an ulterior motive here. My son is almost 10 and I've been wondering when to give him the books. I don't want it to be too early and spoil it for him. But here's my story:

9 years old. Got FotR on a Friday, on Saturday announced to my parents that I was not leaving the house until they got me the rest of the books and I finished reading them!! I've been reading them anually ever since. What's your story?
-Mi- [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 10-09-2003, 10:16 PM   #2
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I'm relatively new to LotR. I first knew of it when they showed the FotR movie. Then my sister (Lhunardawen) started reading the books. I began to read the books a few weeks before the TTT movie.

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->The True Son of Finrod, and of Amarie the Vanyar

EDIT: Sorry! The question was how old! I'm 17 now, and I read the book last year. That makes me 16 when I first read LotR.

[ October 10, 2003: Message edited by: Nilpaurion Felagund ]
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:16 AM   #3
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I first read them when I was about 10. I read about how Legolas could shoot and wanted to be just like him. So I pestered my father until he got me a bow. Hard as I try I still can't do it. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:57 AM   #4
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hmmm, The Hobbit at 5, Part of Fellowship at 7 (I had a short attention span, I Was SEVEN!!), But I finally read the entire trilogy at 12.
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Old 10-10-2003, 01:47 AM   #5
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I read The Lord of the Rings at 13...i started reading it a month after i finished reading The Hobbit...i couldn't really help myself [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-10-2003, 05:38 AM   #6
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Hobbit ~ aged 3.

Lotr ~ not sure.

Everything else ~ recently.
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Old 10-10-2003, 06:01 AM   #7
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I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was 17 and The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales when I was 18. Coupled with the introduction to the world of Andrew W.K, this period was the point when my life completely changed!

I sometimes wonder if it was the right time to start reading it. Maybe if I had been younger it wouldn't have meant so much today, because I possibly wouldn't have been so disillusionised with the real world back then.
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:10 AM   #8
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I read the Hobbit when I was ten, and started the other books when I was 11.
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:27 PM   #9
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I think that there has already been a topic like this but not with the motive. But I was exposed to Tolkien sience birth. If he is ten then give him the Hobbit and then let him read it slowly, I think I was about that age when I read it. But anyway I think that it could also make a neet family event. You can also go to your Library and get it on tape and let him listen to it.

Rant Rant Rant...... I love exposing the young ones to Tolkien!
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when you influence inncent children to read The Hobbit
from the you know your obbsessed thread... the old one.a funny thing....
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:40 PM   #10
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I read the Hobbit then LOTR when I was 11. But I don't think you should start your son on LOTR that young, because frankly I didn't understand it properly. I didn't understand Éowyn at all, and I really regret that, because having seen the films I can see what a great character she really is, and no matter how many times you read them you can't really recapture that feeling you had when you first read it- the sheer wonder and awe. Being able to have understood the whole Éowyn-Aragorn thing first time would have made the experience much more complete. The thing is, when you are that young, the sutblety (sp?) just leaves you confused. It's like reading Thomas Hardy, for goodness' sake. I read that last year, when I was 14, and the sutblety was so extreme that I wouldn't have noticed that the girl got raped had my english teacher not warned me beforehand.
Ok, long post and not much point...except to say not too young. Maybe 13 or 14, when you are more certain that Éowyn is suffering from unrequited love- or supposedly anyway.
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Old 10-10-2003, 06:02 PM   #11
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I was 12 when I read LOTR but I didn't really appreciate it at the time. The parts where Sam and Frodo were slogging through Mordor bored me to tears. The writing style changed so much from FotR to RotK and became much more "grown up" so that it was hard for me to pay attention at that age. I appreciate the books more now that I'm older.

Maybe physical age has less to do with it than emotional/mental age. What sorts of books does your son like to read now? If he's not such a big reader, he may like easier books like Harry Potter or Narnia or the Chronicles of Prydain.

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Old 10-10-2003, 06:25 PM   #12
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I was 8 years old when I first read LotR, and surprisingly, I loved it. I had read the Hobbit a year before, and I had gone completely crazy about all things Middle-earth. Thankfully, my parents were busy with their Residency/Ph.D's, and couldn't afford a TV with a bunch of channels, so all I could do was read, which was what I did.
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Old 10-10-2003, 06:43 PM   #13
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When I was four, my dad started reading a chapter of The Hobbit every night as a bedtime story. I didn't find it all that hard to understand, but then, maybe I'm just smart. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:30 PM   #14
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This doesn't sound good....but I was tweenty-six, now I'm tweenty-seven...but I did read The Hobbit when I was younger.
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:49 PM   #15
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I think I was 12 when I first read The Hobbit and LotR. But that was after having seen the FotR movie, so I understood much better since I already knew the basics.
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Old 10-10-2003, 09:25 PM   #16
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Oooh, goody, advice!! I was thinking there may have been a topic like this previously, but when I tried to search my computer just sat there for 15 minutes so I gave up. Plus, I really appreciate the input directed at my "ulterior motive." I'll keep reading- it's great to see I'm not the only person who warped their childhood ...I mean started reading the books young and becoming obsessed!! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-11-2003, 02:32 AM   #17
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I first read the entire trilogy when I was 16, after I had seen FOTR. Yes, I am ashamed sometimes that I had not discovered the books at an earlier age (well, I did kind of discover them while I was in 7th grade, but that is a long and complicated story), but at least I discovered them.

