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Age for Hobbit

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  • juliet@firinn.org
    How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as a child? I have a seven-year-old who s read most of the Chronicles of Narnia and I m
    Message 1 of 19 , Oct 29, 2007
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      How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
      a child? I have a seven-year-old who's read most of the Chronicles of
      Narnia and I'm starting to think about when I want to hand my copy of
      The Hobbit over to her.

      Julie
    • Croft, Janet B.
      I was seven, and I read it before I read Narnia. Janet ________________________________ From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On
      Message 2 of 19 , Oct 29, 2007
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        I was seven, and I read it before I read Narnia.


        Janet

        ________________________________
        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of juliet@...
        Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 4:15 PM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] Age for Hobbit


        How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
        a child? I have a seven-year-old who's read most of the Chronicles of
        Narnia and I'm starting to think about when I want to hand my copy of
        The Hobbit over to her.

        Julie



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Margaret Dean
        ... I must have been about ten. It was after I read the Narnia books, I think, but not by much. --Margaret Dean
        Message 3 of 19 , Oct 29, 2007
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          juliet@... wrote:
          >
          > How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
          > a child? I have a seven-year-old who's read most of the Chronicles of
          > Narnia and I'm starting to think about when I want to hand my copy of
          > The Hobbit over to her.

          I must have been about ten. It was after I read the Narnia
          books, I think, but not by much.


          --Margaret Dean
          <margdean@...>
        • Linda DeMars
          I actually was 29 or 30 when I read it. I had seen it asm recommended reading for many years and cannot imagine why I did not read it at the time since I had
          Message 4 of 19 , Oct 29, 2007
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            I actually was 29 or 30 when I read it. I had seen it asm recommended
            reading for many years and cannot imagine why I did not read it at the time
            since I had been a fan of George MacDonald for many years. The little girls
            next door had been gifted with THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN and THE PRINCESS
            AND CURDIE ( and all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, too) by their aunt,
            an old maid school - but I was the one who received the joy.

            I bought THE HOBBIT for reading matter when my eldest was in hospital to
            have her tonsils removed. I read it in a day. Several weeks later I was
            going to Fort Worth, Texas, and brought THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and THE
            TWO TOWERS to read on my trip.

            Guess what - I finished the first one the night before we left- I started
            the second and finished it on the plane- I did read it so fast that I
            thought Frodo was really dead. Then, for several weeks, I looked all over
            Fort Worth, Dallas and all the way down to San Antonio. (1968)

            I came home and found the book ( ROTK) in the airport and stayed up all
            night reading it. Finished it the next day---and have read it many many
            times.

            I had seen reviews of the Narnia books and also seen them in the library. I
            wasn't really impressed with the infro on the book jackets.but there was a
            proghram on television where a man told children about books ( sort of a
            teaser) and drew a picture of the acion while he was reading. We got the
            first Narnia when my second daughter had chicken pox (eldest age 8, and
            second age 4, first son age one). We head them all- then we reread them for
            the first son and later for the last son. The middle son has listened to
            them on tape with much joy.

            Last year I gave some of he Narnia books to my eldest granddaughter, and
            this yeear she received THE HOBBIT on CD for her ninth birthday.

            Linda D.

            I was fortunate enought to take my eldest grandson to the Narnia movie, and
            we gave the girl mentioned above the Narnia movie for her 8th birthday.



            On 10/29/07, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:
            >
            > I was seven, and I read it before I read Narnia.
            >
            > Janet
            >
            > ________________________________
            > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:
            > mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of
            > juliet@... <juliet%40firinn.org>
            > Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 4:15 PM
            > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>
            > Subject: [mythsoc] Age for Hobbit
            >
            > How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
            > a child? I have a seven-year-old who's read most of the Chronicles of
            > Narnia and I'm starting to think about when I want to hand my copy of
            > The Hobbit over to her.
            >
            > Julie
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Merlin DeTardo
            ... About eight. It was after I saw the Rankin-Bass telefilm. It was also taught in my ninth grade English class (age 14-15). Too late. -Merlin DeTardo
            Message 5 of 19 , Oct 29, 2007
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              >>juliet@... wrote:
              >>How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_

              About eight. It was after I saw the Rankin-Bass telefilm.

