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Reading Order F A Q

Frequently Asked Questions about Chronological Tolkien

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I don’t want to read all seven of these books! Can I read just a piece of Chronological Tolkien?

Should I use Chronological Tolkien if this is my first time reading The Lord of the Rings?

Can I use this system without writing in my books?

How small are the passages used in this reading order?

Why are some passages omitted entirely?

What are the best editions to use?

Why don’t you have my editions?

I like to read books “on the go” – in a coffee house, on the subway, and so on. If I am reading Tolkien chronologically, do I have to carry all seven books with me wherever I go?

Why did you include Unfinished Tales?

How does The Children of Húrin fit into this system?

Why didn’t you include The Adventures of Tom Bombadil?

Why didn’t you include the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth series?

 NEW!   How do the new books Beren and Lúthien and The Fall of Gondolin connect to this system?

Why don’t you have a Tolkien timeline?

How does this compare to David Bratman’s Tolkien Ordering?

Tell me about the Expanded Version of the Chronological Tolkien system!

What additional stories are included in the Expanded Version?

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Mr. Tumnus actually prefers lamp-posts....

    When Syme went out into the starlit street, he found it for the moment empty. Then he realized (in some odd way) that the silence was rather a living silence than a dead one. Directly outside the door stood a street lamp, whose gleam gilded the leaves of the tree that bent out over the fence behind him. About a foot from the lamp-post stood a figure almost as rigid and motionless as the lamp-post itself. The tall hat and long frock-coat were black; the face, in an abrupt shadow, was almost as dark. Only a fringe of fiery hair against the light, and also something aggressive in the attitude, proclaimed that it was the poet Gregory. He had something of the look of a masked bravo waiting sword in hand for his foe.

    He made a sort of doubtful salute, which Syme somewhat more formally returned.

    ‘I was waiting for you,’ said Gregory. ‘Might I have a moment’s conversation?’

    ‘Certainly. About what?’ asked Syme in a sort of weak wonder.

    Gregory struck out with his stick at the lamp-post, and then at the tree.

    ‘About this and this,’ he cried; ‘about order and anarchy. There is your precious order, that lean, iron lamp, ugly and barren; and there is anarchy, rich, living, reproducing itself – there is anarchy, splendid in green and gold.’

    ‘All the same,’ replied Syme patiently, ‘just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree....’

G.K. Chesterton    
The Man Who Was Thursday    

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Chronological Tolkien . . . . . Reading Order FAQ
Updated 25 September 2018 by Larry King

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