Did the LOTR movies increase the book readership - personal accounts wanted

I’m curious if the highly successful Peter Jackson take on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings really increased the number of people who have read the book. Yes, yes, I know they’re on the racks and the sales numbers are there. I’m interested in hearing from anyone who read the books after seeing the films (and what they thought of them). Or if you have a friend, acquaintance or relative who did.

Just curious, as I said. I wonder if people who saw the films first will go to the books and be put off by the somewhat stilted writing style, or whether they stick with it to find there is more substance in the books than could be shown in the movie. (As is probably true for any book/movie translation. Even “To Kill A Mockingbird”, for example. Movie version great, but book should still be read.)

Disclaimer/background: I’m a LOTR nut, or geek if you will. Still have my battered copies of the books from the early 1970s. I almost didn’t see the movies, I was so skeptical. And while I could nitpick the movies to death, I prefer to see the good in them, and take them for the wonderful gift they are.

I wouldn’t have read the books if it hadn’t been for the movies. I didn’t even know what the story was about. (I thought the ring was a good thing.)

I bought the books back in the 70’s but never read them, passed them on to one of my kids, who also didn’t read them.

Loved the movies, loved the books, and two of my kids are also reading them, so there are three on the side of – however you’re going to word it. “Movie first.”

I read the books because of the movies, though it was because of the teaser trailer, so I read them before the movies came out. That said, I prefer the movies to the books, because while the books have richer details and backstory, the movies tell the story better (I didn’t really like how the story with Frodo & co. and Aragorn & co. were told separately). While there are some things I think the book did better, and I am glad I read them, I think the movies are more watchable. But I never really grew attached to the books like others have, since I only read them once half a year before the movies.

I re-read the books because of the movies. Mostly to refresh my memory as to where the movies departed from the books.

I work with a woman who was inspired by the movies to read the books, and was very put off by them because they didn’t read like Harry Potter, which had been her only previous experience with the genre (I think she gave up and didn’t finish all three).

I also saw the movie first. I’d been put off reading the books by my brother’s passionate love of them in middle school. After I saw the movie, I read all three books, partly so I could geek along with my husband and friends.

I read the books because the movies were being made and because my wife is a huge fan of them. So I felt the need to catch up.

I did like them.


I had no idea what LOTR was :eek: until my SO was watching Fellowship on DVD at home. At first I thought it was just another one of his type of movies, until he made me sit down and watch it with him.

I pretty much fell in love with the story right then and started reading the Hobbit, then the whole LOTR series since I wanted to know what happened at the end. :slight_smile:

So yes, I would have never read the books if it weren’t for the movies.

I got my copy of LOTR as a christmas gift in 2001. My dad probably thought to buy it because of Fellowship, but we hadn’t seen the movie yet. I read about halfway through it before we saw the movie. Then I finished the entire book, and read the Hobbit and The Silmarillion before TTT came out.

So yes, the movie prompted me to read the book.

Well, when I saw the first teaser trailer with the fellowship climbing the moutain, and saw the first one was coming out at the end of that year, I ordered “The Hobbit”, “The LOTR” and “The Simerillian”. I read them all before the first movie came out and really liked them.

Ditto with the movies, though I felt they put too much Arwen in there. Then again, I didn’t even realize Aragorn and Arwen had any connection until they married each other in ROTK.

I’m your gal on this one, well he’s back. I was really taken in by how beautiful and powerful the trailer was for FotR. I raved and raved and was highly anticipatory for the film to come out…when my husband, who had read the books when he was younger, said there was no way he was taking me to see the movies if I hadn’t read the books. Being ever the submissive and compliant wife, I complied :slight_smile:

And, boy, am I happy I did. I enjoyed the books on their own and for empowering me to make snide comments with the geeks whilst watching the extended versions of the movies obsessively. :wink:

I read the books after seeing FotR. I had been meaning to read them for several years before then, but the movie is what finally got me to.

I tried to read FOTR.

I found it really boring, probably because I was waiting for them to do something. I didn’t realize it was actually 40 some-odd years between the time Bilbo left and Gandalf figured out what the ring was, and who the hell was Tom Bombadil?

Does this mean I can’t watch the movies anymore? :frowning: