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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
How many copies of The Lord of the Rings do you have on your bookshelf?
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Poll: How many copies of The Lord of the Rings do you have on your bookshelf?
5 or more
I've lost count
I use an electronic version
It's mine, my preciousss!
Let me explain about those book purchases...
View Results (98 votes)


Jun 15 2009, 12:16pm

Post #1 of 73 (805 views)
How many copies of The Lord of the Rings do you have on your bookshelf? Can't Post

Do you have multiple copies in the bedroom, the bathroom, stored in boxes, on the coffee table, kept at work? Do you have different copies for different purposes? Do you have a 'special' copy? Do you collect specific covers or editions? Do you have criteria for when to buy another set?

This question is prompted by a phone call I got last night from my best friend. Her 7th-grade son, my godson, read The Hobbit this spring in school, and would now like to read "the rest of the story." Did I have a copy on my bookshelves?

I laughed and said, "Oh, probably six of them," and said I'd gladly lend one if he promised to give me his impressions after each chapter. (I actually could only find two copies on my bookshelf upstairs, and one of them is my special set - I'll have to track down the other four wherever the've gone to!)

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 15 2009, 12:28pm

Post #2 of 73 (391 views)
3, in different [In reply to] Can't Post

languages, one in Norwegian, one in English and one in Icelandic. And I think I have the Hobbit in Faroese somewhere, they didn't have LOTR when I was there.

Tol Eressea

Jun 15 2009, 12:29pm

Post #3 of 73 (401 views)
Lord of the Rings sets [In reply to] Can't Post

We (OhioHobbit and I) have four sets of paperbacks. Three of those sets are the ones with Tolkien drawings on the covers. One set is the one we read that I bought after the movies came out and have pictures of the actors on the covers.

We have four hardback, single editions. Two are the red anniversary edition (neither of us wanted to give up our copy when we got married), one is the Alan Lee illustrated, and the fourth is a cheapy to read that is an after-the-movies edition.

Tol Eressea

Jun 15 2009, 12:34pm

Post #4 of 73 (384 views)
I voted "1". [In reply to] Can't Post

There are two in the house, but UT and I each bought one before we married so that's one per person.

Mine is the beautiful red leather single volume. I've managed to keep it in pristine shape these thirty years or so, except for a small crack in the top of the spine, despite many readings. It's nice to have UT's paperback set around now, though, so I don't have to risk my pretty book.


Jun 15 2009, 4:04pm

Post #5 of 73 (377 views)
What's Faroese? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've never heard of that before! Shocked
I have 3 (I think) copies, myself, all in English.


Jun 15 2009, 6:02pm

Post #6 of 73 (365 views)
Four. [In reply to] Can't Post

There's the old set in three volumes that I got back in the early 90s, the first ones I read. Those are sort of falling apart now. But hey, those are precious. Number 2 is a one-volume paperback that I write notes in--copious things on every page. Another is my very nice one-volme hardback with Alan Lee illustrations. That one is kind of a coffe-table book, along with my Ted Nasmith-illustrated Silmarillion. And the last one is another one-volume paperback that is the edition my students have had for the last few years for my mini-course; I use that one largely for the page numbers, or if I just want to read the whole thing without all the notes.

Mind you, when I see other editions at used-book stores, I'm always tempted to buy, especially if they are much older editions (or the post-movie one of ROTK with Viggo on the cover...).


Jun 15 2009, 6:37pm

Post #7 of 73 (366 views)
Just two at the moment. [In reply to] Can't Post

There's a version on line I use for reference purposes, but I don't count that as an electronic version. I've been thinking of picking up a Spanish version, but they don't have one available for the Kindle.

Henoluin Elsilim

Jun 15 2009, 7:02pm

Post #8 of 73 (358 views)
I only have [In reply to] Can't Post

two at the moment. My first copy, a paperback 3 edition movie cover set, and the 50th anniversary edition. I had another 3 edition hardcover set, but I gave it to my brother so that he could have his own copy (ok, so to be honest, I let him have that one because I'm very touchy about letting anyone even touch my other two copies Laugh). I'm sure I'll but some other edition at some point down the road, if not more than one. I really want an one with the illustrations by Alan Lee, but I can never find one when I go to the bookstore.

