I read the trilogy once in 6th grade and I LOVE the movies, but I want to read more into the background and everything, but I'm not quite sure which extra books to read. So my question is: What are all the extra books, and, in your opinion, what order should I read everything? (by everything, I mean including the Hobbit and the trilogy again)

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    Also, please note for future reference, SciFi.SE is not a web forum, and we do not answer opinion-based questions or list questions unless the list is quantifiable, or the subject is answerable in canon (which books are 'the best' is irrelevant - but answering which books exist is entirely on-topic since the list is relativley small). This question was closed because it is a duplicate, but if it were left open, it would be better recieved if it were less subjective.
    – Zibbobz
    Mar 18, 2015 at 17:02
  • @Zibbobz we answer "reading order" questions all the time, though it is a matter of opinion, there is almost always a "right opinion". they are largely exempt from that "rule".
    – KutuluMike
    Mar 18, 2015 at 18:22

1 Answer 1


here is the list, you must read everything:

  • The Hobbit‎ (2 C, 19 P, 6 F)
  • The Lord of the Rings‎ (3 C, 21 P, 4 F)
  • The Silmarillion‎ (1 C, 8 P)
  • Unfinished Tales‎ (5 P)
  • The History of Middle-earth‎ (22 P)
  • The Children of Húrin‎ (1 C, 1 P)
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    If you don’t read everything, I will personally hunt you down with a band of orcs, use your entrails as my Christmas tree decorations, and make merry with your womenfolk. Mar 18, 2015 at 17:09
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    Though not strictly necessary, Tolkien's letters contain a lot of details about Middle-Earth not found in any other writings. Most of these are Tolkien's answers to reader questions, and his own perspectives on some ambiguous issues, which is why you find it cited a lot on this site. I'm pretty sure @Paul won't ravage you if you don't read these, but I wouldn't want to risk it Mar 18, 2015 at 17:20
  • After you've done all this, book a flight to England and visit the Bodleian Library at Oxford University and demand to see the original manuscripts :) Dec 14, 2016 at 13:45

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