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Questions > Lord of the Rings - Add The Hobbit?

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message 1: by vicki_girl (new)

vicki_girl | 2765 comments I have a question regarding the series object for The Lord of the Rings. Should The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again be added to the list? It is closely connected to the main trilogy. It is often marketed as the "Prelude to The Lord of the Rings". There are also box sets that contain The Hobbit + LOTR.

My opinion is that they are closely related and they should go together, but I am looking second opinions before proceeding. :)


message 2: by Carolyn (last edited Aug 31, 2010 10:28AM) (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 579 comments I would agree from a series standpoint that The Hobbit should be put in as a prequel in the LOTR series (and I own one of those box sets. = )


message 3: by willaful (last edited Aug 31, 2010 11:00AM) (new)

willaful You could argue it either way. Some people seem to like to have canonically numbered series as a separate entity. One option would be to make a second series that includes prequels and other related books. (Like the Silmarillion and Farmer Giles of Ham, if I have that name right.) This seems like it would be along the lines of having two versions of a series, one in chronological order, one in publication order.

At the very least, I would put a link to The Hobbit in the description.


message 4: by willaful (new)

willaful This is the way I've mostly been doing it: http://www.goodreads.com/series/40371...

The official series is numbered, the related books are not.


This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments Interesting question. I have to admit, my instinct would be to put The Hobbit into The Lord of the Rings as book zero, but that's probably not precisely correct.

After slightly more thought (30 seconds, anyway), perhaps we should have a "Lord of the Rings" series with just the 3 in it, and then a "Middle Earth" series which includes The Hobbit, Silmarillian, the 10 or 12 Lost Tales (which themselves is actually a series), etc?


message 6: by willaful (new)

willaful Great minds think alike. :-)


message 7: by MissJessie (new)

MissJessie | 874 comments Not a bad idea, but a potential problem: If when/if/until search is ever fixed it is necessary to include the Series info in the search, absolutely no one would ever find them by title since it's not an "official" series title.

Also, I am a little wary of artificially manufactured series titles, given people's imaginations. Who knows what else would be "serialized"?

But maybe I just have a suspicious/cynical mind.


message 8: by Brian (new)

Brian (furicle) | 23 comments I think it would be helpful to link the two series in the description as well, no? See also The Middle Earth Series? and See Also Lord Of The Rings ?


message 9: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 159 comments There's a series set up for the History of Middle Earth (Lost Tales included): http://www.goodreads.com/series/45924...

An overall Middle Earth set could work, with the LotR, Hobbit, Silmarilion, History, Lost Tales, Tolkien Reader, etc. all included.

It can become pretty big, by the time you add map books, art books, movie scripts, reference material, essay books about the series, etc. There's a lot out there.


message 10: by willaful (new)

willaful What are you concerned would be serialized?

I think having a second series would be perfectly adequate for the most probable usage, which would be that someone would look up a book and then learn that it was connected to several other books. Or they would look up the "Lord of the Rings" series and discover the link that way.

I've been including links to related books whenever I'm aware of them: http://www.goodreads.com/series/49403...


message 11: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 159 comments I like the linking there, willaful. It's clear, right there where it will be seen, and keeps the list from getting cluttered.


message 12: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 579 comments Chris wrote: "It can become pretty big, by the time you add map books, art books, movie scripts, reference material, essay books about the series, etc. There's a lot out there."

But are we adding everything associated with a work into the series for a work?
My thinking is not - because I don't think that essays, criticism, movie scripts, and reference material belong in a series object. That opens up a whole sticky slope...


message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 159 comments You're right, Carolyn. The question might end up becoming one of where to draw the line. I can see that it would become easy to go down that slope.


message 14: by willaful (new)

willaful Carolyn wrote: "But are we adding everything associated with a work into the series for a work?
My thinking is not - because I don't think that essays, criticism, movie scripts, and reference material belong in a series object. That opens up a whole sticky slope... "


I agree, that seems getting very far afield from what a series is. Collecting that information is certainly useful, but it belongs somewhere else.


message 15: by willaful (new)

willaful Chris wrote: "I like the linking there, willaful. It's clear, right there where it will be seen, and keeps the list from getting cluttered."

Thanks Chris. :-)


message 16: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 159 comments That's actually how I've felt about the whole Star Trek/Star Wars/Forgotten Realms thing where every single work to those series was put in one. I think that can work with a small series, but with one of that size it just makes a huge list that's too big to be any use.


message 17: by Banjomike (last edited Aug 31, 2010 01:39PM) (new)

Banjomike | 5530 comments One potential drawback is given in #3 when talking about prequels & related books. The given example, Farmer Giles Of Ham, is NOT related to the Hobbit or LotR or any other Tolkien work apart from the fact that it was written by him. If we allow related books (related in someone's opinion) to be added to canon books we could end up with a mess. Do we include the non-Ian Fleming James Bond books?


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 362 comments From a reader's perspective, The Hobbit stands alone. So it really doesn't belong in the series, imo.

