04 October 2001

My wife and I are re-reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, in part for our book club and in part as preparation for the release of the first film in December. I had forgotten how obsessed I had been with middle-earth from about age 8 until I was entering junior high--reading and re-reading the books, drawing pictures of characters and monsters, tracing their paths on the maps that Tolkien provided of the Shire and middle-earth, having my dreams at night filled with the warmth of hobbit-holes and the deathly chill of Sauron.

My old 1970's mass-market paperbacks bear the scars of many readings, dog-eared with my odd marginalia and stains from snacks and, in one instance, my own blood, I think. We've recently bought a beautiful hardback boxed set of the Lord of the Rings and a large illustrated hardback edition of The Hobbit.

Old obsessions, though long dormant, are easily prodded back to life. I downloaded the Quicktime trailer to the upcoming film the other day (another perk of the new computer) and viewed it. By the end of the trailer, that obsessed 8 year old within me was left staring at the screen, hyperventilating, with a chill down his spine and a tear in his eye. Sometimes I think I grow more foolish with age.