Kat
Kat asked:

I own the whole LOTR trilogy and I intend to buy The Hobbit and The Silmarillion. In which order do you recomend reading these? (I've seen all the movies, but have not read any of the books).

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Preda I think you should read them like Hobbit -> LOTR -> Silm -> Children of Hurin -> UT and HOME. It isn't the "chronological order" but it eases you into the world in the best way. Reading Silmarillion or Chilren first and then Hobbit sort of feels weird since those are some very grim books while Hobbit is more relaxed
Heather I read the Hobbit first, then the LOTR, and am currently reading the Silmarillion. I feel this order was most beneficial to me, because I already had a good footing in Middle Earth and the various races and now I can go back and read about the events that lead up to the Hobbit/LOTR.
Kim Do NOT read the Silmarillion first. Whether you start with The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings is pretty inconsequential, as they both stand on their own. While chronologically the events in the Silmarillion are first, it is a history book, not a novel, and you will not make it through.
Maurice Halton The Silmarillion provides a broad background to all the other stories and should therefore be read first. However, I don't know anyone that did this. Most start with the Hobbit because its a much easier and lighter read than any of the others.
Catherine I say read in order of difficulty. Hobbit first, then LotR, last Silmarillion. Chronological order is not needed except for the LotR volumes.
Brandon Ammon Truthfully I don't think that there is a "right" order to read them. Yes technically the Silmarillion was Tolkien first however it was also his last. I read the LOTR series, then the Hobbit and I am currently reading the Silmarillion. In each one is written very differently. I do however recommend not to start with the Silmarillion. You will get confused very easily. Read the LOTR series first because it will give you something to refer to as your read the others.
Teodor Alexandru I recommend reading The Silmarillion first, then the Hobbit, then the LOTR trilogy, as this would be the proper order of the events of Middle-earth.
Liam First of all, the Lord of the Rings is one book published in three separate parts. It's not a trilogy.

But yes, Hobbit, LOTR, Silmarillion, UT, Children of Hurin, etc.
Brandon Smith Shame on the people who answered The Silmarillion first. Do you want her to give up on Middle Earth? I'd say start with The Hobbit or Lord of The Rings, and then read the other. Only after reading both, and if you are interested enough and have enough patience for a history book, read the Silmarillion.
Shrimpy I would recommend Hobbit > LOTR > then Silmarillion and any other Middle Earth mythology books you'd like. The Hobbit is a standalone book in the Middle Earth universe, Lord of the Rings is the sequel to Hobbit, and the Silmarillion is essentially the Bible for Middle Earth.
Paul Magnussen I agree with most of the other answers: Hobbit -> LoTR -> Silmarillion -> Unfinished Tales.

Also: if you enjoyed reading the Appendices of LoTR, then you’ll enjoy The Silmarillion. If you didn’t, then you won’t.
Sharon Akins I read the Lord of the Rings first, then the Hobbit and The Silmarillion. There wasn't really a reason for this other than growing up, in a Christian home, my mother was very strict and thought it, like Dungeons and Dragons, was something evil - this was of course, based on nothing but the title, and no actual research into who wrote it. When I was in high school, I broke out and started researching vampires. LOL I ended up with a 3" binder packed to the brim on my research before she found it and I lost all but a 1" binder worth before she came around.

Anyway, I remember sneaking peeks of the cartoons at a friends house, so I knew the basics of the story. Then when the films came out by Peter Jackson, I got the books and read them. The Silmarillion, while I loved it, was hardest to get through because you're reading a history book. One of my teachers told me that I was the only one they knew that had actually made it through it and could explain what I read.
Sylvia Green I would read "The Hobbit" first, and then Lord of The Rings, and then The Silmarillion. The Hobbit is a simple book, written for children, with a fantastic story; LOTR is a more epic book, and there are a lot of "The Hobbit" references in it; The Silmarillion is like the Bible of Middle Earth. This is not the chronological order (the correct order is Silmarillion - The Hobbit - LOTR) but I think that this is something like a "writing style" order, from the easiest to the most difficult, so you can understand if you actually like Tolkien and if you really want to continue reading him. You can also read LOTR, and than "The Hobbit" and then The Silmarillion: that's the order that I used (because I didn't know much about the whole thing); but I think than in LOTR there are some annoying parts that could discourage people to continue.
Ting
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Apoorv Belsare I would suggest the sillmarillion-Children of Hurin-LOTR_Hobbit-UT and others such as the new Beren and luthien
Pat Harris I agree with reading the Hobbit first, then LoTR, then the Silmarillion. The Silmarillion becomes much more exciting when you recognize names you've heard from the LoTR (which doesn't happen until you're a good way into the book).
Justin Even though the Silmarillion chronologically takes place first for the most part you should read The Hobbit first, The Lord of the Rings second, and the Silmarillion last. It will just all make more sense that way and there will be less chance of getting hung up on the Silmarillion and not making it through the rest. And that can happen. But enjoy it however you choose to read it if you haven't already. They are all great books.
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