The Classics Club: Monthly Meme – March 2016

The Classics Club

These monthly meme questions stopped for a little while the moderators regrouped. They returned in December 2015 and I would really like to get back into doing them again; as I used to regular do them and enjoy it. March’s question is a rewind from September 2013:

‘Rereading a favourite classic at different stages of your life gives you different insights with each reading. Is there one classic you’ve read several times that also tells a story about you?’ (originally contributed by Brona).

A favourite classic of mine to re-read is the epic, fantasy trilogy: The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien.

I first started reading The Lord of the Rings when I was 10 years old and it took me about a year to read the whole trilogy. I had picked up it because of my love for Tolkien’s children’s novel The Hobbit. I have to be honest it was hard going! While I loved many of the characters and enjoyed elements of the story; I am afraid I don’t think I really got it all. I think this was mainly down to Tolkien’s immensely detailed style and my limited vocabulary at that age. This was a much bigger step-up from The Hobbit than I’d expected.

I next read this epic trilogy in my early teens (approximately 13/14 years old) just before the release of Peter Jackson’s wonderful film trilogy; perfect timing! This was a much easier read second time round – as within a few years I did have a much larger vocabulary and reading experience. This time around I was able to delve past the basic storyline into Tolkien’s intricate, detailed world, people and history. I think this second read is when I actually fell in love with these books.

Then I finished my last re-read of The Lord of the Rings just last year (2015), after the last film in The Hobbit franchise was released. I can honestly say this was the first time this felt like a re-read. As an adult reader, I was totally comfortable with Tolkien’s style, vocabulary and immense detail which left me free to relive the wonderful adventures and thrilling battles with some well-loved characters.

What classic do you keep re-reading? What do you think it says about you?

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17 thoughts on “The Classics Club: Monthly Meme – March 2016

  1. We must be about the same age, because I was 14 or so when I first read LoTR, prompted by the impending release of the first of the movies. I’d read The Hobbit but hadn’t even known that there was a “grown up” trilogy of books that followed it until then. I got the cheap paperback movie tie-in version and the binding disintegrated after the first reading, but I re-read it at least once a year all the way through high school and a bit beyond. You’ve inspired me to see if I can find a copy to re-read it once again — maybe one with hardier binding, this time, haha.

    1. Hello Louise, thank you for stopping by and commenting – it always lovely to hear from a new face 🙂 It does sound like we must be about the same age! I am so pleased to hear I have inspired to go for another re-read of this wonderful trilogy. I hope you are able to get a more sturdy copy for it 😀

  2. I answered this CC meme as well, and my answer references the Hobbit and LOTR, but they are not the answer. But back to your answer first, I read The Hobbit and LOTR about the same age as your first read, but loved them all immediately. I reread them every few years, and like you the first few times as a young teen, and then young adult they certainly improved. Good choice. Now my answer: http://100greatestnovelsofalltimequest.blogspot.com/2016/03/le-petit-prince-little-prince-by.html

    1. Hello Joseph, thank you for stopping by and commenting – it is always lovely to hear from a fellow classic clubber 🙂 Also great to hear you loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings from a young age; and that they too improved for you as you became a teen and then young adult. I could have chosen The Hobbit for this meme but I am always banging on about it, plus I think I’ll be discussing it in next month’s meme 😉

  3. I love how rereading a favourite not only shows you more details of the story but of yourself and your journey.

    I hope to reread LOTR one day as I haven’t read them in over 20 yrs & the movie images will now play such a part in reread.

    1. Brona, you are so right it not just your age that effects the read but also what mood or journey you are on at that time. I often find I crave a re-read during the tougher times in life. I hope you enjoy your re-read (especially after 20 years!) and yes I can imagine images from the film will influence it a little. I did find I pictured some of the characters from the films, but then that wasn’t a problem for me as I think they did an amazing job in casting 😀

  4. I loved The Hobbit as a child but couldn’t really get into The Lord of the Rings. I think I was probably a bit too young for those books and should try reading them again as an adult. My favourite childhood classic was Watership Down – I’ve re-read it many times, including just a few years ago when I was pleased to find I loved it just as much as I did when I was ten. 🙂

    1. Helen, I can understand how you struggled to get into The Lord of the Rings even after loving The Hobbit. While they continue the same story they are very different reads. It might be worth giving them another go as you can see it took me a couple of reads to truly understand and love them.

      It is wonderful to hear you have fond childhood memories of reading Watership Down and that you still enjoyed it as an adult – sadly I have read it although I do vaguely remember watching the film; I think there were tears! 🙂

  5. Like Carmen there were books I read over and over as a kid. The Secret Garden and The Little Princess and Little Women. Maybe not official “classics” but classics to me. I have only recently discovered the power of rereading as an adult. The way you get different things from a book when you are in a different period of life. Last night I saw the 2015 adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd, a book I loved in my 20s. (I also loved the Julie Christie version.) I thought this recent movie was excellent and maybe even more true to the book I remember. I decided to reread the book sometime this year.

    1. Judy, all 3 of them count as classics to me! I read The Secret Garden and Little Women as part of The Classics Club; and I am looking forward to reading A Little Princess as part of it too.

      I am so pleased to hear you enjoyed Far From the Madding Crowd (2015) and I hope you enjoy your re-read – I also recently enjoyed the film and I could do with a re-read, as it has been too long 🙂

  6. I used to read Tom Sawyer every few Sundays when I was a child. I just loved Tom and Huck adventures, but I haven’t re-read it as an adult.

    1. Carmen, how wonderful that you have such fond childhood memories of and Huck adventures; sadly I haven’t read Tom Sawyer! Maybe you could rekindle your childhood with a re-read now 🙂

  7. Tolkien! It’s been ages since I’ve been meaning to re-read The Lord of the Rings. I can imagine how it must have quite gone over the head of a ten-year old. I’m impressed your were even trying to read it then! I heard of Tolkien for the first time when I found a graphic novel of The Hobbit on my cousin’s table on one of our visits. This was about two or three years before I heard rumours of the LotR movies. I enjoyed it so much I did some digging up and heard of The Lord of the Rings. I went hunting for it but couldn’t find it anywhere in our bookstores. Once the rumours began to filter in, and I noticed the first signs of the book in the market, I grabbed myself a copy. Memories!

    1. Hello Risa, thank you for stopping by and commenting . In hindsight I probably was too young for it but I had grown up in a Tolkien mad family. My dad read me The Hobbit when I was about 5 years old, then I read it for myself when I was 7 years old, and after several re-reads it felt right to move on to The Lord of the Rings. Actually I’ve re-read The Hobbit more, but I am always banging on about that so didn’t choose it for this post 😀

      It is wonderful to hear you have great memories of reading and finding your copy of The Lord of the Rings too 🙂

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