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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Hobbit "Read-through", anyone?
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noWizardme
Valinor


May 7, 2:24pm

Post #1 of 45 (3411 views)
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The Hobbit "Read-through", anyone? Can't Post

What is a "read through"
It's an occasional activity the Reading Room does, and is like an online reading group. There have been two ways of doing this in the past, either of which I can see working:

1) "Traditional": We read and discuss one chapter a week. Someone posts up a schedule, and people volunteer to 'lead' one or more chapters. Leading a chapter involves posting an Original Post ('OP') for discussion - for example including a few questions or thoughts you have about that chapter. Apart from that, the leader can do pretty much as they wish - for example, break the chapter down into themes or parts, if that seems useful. The leader also acts as 'host' for the week - so if no-one else replies, then after a while the leader ought to. Often, though, a vigorous discussion starts up, and the leader can just settle back and enjoy it if they wish.

It isn't necessary to be an academic or scholar or expert to lead a discussion - we're discussing Tolkien's chapter, not an 'OP) that needs to be a critical essay on it. Some very successful chapters have been led by folks who just said they were baffled by this or that, and would like it explained.

2) One person does all the OP's. (for example, I thought Euronen's read-through of LOTR in this style went well), . Unlike the 'traditional' style, there's no need to keep tightly to schedule, I suppose: the leader posts about the next chapter when they're ready. In the traditional style, by comparison, it is important to keep to schedule, because leaders of upcoming chapters need to know when to post, and some need a little while to prepare.


In either model, it's a free-for-all once the chapter has started: anyone may ask more questions or add any further discussion points.

I think I'd probably be willing to run either model - but the key thing is whether there is enough interest. Either model will be pretty pointless if OP's get no or few responses.


Why The Hobbit?
It hasn't had a read-through while I've been a member of the Reading Room (I believe the last read through was 2012). In the meantime we have done read throughs of the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and LOTR. So it is the only major work we haven't done here for a while.

The main thing I need to know next is...
...how much enthusiasm is there out there, and which model would folks prefer? Or, of course, you might prefer something else entirely...

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


hanne
Lorien

May 7, 4:36pm

Post #2 of 45 (3255 views)
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Sure! [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't realize it has been that long. I like the traditional format, though both work. If you go traditional I will do a chapter.


noWizardme
Valinor


May 7, 5:13pm

Post #3 of 45 (3240 views)
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Thanks! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


squire
Half-elven


May 7, 5:46pm

Post #4 of 45 (3257 views)
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That would be fun [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for bringing out the idea of a new RR discussion. I would be glad to contribute one or a few chapter posts if you go with the traditional style.

Given the relatively sparse population on this board compared to past times, you might decide up front what would be the minimum level of interest to keep it from being, say, 5 volunteers and you (as the leader) doing all the other chapters! Unless you're OK with that, of course.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Eruonen
Valinor


May 7, 6:09pm

Post #5 of 45 (3248 views)
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Sure, whichever way you prefer. [In reply to] Can't Post

From my past experience - I did enjoy the flexibility of the read through with pacing for each chapter - some chapters were thinner than others and you can either post sooner or incorporate them together.


Darkstone
Immortal


May 7, 6:27pm

Post #6 of 45 (3247 views)
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Sure. [In reply to] Can't Post

Actually it doesn't feel like The Reading Room without a read through.

Option #1 is good.

******************************************
“Did you say 'You Shall Not Pass' or 'You Shall Not Sass'?" asked the Balrog.

"I said 'You Shall Not Pass,'” replied Gandalf; "and I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy."

"All right," said the Balrog; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of its wings, and ending with its shadow, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

'Well! I've often seen wings without a Balrog,' thought Gandalf; `but a Balrog without wings! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!’

-The Adventures of Gandalf in Middle-earth Land




noWizardme
Valinor


May 7, 7:54pm

Post #7 of 45 (3239 views)
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That is good advice - how about this, then... [In reply to] Can't Post

Running my parts of the LOTR read-through was a great pleasure. If there was a down-side it was arm-twisting people into leading chapters, fixing a schedule that worked for everyone, and worrying that (as you say) we'd get down to a small band of increasingly reluctant and over-stretched volunteers. None of those things actually happened to me as it turned out (though I believe other organisers have had a harder time). Also, of course, I worried (again, needlessly in retrospect) that someone's work on their OP would seem wasted because of getting few responses - I'd rather that happened to me than someone I'd persuaded to do a chapter when they were a bit too busy really. So the Option #2 (I start everything) has the advantage that I can start any time and do it on a 'post it and they will come' basis. The potential disadvantage of option #2, I think, is that the OP's might be better if I didn't do them all. For example, they might cover a wider range of reader reactions.

