I picked up The Lord of the Rings from the library shelf as a freshman in high school. It was thick had little print and was completely unlike anything I had ever checked out from a library. I always spent time in the nonfiction section somewhere between astronomy and biology.
Little did I know that my geeky world of astronomy and science had prepared me for the genre of fantasy fiction. It was literally the first work of fiction that I ever read and enjoyed, and since that time I have read the series including the Hobbit several times including reading the entire series out loud to my wife and my children.
The depth of characters and themes are amazing. Nobody really writes like Tolkien any more. And Peter Jackson could not quite capture the depth of character and emotion that the books carry you through. The movies are entertaining, but they certainly left a lot lacking in the feel and the strong ethical implications of the books.
If you had asked me in high school, what I was going to choose as a career path, without a question, science would’ve been a part of that equation. Engineer? Doctor? Pilot? I am now a Pastor.
Very few moments have a course setting power in our lives, but picking up The Lord of the Rings helped me to fall in love with language, story, and the written word. I fell in love with reading and the rest is history. Now reading and writing is a major part of my life.
Who knows the power of a book at the right place and the right time. Be careful what you grab off the shelf, it might sweep your feet down roads you never thought you’d travel!