              It was also taught in my ninth grade English class (age 14-15). Too
              late.

              -Merlin DeTardo
            • John D Rateliff
              I was thirteen, which coincidently happens to be the age that Tolkien said each of his children was when the story clicked for them (although it s clear they
              Message 6 of 19 , Oct 30, 2007
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                I was thirteen, which coincidently happens to be the age that Tolkien
                said each of his children was when the story clicked for them
                (although it's clear they were familiar with, and fond of, it before
                that).
                Edmund Wilson claimed that both THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE
                RINGS were written for the level of seven-year-old children, but then
                he's hardly a trustworthy source (though even he admitted that he
                thought THE HOBBIT a pretty good children's book). So I say go ahead
                and let her have a go at it; if some of it goes over her head there's
                nothing wrong with that, so long as she enjoys the story. I'm highly
                dubious about the whole modern trend to carefully tailor children's
                books to the average projected vocabulary of a hypothetical average
                person of that age. I certainly read books even now where stuff goes
                over my head.
                --JDR


                On Oct 29, 2007, at 2:15 PM, juliet@... wrote:
                > How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
                > a child? I have a seven-year-old who's read most of the Chronicles of
                > Narnia and I'm starting to think about when I want to hand my copy of
                > The Hobbit over to her.
                >
                > Julie
              • Anthony Burdge
                Does it count that my parents have always claimed to have read it to me in utero? ... On my own I was 8 years old when my Mom gave me her copies from the 60 s
                Message 7 of 19 , Oct 30, 2007
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                  Does it count that my parents have always claimed to have read it to me in utero?
                  :-)
                  On my own I was 8 years old when my Mom gave me her copies from the 60's of The Hobbit and LOTR and have been reading them since....

                  Anthony




                  Anthony S Burdge
                  Chairman Heren Istarion:
                  New York's Tolkien Society
                  www.herenistarion.org
                  __________________________________________________
                  Do You Yahoo!?
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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • WendellWag@aol.com
                  In a message dated 10/29/2007 5:20:57 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, juliet@firinn.org writes: How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it
                  Message 8 of 19 , Oct 30, 2007
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                    In a message dated 10/29/2007 5:20:57 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                    juliet@... writes:

                    How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
                    a child? I have a seven-year-old who's read most of the Chronicles of
                    Narnia and I'm starting to think about when I want to hand my copy of
                    The Hobbit over to her.



                    If she's mature enough to finish _The Chronicles of Narnia_, she's mature
                    enough to start _The Hobbit_. Age is irrelevant. I'd start preparing for the
                    day when she begins discussing whether you're mature enough to read the books
                    that she has read.

                    Wendell Wagner



                    ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • dbltall42
                    ... I was 13, and loved it, and immediately went and got the Lord of the Rings and read that too. (And then I went and read them all again straightaway,
                    Message 9 of 19 , Oct 30, 2007
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                      > >>juliet@ wrote:
                      > >>How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_
                      >

                      I was 13, and loved it, and immediately went and got the Lord of the
                      Rings and read that too. (And then I went and read them all again
                      straightaway, because the first time was not enough ;)

                      I have read "The Hobbit" aloud to each of my kids when they were eight
                      or so. The large format edition with the Michael Hague illustrations
                      has lots of lovely colour plates and is nice for reading aloud from.

                      Mariette
                    • David Emerson
                      ... Well, I was about 15, but I read it because I heard my mother reading it aloud to my youngest brother at bedtime. He was a bit too young to read it
                      Message 10 of 19 , Oct 30, 2007
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                        >How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
                        >a child?

                        Well, I was about 15, but I read it because I heard my mother reading it aloud to my youngest brother at bedtime. He was a bit too young to read it himself, but he loved it. (So did I, and after a few evenings I had a "duh!" moment realizing I didn't have to wait to hear Mom read it but could just read it myself.)

