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I’ve seen this all around my f-list, and as I love talking books, so...

1. Favourite book from childhood.
This is near impossible to answer. How long does childhood last? However you define it, it’s several years and you change so much. What I loved when I was four had certainly changed when I was eight, and so on. And I’ve always loved books, to name only my favourite would take a long time anyway. Let’s take the book which was the most important, to me from the age of eight until I was eighteen; J. R. R. Tolkien's>Lord of the Rings

My father read it for me, and it affected me like no other book before. I was at the time already a vicarious reader, and both of my parents read for me, so I had already accumulated a long list of books I loved. LOTR was something special.

I don’t know why, because there were certain things which bored and frustrated me- it wasn’t a perfect read. All that walking, and poetry- perfectly snooze-worthy for an eight-year-old. And I was enormously frustrated by the lack of female character. In the beginning, I got in my head that Merry was female, and I was very upset when I realised I was wrong. But despite that, or perhaps partly because it released my imagination as no other book had done before. It was also dure, I’m sure to the fact that this was my first adult book, with characters far more complex than I was used to. The concept of not getting a happy ending, or to have to live with a damaged mind after, like for Frodo, was completely new to me. And also to the fact that Tolkien’s world is so firmly placed in a world with a past and a rich history. Throughout the books, we get tantalizing glimpses of what happened before, and it gave the narrative depth and richness I loved. For ten years I re-read LOTR countless of times, and I also devoured Bilbo, Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Book of Lost Tales. I also had David Day’s A Tolkien Bestiary, with its illustration which sparked my own drawings. For several years my first question when I met new people was to ask if they had read LOTR.

And I played LOTR. My best friend, who sadly lived quite far from me, had read it, and when we could see each other we stayed out for hours playing various scenes. And my parentä’s best friends had a boy nearly three years my senior who was mad about Tolkien too. I admired Petter enormously and I guess he enjoyed the attention because he always allowed me to tag along with him and his friends when they played LOTR.

But back to my frustration with the nearly all-male cast. Thinking back I realise it released my imagination, because using the rich tapestry of Tolkien’s world, gave me the starting point to imagine my own adventures set there. I didn’t encounter the concept of fanfiction until I was in my late twenties, but night after night I imagined stories which, had I written them down, would certainly have been just that.

Sadly I didn’t. I have concepts scribbled down, though, and it is amusing and interesting to read them. My first ideas were very basic. I simply imagined up a female member of the fellowship. Sometimes she was a hobbit girl- more often she was Legolas’ twin sister. She had silver hair and eyes which change colour depending on mood. I felt that was very original. Growing a bit older I added romance- Eomer was a good character to pair off with someone or Legolas.

After Silmarillion my stories became more independent- I added characters which had their own adventures which only partly touched what Tolkien had written. I had a very long story going on about a twin sister to Luthien who met an imagined son of Morgoth and eventually, through love, made him good. Yes, I made use of every fanfic cliche you can imagine, though I had no idea they were clichés. The last concept is from my late teens. It’s about a Ranger woman, a relation to Aragorn on his mother’s side. She and her husband encounter the Ringwraiths when they are looking for the Shire, leaving her husband dead and her horribly traumatized and deathly ill. She’s brought to Rivendell shortly before Frodo and his company and regain her physical health. However, it slowly becomes clear her meeting with the Witch King has left her with a psychic connection, which he uses to sp. She can’t stop him, and runs away, partly so she won’t learn more things for him to find out, but also because the connection with him draws her. She manages to get herself to Minas Tirith, half insane, before the war, and is there when Eowyn kills Angmar and she is free. The concept has two endings. One where she is healed and falls in love with one of Faramir’s men. And one where she disguises herself as a man and, unknown to everyone, follows Aragorn to Mordor. She dies in the last battle by stepping in front of a sword to save Aragorn’s life.

Yes, I was a teenager with a rather depressed and somewhat dramatic mind.

So I guess LOTR had such an impact on me because it releases my creativity in completely new ways. Funny- I have never thought of that before.

The rest of the questions.

2. Best bargain.
3. One with a blue cover.
4. Least favorite book by favorite author.
5. Doesn't belong to me.
6. The one I always give as a gift.
7. Forgot I owned it.
8. Have more than one copy.
9. Film or TV tie-in.
10. Reminds me of someone I love.
11. Secondhand bookshop gem.
12. I pretend to have read it.
13. Makes me laugh.
14. An old favorite.
15. Favorite fictional father.
16. Can't believe more people haven't read.
17. Future classic.
18. Bought on a recommendation.
19. Still can't stop talking about it.
20. Favorite cover.
21. Summer read.
22. Out of print.
23. Made to read at school.
24. Hooked me into reading.
25. Never finished it.
26. Should have sold more copies.
27. Want to be one of the characters.
28. Bought at my fave independent bookshop.
29. The one I have reread most often.
30. Would save if my house burned down.

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