How about this then: The Hobbit has XIX chapters. If I get XV or more volunteer leaders in a reasonable time, let's sort out a schedule and do option 1 (new chapter leader for each chapter, more or less). If we don't meet the XV threshold, then I'm minded to press ahead with Option 2 anyway, with a basic OP if necessary because I'm running low on inspiration that week.

The two options aren't, anyway, complete opposites - I don't insist on doing all the OP's, so someone else could do a individual chapter that they're particularly keen on. I think it's all about keeping the thing moving forward without anyone feeling too weary.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 7, 8:16pm

Post #8 of 45 (3232 views)
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I'm surprised it's been 5+ years since The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

Another option is to do some chapters as stand-alone, then others in a bundle. For example, you could bundle chapters 12 (Inside Information) and 13 (Not at Home) into one discussion.

I think, since it's been a while since The Hobbit was covered, you might find more enthusiasm for it. And it's relatively short.


Darkstone
Immortal


May 7, 8:49pm

Post #9 of 45 (3233 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll be glad to take a chapter or so as well as be backup if someone has to cancel at the last minute.

******************************************
“Did you say 'You Shall Not Pass' or 'You Shall Not Sass'?" asked the Balrog.

"I said 'You Shall Not Pass,'” replied Gandalf; "and I wish you wouldn't keep appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy."

"All right," said the Balrog; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of its wings, and ending with its shadow, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

'Well! I've often seen wings without a Balrog,' thought Gandalf; `but a Balrog without wings! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!’

-The Adventures of Gandalf in Middle-earth Land




Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

May 7, 10:27pm

Post #10 of 45 (3222 views)
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Well, if you twisted my arm, I might be persuaded to make a contribution [In reply to] Can't Post

And if so, I would like to have the Mirkwood one, please!


sador
Half-elven


May 9, 2:35am

Post #11 of 45 (3084 views)
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I haven't been here much, lately. [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe a readthrough of The Hobbit will induce me out of this lethargy.

I can try leading a short chapter, maybe two.

But how many people are interested at all?


noWizardme
Valinor


May 9, 12:13pm

Post #12 of 45 (3056 views)
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I have come to a conclusion about what I'd like to do... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd like to start a read through on the basis of what I called 'option 2' - that is, I'll assume that I'll do a series of starter posts, once a week, working through the chapters in order.

If anyone wants to contact me to say 'I want to do chapter x' then they will be very welcome (in fact, if it's Chapter X that would be 'A Warm Welcome'). I don't mind how many of the chapters I introduce, and if someone would enjoy leading a chapter, then I certainly don't want to stop them. I shall invite other chapter-leaders (or 'introducers' - does that sound less scary?) to come forward, so that nobody who would like to introduce a chapter can reasonably feel that they weren't allowed to. But I'd prefer not to spend time seeking volunteers out (I imagine this as looking around the Reading Room sternly in Hugo Weaving style - 'Chapter x - one of you must do this'. But I don't have the eyebrows to get away with it.)

My intention will be to keep to the chapter-a-week pace that is traditional, and seems to work well.

I'm minded to start quite soon. My intention is to get something under way can be adapted on the hoof if it doesn't work out. But I think it will

So that's what I'm about to do.

I shall call it "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Read-through"
Smile

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


Ettelewen
Rohan

May 9, 4:31pm

Post #13 of 45 (3019 views)
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Great! [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't promise to lead a chapter, but I love following along on read-throughs. I haven't read The Hobbit for a few years. It's time!


hanne
Lorien

May 9, 4:44pm

Post #14 of 45 (3019 views)
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I'll do Chapter X :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for initiating this! Could you give me a couple weeks notice of when X comes up? I'm looking forward to thinking about Lake Town.


squire
Half-elven


May 9, 6:41pm

Post #15 of 45 (3003 views)
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I would be glad to do Chapter XI, 'On The Doorstep'. [In reply to] Can't Post

It is mere coincidence that it the chapter immediately after Hanne, I assure you!

And yes, a little notice would be most welcome. I assume it will be in mid-summer.

If you find yourself short of time at some point, with short notice I would available to substitute for you. I've done it before, for Altaira on Ch. 4 of Fellowship, and I feel it turned out as one of my better discussions.