                        The germane point is, if your daughter is old enough to read Narnia stories, she's certainly old enough to read _The Hobbit_.

                        emerdavid

                        ________________________________________
                        PeoplePC Online
                        A better way to Internet
                        http://www.peoplepc.com
                      • Merlin DeTardo
                        ...
                        Message 11 of 19 , Oct 30, 2007
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                          >>John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:

                          << I'm highly dubious about the whole modern trend to carefully
                          tailor children's books to the average projected vocabulary of a
                          hypothetical average person of that age. I certainly read books even
                          now where stuff goes over my head. >>


                          Tolkien said something similar in Letter #234, written to his aunt
                          concerning _The Adventures of Tom Bombadil_. I haven't got the book
                          here, but I found some passages from that letter quoted online in a
                          couple places:

                          "Never mind about the young! I am not interested in the 'child' as
                          such, modern or otherwise, and certainly have no intention of meeting
                          him/her half way, or a quarter of the way. It is a mistaken thing to
                          do anyway, either useless (when applied to the stupid) or pernicious
                          (when inflicted on the gifted)... As for _plenilune_ and _argent_,
                          they are beautiful words before they are understood -I wish I could
                          have the pleasure of meeting them for the first time again!- and how
                          is one to know them till one does meet them?....
                          And the meaning of fine words cannot be made 'obvious', for it is
                          not obvious to any one: least of all to adults, who have stopped
                          listening to the sound because they think they know the meaning... It
                          is better, I think, at any rate to begin with, to hear 'argent' as
                          sound only... in a poetic context, than to think 'it only means
                          silver'. There is some chance then that you may like it for itself,
                          and later learn to appreciate the heraldic overtones it has, in
                          addition to its own peculiar sound, which 'silver' has not....
                          Children are not a class or kind, they are a heterogenous
                          collection of immature persons, varying, as persons do, in their
                          reach, and in their ability to extend it when stimulated. As soon as
                          you limit your vocabulary to what you suppose to be within their
                          reach, you in fact simply cut off the gifted ones from the chance of
                          extending it."


                          -Merlin DeTardo
                        • ebadams2000
                          I was introduced to The Hobbit by my seventh or eight grade English teacher. We read and discussed it for class. I read ahead (which we weren t supposed to do)
                          Message 12 of 19 , Oct 31, 2007
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                            I was introduced to The Hobbit by my seventh or eight grade English
                            teacher. We read and discussed it for class. I read ahead (which we
                            weren't supposed to do) and when we were done got my mom to buy me the
                            Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion. It's been all "downhill" from
                            there.
                          • Doug Kane
                            I received my copy in the mail today! I have only had a chance to glance at it, but I am already very excited. Thank you, John, for what promises to be a
                            Message 13 of 19 , Oct 31, 2007
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                              I received my copy in the mail today! I have only had a chance to glance at it, but I am already very excited. Thank you, John, for what promises to be a wonderful resource.

                              Doug

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • William Cloud Hicklin
                              ... Hobbit_, if you read it as ... I was nine- in fifth grade, Marty Trinkle the chaplain s daughter (whom actually I didn t like that much) recommended it, I
                              Message 14 of 19 , Oct 31, 2007
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                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, juliet@... wrote:
                                >
                                > How old were you when you first read _The
                                Hobbit_, if you read it as
                                > a child?

                                I was nine- in fifth grade, Marty Trinkle the chaplain's
                                daughter (whom actually I didn't like that much)
                                recommended it, I think because I liked the Oz books. So
                                I checked it out from the little post library (this was a
                                tiny US base in Germany, its library stocked with other
                                libraries' castoffs). And checked it out again, and
                                again, and again, and...

