The Hobbit :: Sign Ups & Starting Post

Throughout November and December we’ll be reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien for our Read-a-Long. I haven’t read this since 7th grade (so about 20 years!), but I loved it back then. I’m hoping I still do. We’ll pass the section that the first movie will be about by the time the movie is released (so you don’t have to worry about not being able to see it in the theaters). Who’s in?



Please note: I would greatly appreciate you reading through “How It Works” at the bottom of the page before signing on… it’s most helpful to me to have you do so. 

Some Facts About the Read-a-Long:

  • You do not have to be a book blogger to join.
  • We will be reading the book in November and December (eight weeks), with the first discussion happening on Friday, November 9th/ the book is 3o5 pages (paperback, Ballantine Books edition) so that’s roughly 38 pages a week; about 5 pages a day.
  • Don’t be intimidated. We will be going at a slow pace and discussing the book throughout our reading. The discussions are quite fun, and make the reading process very enjoyable!

What is The Hobbit about?  

Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort. But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves. Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers. Finally, it was Bilbo–alone and unaided–who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside . . .

This stirring adventure fantasy begins the tale of the hobbits that was continued by J.R.R. Tolkien in his bestselling epic The Lord of the Rings. (via

Interesting tidbits about the author, J.R.R. Tolkien:

J.R.R. Tolkien, in full John Ronald Reuel Tolkien   (born January 3, 1892, Bloemfontein, South Africa—died September 2, 1973, Bournemouth, Hampshire, England), English writer and scholar who achieved fame with his children’s book The Hobbit (1937) and his richly inventive epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings (1954–55).

In private, Tolkien amused himself by writing an elaborate series of fantasy tales, often dark and sorrowful, set in a world of his own creation. He made this “legendarium,” which eventually became The Silmarillion, partly to provide a setting in which “Elvish” languages he had invented could exist. But his tales of Arda and Middle-earth also grew from a desire to tell stories, influenced by a love of myths and legends. To entertain his four children, he devised lighter fare, lively and often humorous. The longest and most important of these stories, begun about 1930, was The Hobbit, a coming-of-age fantasy about a comfort-loving “hobbit” (a smaller relative of Man) who joins a quest for a dragon’s treasure… (more)

Please let me know in the comments section of this post if you are interested! Hope you’ll join us, the more the merrier! Below is a break down of  the reading schedule. Saturday, November 3rd (tomorrow) will be the official starting day for reading, and our first discussion will start the following Friday, November 9th). Please take care to sign up with the name you are using for the rest of the read-a-long. 


The following is the reading and posting schedule for this read-a-long. Please note, we will be reading roughly 38 pages per week (about 5 pages a day). Because it is always easier for us to stop at chapters (rather than on page numbers, because of different editions), I’ve had to round to the nearest chapter each week. Please look at the week’s page amount to best plan your reading in order to keep up.


Beginning Friday, November 3rd and ending Friday, December 28th. 


Week #/ Where to Stop (For example, in week one STOP and place your bookmark at Chapter III.)

Week One/ Chapter III
Week Two/ Chapter VI
Week Three/ Chapter VII
Week Four/ Chapter IX
Week Five/ Chapter XI
Week Six/ Chapter XIII
Week Seven/ Chapter XVI
Week Eight/ The End


Post #/ date post should be up on blog:

Start up Post/ Today!
Week One/ November 9th
Week Two/ November 16th
Week Three/ November 23rd
Week Four/ November 30th
Week Five/ December 7th
Week Six/ December 14th
Week Seven/ December 21st
Week Eight/ December 28th (Final Review)

** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each week to share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly Read-a-Long discussion (see below for more information).**

How it Works:

  1. Each week, on Friday, I will post my thoughts about the week’s reading. You will have from Friday through the following Thursday to post yours. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “This is my off week — I am catching up!” Please note that, in order to be counted, your offering to the discussion must be about the current weeks’ reading, not about past weeks. ***For all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
  2. As these Read-a-Longs grow, so do the amount of people who participate – yay, all the more fun!!! Also, all the more keeping track of who is still reading. As you know – if you have been absent from discussion for two weeks, you will be removed from the list. However, now, in order to get back on the list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) Consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list. Am I trying to be mean? Absolutely not! I LOVE having you all read a long. It is, however, a lot of work to keep track of who’s still reading, and to keep taking names off and putting them back on the list. Most importantly though,  consistency is good for the group; we tend to get to know each other through discussions and rely on the conversation to keep us reading. I don’t do these read-a-longs to gain followers; I do them because the benefit of reading certain books with a group of dedicated people is often superior to reading them alone. But reading with undedicated people is worst of all, which is why I care less about numbers and more about dedication to the book and the discussions. (Bonus, at the end of the year I tally those who have done multiple read-a-longs and they get honorable mention on the Read-a-Longs page and a chance to enter for the 2012 Read-a-Long Prize — it’s going to be GOOD!.)
  3. If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blogand be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
  4. Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Thursday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Friday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.

49 thoughts on “The Hobbit :: Sign Ups & Starting Post

  1. The Hobbit is actually on my TBR stack! I would like to request to join up! I know my track record is dismal but I am super stoked about reading this with you guys! My son even has a children’s illustrated version and might join (unofficially..since you know…he’s 8)!!

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  3. Hi Wallace! Just like Wuthering Hieghts, I missed this in High School (what on earth was I doing??) I’m excited to continue in your Read-a-Thon – count me in!!

    • The new versions (75th Anniversary editions) are edited from previous editions to be as close as possible to “Tolkien’s final intended form”. It has copies of Tolkien’s drawings too (I have the paperback pictured above also, and it has no drawings other than the map).

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  5. Count me in. This is my first official readalong! I just finished Anna Karenina, which would never have happened if I hadn’t stumbled upon this site and used its Anna Karenina readalong schedule and terrific weekly commentaries as motivation. I’m very happy to be able to join the Hobbit readalong in real time. I loved the book as a boy and I hope the delight it gave me holds up. I hope to discover some other cool book blogs here too!

  6. I’m joining you because I simply must read this again before I see the movie. I can do it! My TuesBookTalk monthly read-a-long book is very short so it won’t hinder me like The Passage did last month. Yay! Thanks for hosting, Wallace!

  7. I’ve made a simple calendar for the event, so if you find it useful, you can add it to your google calendar or another calendar program. Here are the links for different applications. One of them must work for you!

  8. Can you count me in? I’m in my first term of grad school and approaching finals… but I know the ONLY way I will read this is if I make some sort of commitment to it like this! No promises, but I’ll give it a shot =)

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