ABOUT: AN UNOFFICIAL HOMEPAGE FOR THE LORD OF THE RINGS BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN
Over the years, I've received a digital ton of e-mail asking "what's the deal with this site?" "why this?" "why not that?" I figure that after more than a decade, I'll answer the most frequent questions here in something of a 'Q and A' format.
Q: "Okay, so, what's the 'real' reason you maintain this site?
A: It does sound a little cliché, but it's true none-the-less. The primary purpose (or goal) for this site, is to make it as easy as possible for people looking for the numerous editions of Tolkien's works, to actually find them.
Q: "Yeah, well, just what do you mean by 'making it as easy as possible' for people to find Tolkien's books?
A: Anyone who has searched for a particular edition of Tolkien's books, or any book with varied editions for that matter, will know that online booksellers often make searching for these editions difficult. Either the edition you're looking for can not be found at all in a direct search, or is miss-catalogued (linked with another edition), or only available is you search for it using its 'ISBN.' Descriptions too, even those provided by the publisher themselves, are often attributed with other editions, or there is no description at all, further adding to the confusion.
Over a great deal of time, I've managed to work through all this chaos, and sort it all out into the sections you'll find on this site, so those visiting here can find accurate links to the currently available editions of Tolkien's works.
Now, with this being said, I don't have any complaints whatsoever about the methods online booksellers offer their products. The publication of Tolkien's works are somewhat confusing and disjointed in their own right, even without online booksellers getting involved in the mess. In my research, I've actually (usually anonymously) corrected publishers on their own listings of Tolkien's works, and even a few libraries as well from time-to-time.
You know, when I come to think of it, I believe I may have become just a tad bit compulsive when it comes to Tolkien's works.
Q: "So, if you want to be so comprehensive, then why don't you list 'this edition' or 'that edition' on your site?"
A: What usually answers this question, is that I don't list out-of-print editions. If I determine that a particular edition of Tolkien's works will not likely a press again, I remove it from the site. There's no point in listing something people can't order any longer.
I've had to remove a lot of personally favorite editions of Tolkien's works lately.
These out-of-print editions though, are often times replaced with revised editions, which of course do get listed here.
Q: Why do you list United Kingdom (UK) editions on a site that's more or less based in the USA?
A: I've found that Tolkien's British publishers often have a greater selection to choose from than his American publishers do. The British publishers also tend to keep their editions in print longer as well. Besides, England was Tolkien's native land, so it also serves as something of an homage.
Q: Why don't you include images of the book covers on your site
A: I don't include the image of an edition's cover, because very often the image on the online booksellers site will not match that on the current edition, which may lead to confusing the visitor, which is counter to the above mentioned clichéd goal for this site.
I really do put a lot of research into these links, so please rest assured that my links go to the correct edition on the online booksellers site.
Q: What's with all those single quotes all over the place?
A: It's simply a method I use to delineate special features of a particular edition. So, SINGLE VOLUME 'FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY' 'LEATHER BOUND' 'HARDCOVER' EDITION would highlight that it's the Fiftieth Anniversary edition and that it's also bound in leather.
Q: Why don't you focus more on Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" movies?
A: Well, I do list the DVD and Blu-ray releases of those motion pictures, but since they were 'based' on Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," I think I have the base material pretty well covered.
Q: Oh, yeah?!? Well, what about Peter Jackson's upcoming movies 'based' on "The Hobbit" then?
A: Got those covered as well, but since those movies have yet to actually hit the theaters, there are no Blu-rays (DVDs will be dead by then) to list, so there!
As to both of Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien's works, I personally feel their greatest contribution to Tolkien's legacy, is their encouragement (although not directly) to young (and older) people to actually read "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," then even go on to read other books, like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, and others. A contribution that will far out live the motion pictures themselves.
Q: Why does your site look so bland and boring?
A: What?!? How dare you!!!
This is a content oriented site, so has no real need to be overtly decorated with artwork that would just end up distracting rather than focusing visitors to what this site is about (see above). I do try to give the site a little style, and make sure it's more or less identical on current browsers, and adheres to HTML and CSS3 standards. Beyond that, let the vast number of other Tolkien related sites dazzle their visitors with all that fancy artwork. I'm in competition with nobody.
Q: "Will you answer more questions later?"
A: Okay, I asked that one myself.
Yes, I'll answer more questions as they come to me, so if you're really that bored, please check back ... if not, I really feel "The Hobbit" is a much more interesting read.
An Unofficial Homepage for The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This site is not an official site, and is not authorized by the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, his representatives, assigns, or heirs, nor is this site intended to be so construed. Except for material in the public domain, or obtained with permission from its owner, this site's publisher represents and warrants that each element of this site is original material created by this site's publisher. This site's publisher further represents and warrants that this site does not infringe the copyright, trademark, patent, moral rights, right of privacy, or right of publicity of any third party or contain any defamatory material.