                                I remember that copy extremely well, and am now convinced
                                that, although rebound, it was one of the precious second
                                UK printing, with color plates: not only do I remember
                                distinctly being nonplussed by the Lord of the Rings'
                                revised story of the Riddle-game, I am virtually certain
                                that I had never seen the 'Eagle-picture' until Pictures
                                By JRR Tolkien came out, whereas 'Bilbo Comes to the Huts
                                of the Raft-elves' was familiar.
                              • Diane Joy Baker
                                Read as a teen, late teens. I read HOBBIT and LOTR before NARNIA. ... From: Linda DeMars To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 8:30 PM
                                Message 15 of 19 , Oct 31, 2007
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                                  Read as a teen, late teens. I read HOBBIT and LOTR before NARNIA.
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: Linda DeMars
                                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 8:30 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Age for Hobbit


                                  I actually was 29 or 30 when I read it. I had seen it asm recommended
                                  reading for many years and cannot imagine why I did not read it at the time
                                  since I had been a fan of George MacDonald for many years. The little girls
                                  next door had been gifted with THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN and THE PRINCESS
                                  AND CURDIE ( and all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, too) by their aunt,
                                  an old maid school - but I was the one who received the joy.

                                  I bought THE HOBBIT for reading matter when my eldest was in hospital to
                                  have her tonsils removed. I read it in a day. Several weeks later I was
                                  going to Fort Worth, Texas, and brought THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING and THE
                                  TWO TOWERS to read on my trip.

                                  Guess what - I finished the first one the night before we left- I started
                                  the second and finished it on the plane- I did read it so fast that I
                                  thought Frodo was really dead. Then, for several weeks, I looked all over
                                  Fort Worth, Dallas and all the way down to San Antonio. (1968)

                                  I came home and found the book ( ROTK) in the airport and stayed up all
                                  night reading it. Finished it the next day---and have read it many many
                                  times.

                                  I had seen reviews of the Narnia books and also seen them in the library. I
                                  wasn't really impressed with the infro on the book jackets.but there was a
                                  proghram on television where a man told children about books ( sort of a
                                  teaser) and drew a picture of the acion while he was reading. We got the
                                  first Narnia when my second daughter had chicken pox (eldest age 8, and
                                  second age 4, first son age one). We head them all- then we reread them for
                                  the first son and later for the last son. The middle son has listened to
                                  them on tape with much joy.

                                  Last year I gave some of he Narnia books to my eldest granddaughter, and
                                  this yeear she received THE HOBBIT on CD for her ninth birthday.

                                  Linda D.

                                  I was fortunate enought to take my eldest grandson to the Narnia movie, and
                                  we gave the girl mentioned above the Narnia movie for her 8th birthday.

                                  On 10/29/07, Croft, Janet B. <jbcroft@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I was seven, and I read it before I read Narnia.
                                  >
                                  > Janet
                                  >
                                  > ________________________________
                                  > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:
                                  > mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>] On Behalf Of
                                  > juliet@... <juliet%40firinn.org>
                                  > Sent: Monday, October 29, 2007 4:15 PM
                                  > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com <mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com>
                                  > Subject: [mythsoc] Age for Hobbit
                                  >
                                  > How old were you when you first read _The Hobbit_, if you read it as
                                  > a child? I have a seven-year-old who's read most of the Chronicles of
                                  > Narnia and I'm starting to think about when I want to hand my copy of
                                  > The Hobbit over to her.
                                  >
                                  > Julie
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >

                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Ginger McElwee
                                  Interestingly, I cannot remember when I read The Hobbit for the first time, but I know I was in high school. I read LOR immediately afterwards, and then
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                    Interestingly, I cannot remember when I read The Hobbit for the first time,
                                    but I know I was in high school. I read LOR immediately afterwards, and
                                    then reread them many times before I graduated. I didn't discover CS Lewis
                                    until I was in my mid twenties and was thinking about converting to
                                    Christianity. An Episcopal priest who knew I loved Tolkien loaned me copies
                                    of Decent into Hell by Williams and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
                                    He apparently knew me well because I loved both books and began reading
                                    everything I could find by Lewis and Williams.

                                    Ginger





                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Jason Fisher
                                    Since everyone else has chimed in ... I was 7 or 8 years old when I first read The Hobbit. I don t remember precisely, but that first paperback, which I
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                      Since everyone else has chimed in ...

