I want to read all of the Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings books. How do I go about this so I can maximize my experience?
So I'm late to the party, I've missed the first boat, et cetera
. But I have recently watched all the movies and thought I would very much like to read the books now. My background with HP is just the movies and some wiki, while I have read just the three books in LOTR back when I was very young so I don't think that doesn't really count.
I don't know how to explain this well, but I guess I am looking for more than just reading the books and being done with it after (sort of like reading for the sake of reading). I want to be able to delve into more materials and in-depth discussions. Probably even analysis, critical reviews or philosophy. I don't want to just say, "yeah I've read them; been there, done that" but actually get into a conversation with someone to discuss the merits and demerits, the symbolisms, what the character stands for, etc. In the course of watching both movie series, I am more or less in the opinion that HP tends to be more elitist (the fate of everyone lies with The Chosen One) while LOTR relies on the unity of different species (men, elves, dwarves, etc) to defeat evil. Also I am interested in the idea that HP is a Bildungsroman while LOTR is an epic.
To be more concrete:
1. Is there a difference the b/w American and British versions of the books? Which ones should I buy?
2. Are there supplementary readings and other related books that would further enrich the experience? (i.e. I think it would be fun if the book given by Dumbledore to Hermione in the Deathly Hallows movie really exists)
Lord of the Rings
1. I only know of the three books but have read here in Metafilter about works like The Hobbit
. Tolkien also has something like an encyclopedia of the Middle Earth? What is the "complete" set?
2. In what order should I read them?
3. Again, are there any supplementary readings?
1. Are there any good audiobooks of these around?
2. After the books, what's next? Fanfic, like Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality
or stories from a different point of view like The Last Ringbearer
? How about HP and Philosophy
and LotR and Philosophy
Thanks in advance.