I think it is okay though to give him the books at 10, that is definitely not too young. It could be a very lovely birthday or holiday present. And if it is too difficult for him at this time, you could read it too him, or he could just have the books there, and then pick them up when he is ready [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-12-2003, 03:01 PM   #18
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I read them at 11 and the Silm prob at 12.

As for being to young, my opine is that the archetypal images and beutiful writing convey much even if one does not understand all the nuances. I read the Hobbit to both of my girls when they were 3 or 4 and my oldest started reading the LotR herself [after we had finished it] at five.
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Old 10-12-2003, 06:21 PM   #19
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Hmm, I think I was about 12 or 13 years old. The movies got me introduced. My birthday is usually after the movies so I think I had just turned 13. This year Return of the King is the day before my birthday! December 16th! I'm a RotK eve baby ;-) [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 10-12-2003, 07:55 PM   #20
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Silmaril

I must have been about 10 when I was first introduced to the Hobbit - we read it in class at school. I went on to read LotR aged about 11 or so. I wouldn't discourage reading it at that age. I have since drawn a lot more from it in subsequent readings, and learned a lot more about Tolkien's world from the other books and from this site, but none of that comes anywhere near to matching the sheer wonder and magic of the book that I experienced when I first read it.

I have recently read the Hobbit to my 5 year old daughter, and she loved it. And I will encourage her to read it herself when she is a bit older. If she is still interested when she is age 10 (which, knowing her, I imagine she will be), I will encourage her to read LotR (or perhaps we shall read it together).

Which all goes to say, miellien. that I would think 9/10 to be an excellent age to introduce your son to the Hobbit, closely followed by LotR. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-12-2003, 08:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Yes, I am ashamed sometimes that I had not discovered the books at an earlier age...
Yes, so true...so true...now my friends tell me that it's just a fad hyped by the movie...wish I had been a Tolkien reader earlier in my life... [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 10-12-2003, 08:34 PM   #22
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Silmaril

Too young.

I was eight, and while I understood the story, it wasn't until almost now that I've begun to understand some of the underlying meanings in the books. They're so much deeper than I at first knew.

And I was 11 when I read the Silm, but the real meat of that was about ten miles over my head. I got the story, but not the story, if that makes sense.
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Old 10-12-2003, 09:05 PM   #23
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Question

I really appreciate everybody's input so far!! I'm pretty sure I'm going to start my son on The Hobbit and see if he asks to read the "sequels" on his own. He has enjoyed the DVDs so far, so at least he'll be familiar with the storyline.
Nobody else barricaded themselves in their room and refused to come out for anything but food and other necessities until they completed all three plus appendices? [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-12-2003, 10:13 PM   #24
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I was 12, in fact, a year ago yesterday I finished the TTT.8) Bring sback memories.
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Old 10-13-2003, 04:58 AM   #25
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Quote:
Nobody else barricaded themselves in their room and refused to come out for anything but food and other necessities until they completed all three plus appendices?
I think it's taken me two years or more so far to read Lotr, and I still have bits to read. I would barricade myself in my room, but I'd probably die [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

But I did deprive myself of sleep for about 2 weeks so I could get through the Silmarillion. That was to please the rest of the Barrow Downs members, because I said I would never read the Sil, and I wanted to show them that I could actually read it. I also spent most of my nights re-reading Lotr, because they refused to believe I had read it in the first place.

I'm a very dedicated member [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-13-2003, 08:23 AM   #26
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I barricaded myself in my room, with a large supply of food (Pringles, Hershey Bars, and Diet Coke) until I finished the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales. I think that was about a 36-hour reading sprint! (I'm a speed-reader so it wasn't overly hard).
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Old 10-13-2003, 11:04 AM   #27
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LotR at 14, Hobbit at 6 (I think), The Sil at 15, UT at 16 and all the books ever since [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-14-2003, 05:46 AM   #28
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I was around ten years old myself when I was first acquainted with LOTR (that was a real long time ago...) I discovered The Hobbit a year later. I don't think age ten is "too early" to get started on Tolkien. Some parents even read bits of LOTR to their preschoolers at bedtime.

