I am not certain how many times I have re-read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit since I first read it 26 years ago, but here I am doing it again! For me it’s one of those books I can go back to and still find something new and interesting with each reading. And this time, I am reading it alongside Karen Wynn Fonstad’s excellent Atlas Of Middle-Earth. Call me a geek if you will, but it’s unclear from the text just how long Bilbo and the dwarves are waylaid by the Elves of Mirkwood. Ms. Fonstad’s atlas clears this up nicely with wonderful maps and supporting text. The answer is about three and a half weeks, by the way!
Now that production of the live-action movie version of The Hobbit seems well underway, we’re finally getting some spoilers of the characters in full costume and makeup. This only serves to intensify my interest in Tolkien and will likely galvanize me into re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy again as well!