Thursday 8 September 2016

Are You Readalong Ready?

I am!

Since returning from my holidays and finishing my #20booksofsummer (winter) challenge and my Home and the World readalong with Cirtnecce, I've been thinking about what I want to read next and with who.

I love the classics and would like to read more. It would also help my TBR pile tremendously.

Working in a small Independent bookshop means I'm never in short of supply of the basic materials. But it also means that I have to read more new releases than I would normally do (pre-bookshop days normal that is).

How will I ever get around to reading all those classics waiting patiently on my TBR shelf and how will I find the time to reread some of my all time favourites?

At the moment, though, classics only seem to make it onto my reading pile when the latest Classics Club does it's spin or via a random readalong that I suddenly spy in blogland.

I've decided it's time to get more proactive about putting the classics back into my regular reading routine.

AusReading Month is coming up in November.

My plan this year is to read Ruth Park's 1977 Miles Franklin Award winning book, Swords and Crowns and Rings.

She was the banker's daughter, a highborn, golden beauty. He was a grocer's son, strong and proud, but fate had masked his strength and pride with a form that set him forever apart from other men. Compelling need drew them together, A bewitching fantasy encircled and sustained them. 
Then the Great Depression swept across Australia to impoverish the rich, humble the proud, and turn the poor into a stunned army of desperate vagrants and homeless vagabonds. Expelled from their enchanted realm, brutally separated, they each clutched a secret, a promise a dream of finding each other in a harsh world where only a perfect love like theirs could survive, overcome and triumph.

That's a start!

Roof Beam Reader has been talking on twitter about doing some kind of classics challenge next year, which sounds promising as I do enjoy a good readalong. I'm hoping that a couple of his choices will match my TBR and TBRR piles.

However, there are four books I've been wanting to reread now for over ten years.

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien.

Since working in the bookshop I have collected four beautifully illustrated (by Alan Lee) hardback editions of these books. I really want to dive into them to revisit the story and pore over the pictures.

But I've been waiting for enough time to lapse between movie LOTR and a reread so that some of Jackson's strong imagery could dissipate.

(Can you believe it has been nearly 15 years since we sat outside the movie theatre on Boxing Day to attend the special midnight viewing of The Fellowship of the Ring in Australia?

2001 was still in the era of different release dates for movies and books around the world. Aussies had to wait a whole week longer to see each of the LOTR movies than UK and US audiences. The only good point about this was that the Australian release date was midnight on Boxing Day for each of the three movies. Three years in a row, my sisters and friends came together to watch these huge movies on the big screen. We were young twenty and thirty-somethings (pre-kids) living and working away from our birth families, but who still came home for Christmas every year. Watching these three movies became a real celebration and ceremony for us. They also marked a turning point in many of our lives as marriages, babies, new jobs and moves took us into our full-on adult lives - and away from midnight movie sessions.)

Thanks to my current job, I have to be realistic about the time frame in which I can read these books.

I really do have to read the new releases to keep up with customer recommendations. This is not a chore, of course, I'm not complaining, really, but it does get in the way of my classics reading and the love I get from rereading my favourites.

Would anyone else be interested in reading (or rereading as the case may be) The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King with me next year?

I was thinking we could read
The Hobbit in February 
The Fellowship of the Ring in March - April
The Two Towers in May - June
The Return of the King in July - August

What do you think?


  1. I might be up for it! It's been a very very long time since I read LOTR. (I did read Hobbit aloud to a kid several years ago. Husband took over for the LOTR read-along.) We should have a nice image. I like images.

    1. Hopefully by giving everyone enough time to think about it, they will make space in their 2017 reading schedules for this :-)

      Hopefully you can too. It would be good to have others who are rereading it too. This will be my 4th reading of the series - the first two were prior to the movie releases. I have lots of things to say about what I imagined from those readings to how Jackson portrayed them in the movies! My last reread was in the middle of the movie cycle and heavily affected by what I saw and felt about the movies.

      I'm very curious to see what this reread will reveal.

  2. I will definitely be joining you. Two months to read each of the Lord of The Rings novels sounds like the perfect time period.

    1. Normally I could read a book faster than that (& in the past I've read these in great binge-gulp reading sessions very quickly), but I know that I have to read other things inbetween for work, so I'm trying to be realistic.

  3. Oh, it's a long time since I've read LOTR and I'd love to pick up on more of the Old Norse references, so I'm going to consider this, as Woolfalong will be done by then AND my Dorothy Richardson readalong ...

    1. Like Woolfalong, I'd be happy for people to come and go as they please, just reading one or two of the books if that's all they want to or can do.

      I'd like to look more deeply into Tolkien's sources with this reread too. I'm hoping the generous reading time frame will make that do-able for me.

      I hope you can fit it in :-)

  4. I'd be interested, though I'm not sure whether I'll manage to keep up. Also, I've never done a readalong before. How does it work?

    1. It's very simple really & most of the time it's just knowing there are others who are reading the same book as you at the same time. I love the supportive, encouraging nature of all the readalongs I've participated in in the past.

      It could involve posting a photo on Instagram or Litsy or twitter of where you are reading your book, any favourite quotes or how you're going with it. You join in as much or as little as you can or feel moved to.
      But I will try to have a twitter chat for each book and a couple of 'how are you going' type posts for people to join in (or not).

      I hope to do a bit of research this time around - to read the books in a deeper way - so I may have some background info posts to share as well for people to comment on.

      And certainly, if there are any HUGE Tolkien HLOTR fans out there who have ideas for posts, feel the urge to make a readalaong badge or anything else, please just let me know :-)

  5. That would be a great readalong, though I just read them, so don't know if I'll have the room to read again so soon. I'll keep it in mind though.

  6. I found my old copy of The Hobbit and am looking forward to the February Read-Along!


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