Of the three parts of the The Lord of the Rings, the Return of the King is actually the first that I bought. I borrowed the trilogy from my school’s library, but after I read Return of the King, I immediately bought a copy from Amazon, and reread it (it was the end of the year when I read it). I should mention that there were no used book stores near me so Amazon was my go to. The latest year I found on my copy is 1983, and it is the 100th print (Ballantine). I quite like this cover, and wish the other two I own were its sister covers. It has a charm to it. My copy happens to be an ex-library book, which is a trait of used books I also enjoy. It has no signs of it being a library book however, aside from the card insert on the back of the front cover, and a “Canyon Del Oro Alternative Program” stamp on the very first page. It’s actually in better condition than my movie tie covers, despite its library history. Since there isn’t much to say about it, I’ll tell a story about my history with the book.
When I was in middle school, I vividly remember trying to read this book in particular. At the time I didn’t know much about The Lord of the Rings other than the fact that they had recently been made into movies (which I hadn’t watched either). What attracted me was the title and the cover. It was a movie tie-in edition, with Aragorn entering the mountain pass with Legolas and Gimli. I grabbed the book off the clear spinning column, removed from the rest of the stock and happily made my way to the front desk. The school librarian had other plans however, she actually refused to let me check it out! I didn’t know her very well, but she asked if I read the other two. I replied honestly, I didn’t know there were two that came before. I assumed she wanted me to check out the first one, but no. She insisted that I wasn’t mature enough to read the book, and that my reading level wasn’t high enough. I was actually in a higher reading level than most people in my class, so I was a little bit offended. She of course was right. I think I was in third grade, so there was no way I was ready to delve into the mind of J.R.R Tolkien. She could have recommended I try The Hobbit however, and maybe my love of the book could have started there. So, there was my first attempt to read anything Tolkien. Happy collecting and reading!