                                      I was 7 or 8 years old when I first read The Hobbit. I don't remember precisely, but that first paperback, which I believe my mother bought new at the time, was a 1977 printing. Contrast that with the fact that I was, uhhh, 36 when I first read The Chronicles of Narnia. :)

                                      I don't think there's any particular lower age limit for The Hobbit. Even where the style or language might be beyond a child's current reading comprehension, this represents an opportunity to learn. In fact, I'd probably go so far as to say that kids ought to consistently read *beyond* their prescribed "age level". I always did. At the same age I read The Hobbit, I was also reading The Iliad and The Odyssey, and that did me no harm (and probably a lot of good).

                                      Jason
                                    • Sara Ciborski
                                      I will chime in because maybe I win the prize for being the oldest: I was 35 when I first read The Hobbit, and I did so only because someone gave me the
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Nov 1, 2007
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                                        I will chime in because maybe I win the prize for being the oldest: I
                                        was 35 when I first read The Hobbit, and I did so only because someone
                                        gave me the Ballantine four-book paperback box set (The Hobbit + LotR)
                                        for Christmas--and I wanted to read the books in the right order. If The
                                        Fellowship of the Rings had not been right at hand, next in the box, I
                                        might not have gone on, as I thought The Hobbit was good but not great.
                                        Now after many readings of everything Tolkien wrote it has become a
                                        beloved re-read. Last year I read it to my eight-year old grandson. He
                                        wasn't able to fully appreciate the moral subtleties at the end, but
                                        otherwise thoroughly enjoyed it. My biggest current challenge these days
                                        as a grandmother is to prevent his seeing the Jackson films before he
                                        reads LotR (or ever).

                                        Sara Ciborski


                                        Jason Fisher wrote:
                                        > Since everyone else has chimed in ...
                                        >
                                        > I was 7 or 8 years old when I first read The Hobbit. I don't remember precisely, but that first paperback, which I believe my mother bought new at the time, was a 1977 printing. Contrast that with the fact that I was, uhhh, 36 when I first read The Chronicles of Narnia. :)
                                        >
                                        > I don't think there's any particular lower age limit for The Hobbit. Even where the style or language might be beyond a child's current reading comprehension, this represents an opportunity to learn. In fact, I'd probably go so far as to say that kids ought to consistently read *beyond* their prescribed "age level". I always did. At the same age I read The Hobbit, I was also reading The Iliad and The Odyssey, and that did me no harm (and probably a lot of good).
                                        >
                                        > Jason
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                      • John D Rateliff
                                        Many thanks, Doug, and many thanks for all who said nice things about the book here; I really appreciate it. I ve been meaning to respond to each one but I ve
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Nov 5, 2007
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                                          Many thanks, Doug, and many thanks for all who said nice things about
                                          the book here; I really appreciate it. I've been meaning to respond
                                          to each one but I've been on the road off and on for what a while now
                                          and it's been hard to get on-line, much less have time to make a well-
                                          considered response. So let me just say that after having worked on
                                          it for so long, it's good to have it out there, and actually have
                                          people reading it. I'm looking forward to hearing from folks what
                                          they think about specific bits in it; please let me know what parts
                                          you found interesting, what you agreed with and what you didn't, what
                                          you'd most want to know that I didn't cover, &c.
                                          By the way, it looks like I'm going to be able to add the missing
                                          appendix to the trade paperback edition due out next year in England:
                                          I had Appendix V drafted but had to abandon it in order to get the
                                          index done in time. It's a listing of the people Tolkien sent his
                                          author's copies of THE HOBBIT to. Not something whose absence leaves
                                          a gaping hole, but it's nice to be able to include it; wraps things
                                          up nicely.
                                          Thanks again to Doug and all.
                                          --John R.


                                          On Oct 31, 2007, at 7:01 PM, Doug Kane wrote:
                                          > I received my copy in the mail today! I have only had a chance to
                                          > glance at it, but I am already very excited. Thank you, John, for
                                          > what promises to be a wonderful resource.
                                          >
                                          > Doug
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