It is 25th March, the downfall of Sauron and the end of the War of the Ring, and therefore Tolkien Reading Day. Most years I forget to take part, but today I decided to mark the occasion by reading the first chapter of The Hobbit. This was my first exposure to Tolkien; it appeared in a book of children’s short stories (fairy tales etc) given to me by my great-uncle Tom when I was about 9 or 10. It was only when I got to junior high school and saw a copy in the library that I realised that it was properly the beginning of a wonderful book, and my love of Tolkien and all things Middle Earth began there. It is also the 75th anniversary of the first publication of The Hobbit, so all seems very fitting.

And now that I have started it I think I will add it to the list of reads I’m making for the Once Upon a Time challenge; but more of that later!