(This post was edited by Henoluin Elsilim on Jun 15 2009, 7:04pm)


Jun 15 2009, 7:08pm

Post #9 of 73 (365 views)
Four currently. [In reply to] Can't Post

  1. The original copy I got for Christmas 30+ years ago that I have read into tatters, which is very precious to me.
  2. A one-volume copy.
  3. A copy in three volumes, for when I don't want to lug the big one around.
  4. A copy on CD with Rob Inglis reading.

I did have a 5th copy, the so-called "special" millennium edition, but I loaned it to a friend, and it was cheap rubbish anyway, so I never asked for it back.

Aunt Dora Baggins

Jun 15 2009, 8:00pm

Post #10 of 73 (353 views)
Well, let's see now. [In reply to] Can't Post

At home I have my old Ballantine paperbacks with the hippy covers, my red "leather" version that was a wedding present from Uncle Baggins, a set of paperbacks in Spanish (yes, I have read them), the one-volume Alan Lee edition, the 50th anniversary edition, and a nice compact single-volume paperback that's my favorite for slinging around. And at work I have one more, a fairly compact single-volume paperback that I consult when I'm here. So I guess that's seven. And *looks around* a pirated electronic version that I got some time ago and use when I want to quote a page here.

Of course that doesn't count the two audiotape versions, or the movies...

I like reading different volumes at different times, because I'm a huge bibliophile, and the way a book looks and feels is definely part of the experience.


Jun 15 2009, 9:19pm

Post #11 of 73 (352 views)
Three because... [In reply to] Can't Post

I've made myself get rid of extra copies. I just couldn't hold onto them anymore.

I have a one volume, thrift store purchase that looks like it was dropped in the bathtub.

It sits by my computer and is my reference copy. I can look for things without knowing exactly which book it's in and the index is handy regardless of what book I'm referencing.

I also have this paperback set:

I thought I would try to build a set of books with the same design and I also bought a similar set of the History of the LOTR. The LOTR set is tucked behind other books on the shelf. I don't need this set anymore, nor do I really want it, but I need the right situation for me to pass it along to someone else.

Then I have this hardcover set:

Which I won in TORn's Cryptic Crossword Competition.
I've since purchased the Silmarillion edition that matches this design and got it signed by Nasmith at the Marquette Conference.

I've probably passed along about 10-15 copies of the set to various people.


Jun 15 2009, 9:27pm

Post #12 of 73 (336 views)
I have a set and I have... [In reply to] Can't Post

the BBC audio. Oh, and I have the Mind's Eye version--but that doesn't count!


Jun 15 2009, 9:56pm

Post #13 of 73 (337 views)
3 [In reply to] Can't Post

One old three-volume paperback, the Alan Lee illustrated hardcover, and a one-volume paperback that was my wife's. Actually, we just got new bookshelves and rearranged all our books, and I was planning to get rid of the one-volume paperback, figuring it was unnecessary. It's still there for now though, maybe I'll hold on to it anyway. :)

AlassŽa Eruvande

Jun 15 2009, 10:18pm

Post #14 of 73 (349 views)
2 sets. [In reply to] Can't Post

One in paperback, to be read and stuffed in my purse, fall on the floor of the car, get stuff spilled on.

The other is the 50 th anniversary edition which was lovingly caressed and had "my Precious" whispered to it when it first arrived in the mail. Now it is safely tucked high up on the bookshelf with the "good" books, away from sticky fingers and wild kids. I haven't read it, but I stuck my face into the center and smelled it when it first got here and I looked at the maps. That one is the heirloom.

Does anyone else smell their good books, the ones bound in leather, fresh from the publisher? Or am I just wierd that way? Shocked


Jun 15 2009, 11:10pm

Post #15 of 73 (401 views)
Uh, 31 complete LOTRs (single vol. and complete sets) [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I've been collecting for many years! I have some more orphaned single volumes, but now am trying to guet just complete sets or one-volume LOTRs that are unusual or interesting in some way. The most unusual set I have is a Russian set (with The Hobbit) that has illustrations featuring a furry-legged Bilbo and Frodo. Apparently Russian doesn't distinguish easily between "foot" and "leg," hence the hairy calves on the hobbits!

