Everything I Need to Know, I Learned from Reading Tolkien

March 25 is Tolkien Reading Day, a day dedicated to reading the works of the genius that is J.R.R. Tolkien. As I thought back on my previous readings of the epic adventure Lord of the Rings and, of course, my favorite Tolkien book, The Hobbit, I realized that everything I need to know in life, I learned from reading Tolkien.


It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door…You step into the road and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. (The Fellowship of the Ring)—Any day can become an adventure. Continue reading

Tournament of Heroes – Fantasy Brackets

Presenting: the Top 32 Heroes & Heroines of Fantasy!


 ROW 1:  Eowyn – The Lord of the Rings, Arya Stark – Game of Thrones, Bella Swan – Twilight, Buffy – Buffy the Vampire Slayer; ROW 2: Princess Buttercup – The Princess Bride, Cheetara – ThunderCats, Coraline Coraline, Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones; ROW 3: Arwen The Lord of the Rings, Hermione GrangerHarry Potter, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Mulan Mulan; ROW 4: Sailor Moon – Sailor Moon, Selene – Underworld, She-Ra She-Ra: Princess of Power, Xena – Xena: Warrior Princess 


ROW 1:  Aragorn – The Lord of the Rings, Conan the Barbarian – Conan the Barbarian, Harry Potter – Harry Potter, Atreyu – The Neverending Story; ROW 2: Roland Deschain- The Dark Tower, Westley – The Princess Bride, Gandalf The Lord of the Rings, Harry Dresden The Dresden Files; ROW 3: He-Man The Masters of the Universe, Indiana Jones – Indiana Jones, Link – The Legend of Zelda, Frodo Baggins The Lord of the Rings; ROW 4: Bilbo Baggins The Lord of the Rings, Rand al’ThorThe Wheel of Time, Wart The Once and Future King, Tyrion Lannister – Game of Thrones,

So tell us, who SHOULD we have included as a Fantasy Hero or Heroine? Of the ones who made the tournament, who do you have going to the Final Four? The championship?

Jim is Art Director at Half Price Books Corporate.

From The Buy Guy: Rare, Signed “Lord of the Rings” Boxed Set

Hi, Everyone! This is the Buy Guy, Steve Leach, reporting from the Buy Counter. Today I have exciting news! Kerry West, Store Manager of the Mentor, Ohio location, had something very rare and exciting cross her Buy Counter recently.

“We recently acquired a three-volume ‘Lord of the Rings’ in slipcase, each signed by J.R.R. Tolkien. We bought it from a woman who inherited it from her grandfather.  It is a second American edition; all three books are signed, and the first volume has an inscription.  The condition is not great, but the appearance of signed Tolkien items is so rare that the item’s value is great.” 

  This inscription (above right)reads, “Allen, 4000 m (miles) is a long way to travel for my dubious company.” J.R.R. Tolkien. It is dated December 15, 1966.

A few different factors were evaluated when determining the value of this Lord of the Rings boxed set. Very few American editions were signed. According to a website that specializes in Tolkien, another boxed set sold for $9,000 with only the first volume signed. The description noted that Tolkien very rarely wrote anything other than his name. Other signed copies of any individual books (not as a boxed set) start at $7,500. Because this boxed set includes signatures on all three books plus a personalized inscription on the first volume, Kerry and Steve are estimating the value at $25,000-30,000.

Contact Kerry at 042mgr@halfpricebooks.com if you are interested!

Happy Buying & Selling!

— Steve


(Note: Thanks to our Sales Inventory Manager Kim Freeman for providing these pictures!)