Hello miellien: [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] Even if your boy is young, I'm sure he will fall in love with the story, the charactes and Middle-Earth itself - even if he misses the subtle clues and undertones. One needen't be the overly intelligent and perceptive type. Anyway, if there would be some things that he may be "too young" to grasp, he can always re-read and re-read the books, delving deeper into Tolkien-dom as his mind matures.

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Old 10-14-2003, 08:29 PM   #29
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I was about 10 when I read the Hobbit, in fourth grade, ages ago. It's hard to read LotR straight on, it's so long... I wanted to read other books, too...So I spread it out over the past four years. I'm still finishing RotK. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

[ October 14, 2003: Message edited by: kittiewhirl1677 ]
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:34 PM   #30
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I guess I was about 12 when I read LotR, and "The Hobbit" a few days after I finished RotK. I wanted to know more, more, more about Middle Earth. I wish I had read "The Hobbit" first, not because of the chronology, but because after crying with Sam all the way back from the Gray Havens, it was a bit of a let down to start in on the comic antics if 13 dwarves and a hobbit on a treasure hunt. "The Hobbit" has never been as close to my heart as the rest of Tolkien's work because of that. Not that I don't like it, just that I don't love it as much as LotR or Sil.
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Old 10-14-2003, 09:54 PM   #31
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Silmaril

I think I was around 7 when I first read The Hobbit. I started to read everything else when Fellowship came out, when I was 15. I have been reading everything else (Silm, UT, and other Tolkein related stuff) since.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:18 AM   #32
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My mom read the Hobbit to me when I was 3... I have read on my own twice.
I read the trilogy, correction I finnished the trilogy when I was 13...

~Jack
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Old 10-16-2003, 08:12 AM   #33
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I was 11, and it took me 5 weeks to get through The Hobbit and all of LOTR, and I got the Silmarrilion on my 12th b-day.
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Old 10-16-2003, 02:03 PM   #34
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i read the hobbit when i was, ooooooh, 10 or 11 and it took me a week.

i read LOTR when i was 14 and it took me 12 days
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Old 10-16-2003, 02:26 PM   #35
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I hardly remember how old I was. I believe I was 6 or 7. My father read the books to me when I was very young, and I decided to read the Silmarillion on my own when I was at least 7. So, I would say any age would be fine/
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Old 10-16-2003, 02:41 PM   #36
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I read the Hobbit when I was about 13 but I never truly read LotR until about a year ago (age 16). I only read the books after I had seen FotR and decided that before I watched TTT I HAD to read the books. I only finished TTT before watching the movie but... at least I read it. My goal is to read the trilogy again before ROTK comes out but I'm only half way through TTT and my schedule prevents me from getting time to read so... (yeah that was a bit off topic....) I have Sim. but haven't read it yet and as for the other books I plan on reading those before I graduate.

As for being too young, I think as long as they are willing to read it and are interested in it then they are of a good enough age to read it.
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Old 10-17-2003, 05:13 PM   #37
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Younger readers will not appriciate the beautiful works of LOTR, I did not understand it.
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Old 10-17-2003, 05:14 PM   #38
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But i do not have the opinion of the whole world, nor every young reader.
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Old 10-17-2003, 06:07 PM   #39
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Quote:
Younger readers will not appriciate the beautiful works of LOTR, I did not understand it.
No, I didn't understand it, in the sense that I understand it now, when I first read it. There was much that I missed. But I did derive a great sense of wonder from it. Looking back now, I feel that there is an immense amount to be gained from the Books when you are young and your imagination is at its height that you can never totally recapture as an adult reader, however greater your understanding is in other ways.

So, I don't think it matters at all that a young reader may not appreciate everything about the work - especially when they have many years of re-reading pleasure before them. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Edit:

Quote:
He has enjoyed the DVDs so far, so at least he'll be familiar with the storyline.
I meant to come back to this point, miellien. I was not at all sure that I should have let my children watch the film, in case it impairs the sense of wonder that I hope that they will experience on first reading the Book. In many ways I would rather they had been given the opportunity to form their own impressions before being influenced by the images presented in the films.

In the end, I let them watch FotR, principally because I cannot imagine that they would not in any event have watched it themselves before coming round to read the Book. But I do wonder whether that was the right thing to so.

[ October 17, 2003: Message edited by: The Saucepan Man ]
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Old 10-17-2003, 09:06 PM   #40
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It kind of disturbs me that so many young kids cheered and oogled when Lurtz got his little spinal surgery courtesy of Aragorn, but I'm not here to preach on youth's downfalls.

Being still somewhat young myself, I only discovered Lord of the Rings two years ago. Hopefully, I can now rub elbows with the best of Tolkienites after severe, self-inflicted training, but I would bet that for kids under 10 the book might be scary, and for kids under 12 the movie is too much. Just my humble opinion.

Not to mention that a lot of kids might get choked up on the style Tolkien has.
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