True story (sad when you have lived your life such that you have to add that):
When I was a child we did our yearly camping trip to the West Coast and Mootie always gave us an allowance for books/comics to read on the trip. It made traveling in the camper a little more bearable (barely). Roger and I had read in Parade magazine (Roger can correct me if I am wrong because it was a long time ago...the summer after fourth grade for me) that the hippie community was madly in love with Lord of the Rings. Well, I loved anything hippie at the time, probably because Lowell hated them so much. So Roger and I decided to buy the series but we couldnt find The Fellowship of the Ring. He started first with the Two Towers and I waited for him to finish. Luckily, we didnt have to wade through those first hundred pages of the Fellowship.
I remember after I finished the appendix (I so love the appendix) of just weeping and then I had an epiphany. I realized I would never read anything I would love again, as much as I loved the Lord of the Rings
. I have loved many books and reread some books many times but nothing has moved me as much as this series.
When I had my pre-mission interview the Bishop, he asked me how many times I had read the Book Of Mormon. I replied 12 times and he was shocked. Then the Mormon guilt crept in and I mentioned that I had read Lord of the Rings 27 times. Yes, I use to keep track. I think I have finally reversed the order of which one I have read the most but it has been an herculean effort.
Just awhile ago I was mentioning to Kirsten that I wish that Tolkien had done more with women in the series. She had an interesting insight. She said, "Given what is happening to men in our society, increased pornography addiction, video game addictions, lack of desire to get higher education and to have a career (30% of American males now no longer finish High School) men need stories of heroes who are noble and right. Men need to be inspired and have heroic friendships with each other." Word.