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Which Hobbit?

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Nov 11 2012 · 815 views

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out in theaters next month, based on one of my favorite books of all time. I am super pumped.

So of course I want to reread the book before the movie to have it fresh in my mind. The question is - which version should I read?

I have a copy of the mass market paperback (not that exact version) that I got in sixth grade. I've read it countless times and it's definitely seen better days, but it certainly has some sentimental value.

I've also got a nice hardcover illustrated edition that looks just amazing. I love the Old English runes (which I can read, or could at one point).

No? Well how about The Annotated Hobbit? I got this back in high school when I was writing a research paper on The Hobbit. It has a lot of interesting details about Tolkien's inspirations, the references he makes, and the time period during which it was written that had an impact on the book.

Most recently, I received a copy of The Pocket Hobbit as a gift in July. It's so adorable, and packs in a lot of detail on the jacket design.

So many choices! Help me decide!

Also, I may have a problem...

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Clearly you need to read all three at once. The mass market paperback (which I also own) can be the main reading source; the hardcover illustrated will be open for its pretty pictures (which I'm assuming are pretty, because I've never come into contact with that version); the annotated version will be open so that you may read the extra goodies as you go; and the pocket edition can be there just to be adorable.


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Haha I've got the same problem. I have two Hobbits that are part of an LOTR box set, the Annotated Hobbit, the leather-bound pocket edition Hobbit, and the Nookbook Hobbit.

For me, I'm going to read the Annotated Hobbit -- I haven't read it yet, so I'm extremely excited to do so.

In your case...have you read the pocket-edition one yet? If not I'd say go with that one (or the hardback if you haven't read that one yet -- which, I'm jealous of, by the way. I'm totally hoping to get it soon though!).

If you've already read every version then: Pocket Edition, if you want to read it on-the-go; otherwise the hardback or Annotated editions, as I think those will probably be the most enjoyable overall (but I have yet to read the Annotated, so yeah).

I'm definitely looking forward to reading the Annotated Hobbit a few days before I see the movie. Can't wait!
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The copy that I read was actually large (are wise) but not that thick, and had color illustrations of major moments.

Edit: Found a picture of the cover.
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It depends on how your hand feels.

I'd be happier with the hardcover, but somedays the paperback feels better and much lighter when reading.

Annotated feels off-course from where the movie should be, it might distract the overall story.

And the pocket Hobbit sounds adorable. I'd take it along just because.

Personal opinions, of course.
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All! why not?
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Just wait until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out on DVD and Blu Ray and watch it with the subtitles on.


- Tilius
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Queen of Noise
Nov 11 2012 02:27 PM
Get the 70th anniversary edition and read that one
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I have a very large softcover edition (this one) with paintings of important scenes back home that I should grab next time I'm there. Haven't read the Annotated Hobbit, though - that looks interesting.
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Nov 11 2012 03:09 PM
I wish I had your problem.
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Clearly you need to buy the Illustrated Edition and read it. :P
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I advise, just read the paperback version. Reading the illustrated version will spark endless comparisons of illustrations to the movie visuals, the annotations will be just be distracting as you try to refresh your memory of the story...or whatever you're trying to do by reading it again.
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Clearly you need to buy the Illustrated Edition and read it. :P

Ugh. Bilbo looks horrid. Martin Freeman is probably the best depiction of him. Ever.
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Clearly you need to buy the Illustrated Edition and read it. :P

Ugh. Bilbo looks horrid. Martin Freeman is probably the best depiction of him. Ever.

Martin Freeman does seem to capture him pretty perfectly, except maybe the weight. My first copy of The Hobbit had a picture of him as being a bit pudgy, so that's forever how I'll visualize him internally.
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Black Six
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