I love books. Well, not every book, but there are a lot of books that I really like. Some books have become lifelong companions. "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien is one of these.
When I was in the tenth grade I had a kidney infection and wasn't able to attend school so my parents arranged for a tutor through my school. He would come to the house twice a week. We would go over assignments from the previous visit and he would assign me new work to be done for next time. As I have since come to understand from my experience in homeschooling our son, when you have a one-on-one teaching arrangement the student learns more in a shorter period of time. The assignments never took me very long to complete. I soon found that I had lots of time on my hands. Having that pesky infection meant that I couldn't really get out and do anything. Fortunately for me I love books!
Books are wonderful because you can have adventures without ever leaving the coziness of your home. That's just the sort of adventure I needed and I found it in "The Hobbit." Through Tolkien's brilliant work I was able to join Bilbo and Gandalf on quite an adventure indeed. Beginning in a wonderful place called The Shire, I traveled through goblin-infested mountains, spider-infested forests, and into a mountain that was inhabited by a dragon. Right along with Bilbo I travel There and Back Again.
There aren't too many books that I have read more than once. There are even fewer that I've read on a regular basis. "The Hobbit" is one of those rare gems that never grows old or tiresome. And at times in my life when I've really needed a familiar friend it's always come through for me. It was a very special treat when I read "The Hobbit" to our son for the first time. To see the joy and wonder on his face as we traveled Middle Earth together was a blessing I wouldn't have traded for the world.
If you've never set foot in Middle Earth I would highly recommend you get your feet wet with "The Hobbit." Who knows - you just might meet a very good friend along the way!