When I last checked Kindle Store none of the J.R.R.Tolkien books were there. There were some books about Tolkien himself and his writings but that was that. Oh, well I though, no big surprise here – you can sell these books in paper for centuries from now and people would gladly buy them, myself included.
I was checking out Kindle Store recently and discovered the most wonderful thing: Harper Collins published most of J.R.R.Tolkien’s books on Kindle! It turns out that some of these books were added as early as April 2009.
I first read Lord Of The Rings in Russian many years ago. Here’s an interesting fact for those who are not familiar with Russian translations of J.R.R.Tolkien: back then there were at least 3 major Russians translations of The Lord Of The Rings. They were identified by the way Frodo’s last name was translated: there was one where Baggins was just transliterated into Cyrillic and then there were Сумкинс (Sumkins) and Торбинс (Torbins). The latter are variations of Russian word for “bag”.
“The Silmarillion” was probably the best reading experience I’ve had ever. I read it after reading “The Lord Of The Rings” and “The Hobbit”. I was reading the original English text, while listening to my favorite tracks of Blind Guardian, while smoking a pipe, while wrapped in a warm blanket during long winter evenings. I was totally there!
I guess that having to flip paper pages was part of the reading pleasure as well. I’m not sure if I would have had the same experience if I were reading it in Kindle Edition. However it’s still great to see these books finally available on Kindle. Here’s a list of what you can currently buy:
- The Lord Of The Rings (Trilogy). What’s a bit hilarious is that the first sentence in this book is: “J.R.R. Tolkien’s the Lord Of The Rings is often erroneously called a trilogy, when it is in fact a single novel, consisting of six books plus appendices, sometimes published in three volumes“. I guess that HarperCollins put “trilogy” in the product title just to prove their point even more. You can also get “The Fellowship Of The Ring“, “The Two Towers” and “The Return Of The King” as three separate books if you prefer. The eBook is based on the 50th Anniversary Edition.
- The Hobbit. In case somebody doesn’t know. It covers events before the ones described in “The Lord Of The Rings” and among other things contains the story of Bilbo finding the ring of power. In case you are wondering – yes, there’s two part movie based on the book in the works and yes, Peter Jackson is producing it. It’s scheduled to hit the theaters in December 2011 and December 2012. In case you don’t want to wait that long – there’s animated film made in 1977.
- The Silmarillion. It is another great read. It contains legends some of which are referenced in “The Lord Of The Rings” and “The Hobbit” and covers history of the Middle-Earth since it was created until the events leading to “The Lord Of The Rings”: the fall of Morgoth, rise of Sauron and fall of Sauron and forging the rings of power.
- Unfinished Tales is a collection of unfinished works of J.R.R.Tolkien published by Christopher Tolkien. It contains additional pieces of information related to the events in The Lord Of The Rings.
- The Children of Húrin covers events that took place 6,500 years after the War Of The Ring.
- The Legend Of Sigurd And Gudrún is an epic poem that J.R.R.Tolkien wrote in 1920s and 1930s. It was just released in 2009 and is not linked to The Lord Of The Rings and Middle-Earth but rather based on Norse mythology.
This can only be topped by release of exteneded edition of “The Lord Of The Rings” movie trilogy on Blu-Ray :) Currently you can only pre-order blu-ray version of the theatrical cut. However, according to SlashFilm, extended editions will also be released sometime closer to theatrical release of “The Hobbit”.