Friday, March 5, 2010

Lord of the Rings

When the movie Lord of the Rings was about to come out, I realized I was surrounded by people who had read the books and knew more than me. This was upsetting to me for some reason, so I ran off and bought the books and proceeded to read them as quickly as possible. That's very quick indeed, as I speed read, and can easily tackle 100+ pages in an hour. I read Dune one boring summer day between a late breakfast and dinner.

As I said a few posts ago, I am trying to work my way through the Bible with commentary by the start of September. This is primarily so I am done with that task by the start of a class I'm thinking of taking. I must be careful to slow down though, so I do not miss the storyline. Today I finished 1 Kings. I am also doing a more in depth study, with the Esther group, but I do want to read through the Bible again this year.

Normally, I have good reading comprehension and retention, but as the speed goes up my actual intake of the information goes down. In the case of Lord of the Rings, I was about halfway through when I realized that Sauron and Saruman were two different people. I also never kept up the difference between Merry and Pippin, but that never had as drastic of a consequence. I just could never figure out how the S-Bad-Guy (the name in my head) managed to be at Isengard and Mordor at the same time. After looking at the map, I determined something had gone horribly wrong and stopped to analyze the problem. Then I had to restart, as it became a whole new story when that was all cleared up!

This is the second time I've read through the Bible, though I frequented some of the books more regularly since my first reading in 2007. Like Lord of the Rings, it is a whole new story! The first time though I was attempting to read it very quickly, and somehow managed to get quite confused regarding the division of Judah and Israel. Kings was a very problematic read at the time, as I had no idea what was going on. Now it is much more enjoyable as through other studies I managed to pick up on the idea they were divided and there were two sets of kings to track!

Perhaps this is made even more funny to me given the circumstances of my first read through. Like Lord of the Rings, I discovered that there were people who knew more about the Bible than me. It irritated me, and so I set out to read the Bible as quickly as possible. I was very successful in catching up with my counterparts in LOTR - within a year I was an expert! I had even delved into the history of Middle Earth via Tolkien's other books on the subject and written an exhaustive outline/summary of The Silmarillion. I made online crossword puzzles, because I am a geek. And thus I approached the Bible, thinking I would conquer most others in knowledge with the same speed.

This was, obviously, incorrect. But at the time it seemed perfectly logical. Of course, at the time, I also thought the only differences between Protestants and Catholics was the Pope. That's for another entry!


  1. Love your blog. I wish I could speed read, but I have troble with comprehension even at my slow pace. I find I understand it better when I read out loud. Especially if I do the voices!

  2. Thanks!

    If I really want to catch everything I say it in my head with the voice of Galadriel from LOTR. It slows me down and makes it feel more important.