Reera the Red

Jun 15 2009, 11:26pm

Post #16 of 73 (330 views)
They have homes for people like you, you know. / [In reply to] Can't Post


Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 15 2009, 11:35pm

Post #17 of 73 (338 views)
LOL! This poll was sure to elicit a reply from you! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice to see you, drogo! I understand you might be in Chi-town this summer. It would be great to see you if you have time.

31, huh? I confess a reply similar to Reera's had entered my head. Cool

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 15 2009, 11:39pm

Post #18 of 73 (332 views)
Yes to all your questions [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a "special" set, a "working" set, some collectible sets (the original ACE and Ballantine paperbacks), an Alan Lee illustrated set, my very first set (tattered from multiple readings) and various other sets that I've collected over the years. I can't resist any volumes I find at garage sales or used bookshops, so I'm always on the hunt. I honestly don't know how many sets I have, but certainly more than five.

Tol Eressea

Jun 15 2009, 11:40pm

Post #19 of 73 (334 views)
2 and 2/3... [In reply to] Can't Post

so I will explain those purchases...first copies are paperbacks with pics from the films (Frodo on FotR) and...I don't know who on TT or RotK. (I believe my son has *borrowed* those---hmmm looks like I' doen to 1 and 2/3).
2nd copies look to be the same hardbacks as Magpie posted in her reply (no box with mine--must be why I got them for a *song*). Love the illustrations and make much use of the index in V3.
3rd not-a-set consists of FotR and TT with cover art by Tolkien--got those for 1/2 the original cover price (37.5 cents???) at a book exchange.
I am trying to hold to my oath not to purchase more until I have HoMe (and a couple of other things) but, dang, that one volume deal sounds pretty sweet...

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 16 2009, 12:38am

Post #20 of 73 (403 views)
"Hello, my name's Ataahua and I'm a book-smeller." [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the smell of a freshly-opened new book. I also smell magazines but I have a feeling that has more to do with the printer's ink...

Idril Celebrindal
Tol Eressea

Jun 16 2009, 2:18am

Post #21 of 73 (353 views)
A bunch! [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a nice hardback set of LOTR, plus assorted paperbacks in conditions ranging from falling apart to almost pristine.

I also have at least five copies of The Hobbit, including the Annotated Hobbit, the History of The Hobbit, and the Hobbit graphic novel!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 16 2009, 2:43am

Post #22 of 73 (330 views)
Four [In reply to] Can't Post

Would have had five, if I'd kept my old Ballantines, which lovingly fell to pieces after over 20 re-reads - I think they got tossed during a move...Unsure

I have the 1966 Second Edition hardcovers with the One Ring design on the cover, and the dust-jackets are still in good condition, since the librarian who gave them to me (one of the perks of working summers in one's school library) put clear covers on them. This is my "reference set", well-thumbed!

I also have the 50th Anniversary single volume, which I'm trying to keep in pristine condition; and the Rob Inglis audiobooks (part cassette, part CD).

And I do have a very special set, a "new" old Ballantine edition, given to me by the dearest of TORnsibs Heart when she found out about my lost set! I bring the FotR from this set with me when mooting and let fellow TORnsibs sign it - a collection of signatures from our own "Fellowship"! Smile

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 16 2009, 2:46am

Post #23 of 73 (329 views)
The graphic Hobbit! [In reply to] Can't Post

My oldest gave the graphic novel Hobbit to my youngest years ago. I'm pleased with how well-done it is!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 16 2009, 2:47am

Post #24 of 73 (336 views)
Reera! [In reply to] Can't Post

Long time no see!

How are all the kitties?

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 16 2009, 2:50am

Post #25 of 73 (331 views)
What makes the Russian illustrations so unique [In reply to] Can't Post

is that, despite the hairy legs, they DO show the feet completely fur-covered, as Tolkien described.

The other illustrators don't have nearly enough hair on the feet for a hobbit to have well-brushed toes!

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