Friday, September 23, 2016

New Tolkien Book

The Hobbit
The Hobbit Facsimile First Edition
J.R.R. Tolkien
Release Date: September 22, 2016

The blurb:
This sumptuous gift set includes a replica of the very rare first edition of The Hobbit, the only edition where one can now read the original version of the story before Tolkien re-edited it to become the one enjoyed by readers since 1951. The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. History was already being made. The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans. In addition, subsequent changes to the text - particularly those to chapter 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its 'sequel', The Lord of the Rings - mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult. This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers of all ages - not just 'children between the ages of 5 and 9', as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission - can finally enjoy Tolkien's story as it originally appeared.
I first saw rumors of this book back in 2010/2011 for the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit. However, it seems that nothing came of it back then - it was certainly never available for order. I'm glad to see it available now for the 80th anniversary. I've loved the previous facsimile edition of one of Tolkien's books - Mr. Bliss.

The Annotated HobbitAll I know is that I really want to get a copy of this one. Most of the information on the differing editions and rewrites of The Hobbit is already available, most notably through the Annotated Hobbit - another very spectacular book, which I am sad to admit, I have not actually read all the way through.

Maybe I'm also simply a sucker for slipcased books, especially when it comes to Tolkien. I know I'm something of a collector of Tolkien's books - see the somewhat scary list and photos posts for proof if you wish, but I've also fallen quite behind when it comes to actually reading the books. Not that that's going to stop me from continuing to add to my collection.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


Honestly, I'm rather amazed at the way Outlander themed products are popping up everywhere. There are, of course, the books, short stories, one graphic novel, two seasons of the TV series, soundtracks, and then you find all the other odds and ends. A quick search of results in calendars, dolls, interview videos, a reading order e-book? (I'm blinking at this last item. Why would you pay for something like that?), the colouring book - which I have to say is pretty good, and a fun way to spend some time, T-shirts, photographs, knitting patterns (that might be interesting to try out), and more.

Nonetheless, it's becoming one of my favorite series (both to watch and to read). I can't wait for the third season to air next year - and I'm doing a re-read for the first time in about ten years - maybe more. I'd only read up to the Fiery Cross previously. In my re-reading though, I'll admit to really only picking it up at Voyager - I decided that the TV series version of the first two seasons would stand in very well at refreshing my memory. It's also had one of the best soundtracks I've heard in a while - I'm listening to the first soundtrack cd at least once every couple of weeks or so. More detailed thoughts on some of the books have been posted here in the past:
The Fiery Cross (reviewed in 2009)
Outlander (2012 review)
Exile: An Outlander Graphic Novel (2010)

My husband and I got busy over the summer and rather forgot about Outlander for a couple of months. Then last week, we were reminded that we had the second half of the season sitting on the PVR. It only took us a week to finish watching the season - couldn't wait until the next evening to watch the next episode (with hour and a half to two hour episodes finishing the season, we couldn't justify staying up late enough to watch more than one episode at a time).

Now I'm getting sucked back into the book series - it's a great way to tide over the gap until the next season airs, and remembering why it was that the first time I read Outlander I was highly frustrated by discovering that there were sequels, but that I was going to have to wait a month before I could read any of them. I just couldn't wait - but couldn't borrow them from the library right away.

A question for anyone who has the newer version of the Outlandish Companion - first volume. Is there any difference between the new version and the old version for the Outlandish Companion?

Friday, September 2, 2016

New York Times Article on Printed Books

I've run into another article on books now too. This one's from the New York Times:

No, the Internet Has Not Killed the Printed Book. Most People Still Prefer Them.
by Daniel Victor
Even with Facebook, Netflix and other digital distractions increasingly vying for time, Americans’ appetite for reading books — the ones you actually hold in your hands — has not slowed in recent years, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
As one of those people who loves physical books, this is good news. At the same time I will admit to using my e-reader frequently - and often being frustrated that the book I want to read isn't on there but is on my physical shelf (I mostly use my Kobo for reading while camping or travelling), which explains why about half of the books on there are duplicates of books I own in paper form.

Allison Hoover Bartlett on The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much - Allison Hoover BartlettAlison Hoover Bartlett, the author who wrote The Man Who Loved Books Too Much can be found on the WNYC website talking about the book and John Gilkey. The show is On The Media, and the interviewers are Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone.

The interview is available in both audio and a transcript format - handy for those of us who are temporarily stuck with incredibly slow internet. It is apparently an interview from 2009, when the book first came out, but it's still interesting to read.


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