Friday, February 7, 2014

Follow Friday - Bilbo Invited 144 Hobbits to His Eleventy-First Birthday Party (Which Was Also Frodo's Thirty-Third)

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and two Follow Friday Features Bloggers each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the two Featured Bloggers of the week - YA Asylum and Literary Chameleon.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: If you could read a book for the “first time” again, which book would it be? Why?

My initial reaction to this question is to say The Hobbit, or The Lord of the Rings, because they remain brilliant works of fantasy fiction and to be able to experience them once again for the first time would be magical.

But the question makes one consider how what we have read in the past affects what we read now. Reading Tolkien's books was a formative experience for me as a reader, and helped make me into a fantasy fiction fan. Had I not read those books, would I have picked up Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain? Would I have read Michael Moorcock's books about Elric and Corum and Hawkmoon? And my experience reading every one of those books (and every other book I have read since then) is filtered through a lens created by my knowledge of the books I read before, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. To make it possible for me to read Tolkien's books anew, you would have to alter my perceptions of every other book I read since I first read his books. In some cases, you would have to radically alter my perceptions.

The point is, in our reading lives, everything is connected and everything influences everything that comes after it. To remove the knowledge of a book, especially a book you loved enough to want to experience again, you would have to change so many of your memories as they relate to other things that you almost certainly wouldn't even be recognizably you any more. As much as I'd like to experience the joy of Bilbo and Frodo's adventures again for the first time, I simply can't, because the version of me that would be required to accomplish such a thing would be so very different from the me now.

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  1. I have been a reader of a books since I was a child and a lover of a lot of different genres since I was a teenager. It's hard to pin point what book made me decide to read a certain genre..I did pick two different books that influenced me the most but still it was a hard question.

    1. @Stormi Johnson: I have a pretty good idea which specific books transformed me into the kind of reader I am today, although from some of the things I have read about how memory works in recent years, I may have simply constructed an after-the-fact rationale and believe it to be true.

  2. Hi there, following thru from Parajunkie's FF, and now following you via GFC. You can find me at BookShelves Of Dreams