On The Cover: Smaug certainly looked fast asleep, when Bilbo peeped once more from the entrance. He was just about to step out on to the floor when he caught a sudden thin ray of red from under the drooping lid of Smaug’s left eye. He was only pretending to be asleep! He was watching the tunnel entrance…
Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon...
Why I Chose It: I’ve read it a few times now, and felt like reading it yet again!
I don’t know how many times I have read this book, but I always end up coming back to it. It’s such a nice quick read and it’s nice to kind of take a break from all the new young adult reads and go back to something that I personally find very comforting.
One thing that I love in The Hobbit is how much stuff Tolkien fits into it. It always makes me smile when I think about how many different creatures are in the book – Hobbits, elves, dwarves, trolls, wizards, dragons, wargs, goblins, giant spiders, etc, etc. There are just so many things and yet nothing feels thrown together or crammed in there. Tolkien truly does create an entire world in which all of these things can coexist. I love that Bilbo can encounter all of these and it’s just a part of his journey.
It’s also one of the few books that can entirely creep me out. I have a hard time with spiders – they simply have too many legs – and while I’ve read a lot of scary books, ones that have truely creeped me out are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with their depictions of giant spiders. I still skip over the entire Shelob chapter in LotR – I just can’t read it! But I find it impressive that these books still hold that power over me when I’m reading them.
This time around I also noticed how well Tolkien handled the passage of time in his novel. There are so many books I read where the pacing is off, either rushing through events or dragging them out to unbelievable extents. This is especially bad when the characters have to journey from one point to another. The author either skips the journey entirely or they try to represent the journey by filling it with minor events and conversations important to the plot. I’m not faulting either method because I think both can work when done right, I have just had the misfortune of reading both done poorly. Yet I absolutely love the narrator in The Hobbit because while a journey may take 3 weeks, he tells us that nothing interesting happens during that time, so it’s not important. Or he’ll say something “many long days had passed” since a certain event occurred, or give a vague season, such as “it was now mid autumn.” I just love that the passing of time is so evident, yet the story isn’t concerned with giving precise dates of events or how long it took to get from one point to another. I know that personally as a reader I struggle with books that get caught up on how to show the passage of time where no significant events occur, and maybe this is one of the reasons I like The Hobbit so much.
This book for me is just such a delight to read. It’s a story that I can sink into and enjoy 100% and just take a break from the world around me. I know that it’s a book I will read many more times throughout my life, and I can honestly say that I’m already looking forward to next time.
Rating: 5 / 5