My introduction to Tolkien came when my dad read The Hobbit to my sisters and I as we sat around a campfire.
Could there be a more perfect scenario? Our family was camping in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges. I was about 11, my sisters younger. Our evening’s entertainment consisted of hunkering around the fire that crackled in a dried-up creek bed, drinking hot chocolate, and listening to the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures there and back again…
I usually cite Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, which I read a couple of years later, as sparking my lifelong love of fantasy; but there’s no denying the magic of those early Hobbit memories. Even though at that age I was more than capable of reading it myself (and I’m a little surprised I hadn’t already!), there’s something extra magical about hearing it read aloud.
As for hearing it aloud around a campfire… Well, we were listening to stories to while away the evening exactly as the people of Middle Earth (not to mention a gazillion other fantasy novels) would have done.
Today’s post is in response to the wanafriday theme of sharing a childhood memory. Do you have a memory of being read to as a child? What was your favourite story?
Here are some of the other contributions to the theme (updated progressively):