Even though my last Reddit based reaction post wasn’t widely received, I had a lot of fun putting it together. “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again,” they say. So here I am, giving this reaction thing another shot. Plus, sometimes it’s fun scrolling through the r/books subReddit, or whatever those things are called. I’m used to the terms “forum” or “message board,” which I’m not sure are even still a thing.
When I saw this question I KNEW I had to answer it because I have several that are “white whales” for me. Some are older books, published a long time ago. Others are recent, modern stories.
My final unfortunate answer is JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit. And I really hope my friend Beth won’t hate me for this answer! (She’s a huge Tolkein fan and I applaud her for it). Any author or book series can have fans. Which fan bases come to mind most often? Harry Potter, 50 Shades of Grey, Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and many others I cannot think of at almost 10:00 at night.
The funny thing is, JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis (famed Narnia author) were contemporaries. They knew and conversed regularly with one another as they developed their respective worlds. Imagine what Tolkein knew of the Narnia backstory we may not, and vice versa!
While I can appreciate the history, imagination, skill and determination behind The Hobbit and its fellow tales, I cannot seem to bring myself to read it. My dad gave me a copy as a child and from page one I felt overwhelmed by its words. Now mind you, I was an avid reader. But I loved science fiction, ghost stories and adventures.
Of course, I now know The Hobbits story, but it was one of those ones which gives me that same childhood anxiety whenever I try to read it. Every year as I watch more and more Tolkein lore videos over on YouTube, I am tempted to attempt reading The Hobbit again. Maybe I’ll finally do so in 2023? The year is still young and there’s plenty of time.