Submitted by county_ys on

Established in 2003 by the Tolkien Society, “…an educational charity and literary society devoted to the study and promotion of the life and works of the author and academic J.R.R. Tolkien,” Tolkien Reading Day is celebrated each year on March 25th and is modeled after James Joyce’s Bloomsday. Why March 25th? That’s the day the evil Necromancer Sauron was defeated and both the One Ring and the Dark Tower Barad-dûr were destroyed in The Return of the King, the final volume of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Admirers come together and celebrate the author and his stories by reading their favorite passages and poems. You can join the international celebration by tweeting or instagramming and using the hashtag #TolkienReadingDay.

Born in South Africa but raised in England, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a lifelong writer, even during his time as a lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. Years later, while employed as a professor at Oxford University, “…he started a writing group called The Inklings, which counted among its members C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield.” It was during this time at Oxford that Tolkien began what would become The Hobbit, which eventually expanded to the world renowned Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is not surprising that the author and his works are so revered given the many life lessons readers can learn as they follow the characters’ journey; the initially grumpy and skeptical character Bilbo Baggins reminds us through his perseverance and personal growth that, as Gandalf says, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us” (The Fellowship of the Ring).

This year’s Tolkien Reading Day theme is “Home and Hearth: The Many Ways of Being a Hobbit.”