Maybe it'd help to remember to plan ahead and to think about being consistent - Are you going to hook The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella to the Twilight series? Are you going to hook The Tales of Beedle the Bard to the Harry Potter series?

(Bear in mind I'm not trying to step on any toes, just offering an outsider's opinion that might, or might not, help. :)


message 19: by willaful (new)

willaful Banjomike wrote: "One potential drawback is given in #3 when talking about prequels & related books. The given example, Farmer Giles Of Ham, is NOT related to the Hobbit or LotR or any other Tolkien work apart from..."

Oh sorry, I meant to say the book about Tom Bombadil and the wrong title popped into my head.


message 20: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments The Hobbit doesn't really stand alone, though -- you can read it alone, but it's very definitely related to The Lord of the Rings, and if you're reading either one you probably want to know about the other.

(I'm less interested in the philosophical "what makes a series a series?" concept and much more interested in "what do readers want to know about this book?" which is very unusual for me -- usually I'm the crazy theorist!)


message 21: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca | 593 comments I would put "The Hobbit" in the same series with "Lord of the Ring". Mine came in a boxed set with all four books.

Cait wrote: "I'm less interested in the philosophical "what makes a series a series?" concept and much more interested in "what do readers want to know about this book?" "

It's almost like some of these series have a core series, and then an expanded series with all sorts of support books. Your basic reader wants to know about the core set of books. Someone really into a series wants to know about all the little extras.


message 22: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (last edited Aug 31, 2010 06:13PM) (new)

rivka | 43598 comments Mod
mlady_rebecca wrote: "I would put "The Hobbit" in the same series with "Lord of the Ring"."

Cait wrote: "The Hobbit doesn't really stand alone, though -- you can read it alone, but it's very definitely related to The Lord of the Rings, and if you're reading either one you probably want to know about t..."

I agree with both of you. I vote for putting in "The Hobbit" as an un-numbered prequel, before book #1 of the trilogy.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 362 comments Well, I read The Hobbit several times, and got about 2/3 of the way through the first LotR book. And was satisfied. But that's just me.

I definitely see how you librarians have to make some difficult choices, because indeed as in msg 21, there are basic readers and then there are true fans. Good on ye for all your efforts!


message 24: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (booksavvy) | 34 comments As a Tolkien fan, I wouldn't mind seeing the Hobbit listed as Book 0 in a series note for Lord of the Rings. Since the events in the Hobbit have a direct impact on the Lord of the Rings series, it makes sense. I also like having a note similar to the note willaful has in the L'Engle books, directing others to the Histories of Middle Earth.

I think this will help younger readers who are just starting the series to see how the stories correlate. That's what I end up doing at the library when a younger student asks for Lord of the Rings and they get discouraged when they see it that it might be above their reading level or just plain too much. I point out the Hobbit and they often see that as a bit less daunting :)


message 25: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 159 comments I like the links from one related series to another in the description field. That's very user friendly, and it's a lot easier to click a link than scroll down and back up again through oodles of entries in a single list.


message 26: by Stacey (last edited Sep 01, 2010 02:07PM) (new)

Stacey (booksavvy) | 34 comments Well, since I'm a children's librarian IRL, I actually get that quite often. Students, usually around 4th or 5th grade have seen the movies and find out they are books and are interested in reading them. When I say "children" I don't mean 6 year olds. Although, you'd be surprised what some kids ask for! :)

They are, as you mentioned, written for an adult market but many students read at higher levels than what is typical. We keep the Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers and Return of the King in our collection for students to check out. If you were to look at most public libraries, the Lord of the Rings trilogy can be found in both juvenile fiction and adult/young adult fiction sections. The Histories and such are usually only found in Adult.

I'm not here to tell students what they can and cannot read, but if they would like to make an attempt, they are welcome to it. Usually, it's the parent who suggests that it might be too difficult for them to read. That is why I often suggest they start with the Hobbit, since it was written for younger children. Which is why it might be nice to have them linked.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 362 comments Ooh, msg 26 - can you post an example please Chris? That sounds so cool!


message 28: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 159 comments Cheryl wrote: "Ooh, msg 26 - can you post an example please Chris? That sounds so cool!"

http://www.goodreads.com/series/45456...

This is a small example, but I've seen a few while bouncing around.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 362 comments Oh that's good to know! So, a reader clicks on the series part of the title, and gets info. about that series and maybe some related series, too. A hidden feature - thanks!


message 30: by Blaine (new)

Blaine | 12 comments On the note of the Hobbit and LOTR, I learned that the LOTR was originally written as a sequel to the Hobbit (it was then split into 3 books). So it would make sense to have them all together as a series.

As for the Silmilrillian, etc. I don't really care. I kind of like the idea of a Histories of Middle Earth series, but it could be messy.


message 31: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 24780 comments My 2c worth - I always thought of The Hobbit as the first book, followed by LOTR. I read TH in Grade 7 & I remember the teacher telling us about LOTR.


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