Thank you for bravely attempting a revival of the Reading Room read-through.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Valinor


May 9, 7:13pm

Post #16 of 45 (2987 views)
Shortcut
X // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


noWizardme
Valinor


May 9, 7:13pm

Post #17 of 45 (2984 views)
Shortcut
Thanks! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


noWizardme
Valinor


May 9, 7:34pm

Post #18 of 45 (3003 views)
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Splendid! A 20 May start would give us.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Assuming a start date of 20 May we get this schedule (so far):

start date ~~ Ch # ~~ Title ~~ Introducer - noWiz, if no name given
20-May-18 ~~ 1 ~~ An Unexpected Party ~~NoWiz particularly wants to do this one
27-May-18 ~~ 2 ~~ Roast Mutton ~~
03-Jun-18 ~~ 3 ~~ A Short Rest ~~
10-Jun-18 ~~ 4 ~~ Over Hill and Under Hill ~~
17-Jun-18 ~~ 5 ~~ Riddles In The Dark ~~
24-Jun-18 ~~ 6 ~~ Out Of The Frying-Pan Into The Fire ~~
01-Jul-18 ~~ 7 ~~ Queer Lodgings ~~
08-Jul-18 ~~ 8 ~~ Flies And Spiders ~~ Hamfast Gamgee? ('the Mirkwood chapter')
15-Jul-18 ~~ 9 ~~ Barrels Out Of Bond ~~
22-Jul-18 ~~ 10 ~~ A Warm Welcome ~~ hanne
29-Jul-18 ~~ 11 ~~ On The Doorstep ~~ squire
05-Aug-18 ~~ 12 ~~ Inside Information ~~
12-Aug-18 ~~ 13 ~~ Not At Home ~~
19-Aug-18 ~~ 14 ~~ Fire And Water ~~
26-Aug-18 ~~ 15 ~~ The Gathering Of The Clouds ~~
02-Sep-18 ~~ 16 ~~ A Thief In The Night ~~
09-Sep-18 ~~ 17 ~~ The Clouds Burst ~~
16-Sep-18 ~~ 18 ~~ The Return Journey ~~
23-Sep-18 ~~ 19 ~~ The Last Stage ~~

Just to re-iterate - I'm not worried if there are a lot of 'blanks' , because I'm perfectly willing to introduce each chapter (perhaps with more brevity than I often do, which might be a relief to some...
Tongue. But if anyone would *like* to introduce a chapter, I don't want to stop them! )

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


cats16
Valinor


May 10, 3:23am

Post #19 of 45 (2957 views)
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Great! [In reply to] Can't Post

Meant to reply to this thread earlier, but I'm all for a read-through. I happy to be at Inside Information on my own re-read, so this is good timing for me.

Can I please do Roast Mutton?

Thanks for organizing, noWiz.

Join us every weekend in the Hobbit movie forum for this week's CHOW (Chapter of the Week) discussion!




noWizardme
Valinor


May 10, 6:00am

Post #20 of 45 (2945 views)
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Great - Roast Mutton is yours. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


sador
Half-elven


May 10, 8:48am

Post #21 of 45 (2958 views)
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I will take [In reply to] Can't Post

Over Hill and Under Hill.


And if need be, A Thief in the Night too.


noWizardme
Valinor


May 10, 10:29am

Post #22 of 45 (2944 views)
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Thanks - Over Hill and Under Hill is yours! // [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks very much!

I won't put you down for A Thief in the Night yet. Without I hope going on about it, I'm happy to do as many chapters as are needed, so I'd hate either to twist anyone's arm, or have them twist their own and end up doing something they don't really have time for, in an attempt not 'to let down the team'.

If I start to realise I'm not managing though, I'll start asking for more help.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm


sador
Half-elven


May 10, 8:13pm

Post #23 of 45 (2869 views)
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Thank you for organising this! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I can do two chapters in theee months, so unless somebidy else wants one of them, I'll do both.
I can do a different chapter, if needed - but as I had led The Last Stage on the previous discussion, I prefer a different one this time.

Thank you sgain for taking this project!


hanne
Lorien

May 11, 4:18pm

Post #24 of 45 (2833 views)
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Yes, thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking forward to it!


noWizardme
Valinor


May 11, 4:23pm

Post #25 of 45 (2833 views)
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You are all welcome [In reply to] Can't Post

It should be fun.

My personal reason for being glad to do 'The Hobbit' is that I read it as a child. Then, about when I didn't think I was a child anymore I (childishly) decided it was a bit childish. Anyway, I had become more interested in reading LOTR. I haven't got around to reading it often since, and I hope that I'll discover lots of things that I either never noticed, or have forgotten.

~~~~~~
Where's that old read-through discussion?
A wonderful list of links to previous chapters in the 2014-2016 LOTR read-through (and to previous read-throughs) is curated by our very own 'squire' here http://users.bestweb.net/...-SixthDiscussion.htm

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