Since I was a child, I've always had a strong affinity towards books. Now, I wouldn't say that I'm a bookworm, rather a book lover. I've always loved to read fiction (except the mushy romantic kind) and though this article is about the book that I've had in my possession the longest, which for me would be the Asterix series and the classics by Jules Verne and Charles Dickens and the Sherlock Holmes stories, I'll talk about the book that is the closest to me. I bought this copy of The Lord Of The Rings when I was on a trip with my family to Shillong and nearby places and I needed something to keep me busy through the nights in the guest room. When I bought the book of which I'd heard quite a lot about in reviews, I had no clue that I would be hooked for days to a point where I literally would not be able to put it down.
One book above them all. One book to summon life. One book to rule them all. One book to clear strife.
The Lord Of The Rings had me totally enraptured with the brilliantly told fantasy by JRR Tolkien. I'd read a few of the Harry Potter books then and at that age, even now, I think they're excellently written books. But no book had the kind of effect on me as Tolkien's masterpiece. For five days straight, sitting in a car, in bed, eating and at almost all other times, I read on until i had lived through the 1000 plus pages for the first time.
I was completely lost in the world of hobbits and men and elves and dwarves and orcs and wizards. I could visualise the Fellowship journeying through the mines of Moria, Gandalf falling with the Balrog, the beauty of Lothlorien and the enchantingly beautiful Galadriel, the battles of Rohan and Gondor, Frodo travelling through the waste lands of Mordor, through Shelob's Lair with Sam and Gollum and with the Nazgul always searching, and the fiery Cracks of Doom. I could see it all happen before my eyes as I read the book. I could feel the pain that the Fellowship felt when Gandalf seemingly died. I could sense the fear in the minds of everyone when the Ringwraiths were near and approaching. I could even understand the strange language that the Elves spoke.I could capture every moment and stay within them.
Having read the book multiple times, I realise that every time I read it, philosophies etched in those pages become clearer to me as I develop the maturity to understand them. The first time I read it, it was the best story ever written. Then slowly, as I read it again, and again, I understood and saw the meaning of brotherhood and love, the importance of truth and good in our lives, the desire to acclaim power and the need to abandon it in the face of evil or simply for the benefit of the rest. I'm only stating in broad here and I'm sure that the next time I read it, I'll unearth hitherto more undiscovered gold. It has been with me through my best days and my worst for it has always provided me with the answers that I have needed. The lines have given me solace. The runes have bestowed curiosity. In all its entirety, it is very close to my heart indeed. For these very reasons, this is a book that is very close to me and I have no desire to ever let it go any time in the future, near or far.
A time would come when i must give it away but then it would be by my last will and testament and I would pass it on to my heir saying, “This book helped me understand life, helped me live, saw me through the best and darkest of my days. Read it and keep it safe and then pass it on as I did to you.”