I started reading the Lord of the Rings for the first time in several years this week. Though I have referred back to various passages from time to time; and though I have read a lot about Tolkien in the last couple of years; and though I have seen the films more than once each; and though I have branched out and read some of Tolkien’s lesser known works (which I had never read before); and though I finally read the Silmarillion all the way through (instead of just reading bits here and there); I had not read the best stuff in quite a long time!
I feel like a kid on Halloween, unwrapping my candy. It’s such a joyous and precious experience. I know some people can read a favorite book every year, and I suppose I am capable of it, but really that’s just a little too often for me, even with an all-time favorite like the LOTR.
So, oddly, I try to put off reading it as long as I can, because I know that once I re-read it, I will thereafter have to forego the pleasure for a long time.
So it’s like unwrapping the candy when all the work is done and you’ve been a “good boy.”
But of course it’s also like eating the steak. Because candy obviously can’t be the main course. Maybe that’s a better metaphor. You can’t eat steak all the time, but one good steak is enough to fill you up and nourish you a good long while.
Steak, candy. Let it not be said that I have ever been afraid to muddle my metaphors hopelessly. In any case, I’m back to Fatty, Merry, Pippin, Sam and Frodo and their dinner of mushrooms. (Hmm… maybe that’s it… plucking the mushrooms!)