On Friday, Sept. 21, the Pine Grove at the center of the Hope College campus will resound with volunteers reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”
The reading will begin at noon and continue “until the journey is done.” It is estimated to take 11 hours, with readers changing every 10 minutes.
September 21 is the 75th anniversary of the book’s first publication. “This is a great opportunity to celebrate and enjoy a favorite book together in beautiful setting,” said Dr. Curtis Gruenler, professor of English, who is the event’s organizer. “It’s also a good day because, in Tolkien’s fictional world of Middle Earth, the next day, September 22, is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ shared birthday.”
The first of a projected three films based on “The Hobbit,” directed by Peter Jackson, who also directed the three-film “Lord of the Rings” series, is scheduled to be released in December.
Admission is free and open to the public, and those who would like to come and listen are welcome to come and go as they please. Those who would like to sign up to read at the microphone for 10 minutes may contact the Hope College Department of English, which is sponsoring the event, at firstname.lastname@example.org  or (616) 395-7620. Seasonally and thematically appropriate refreshments will be available.
In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in the first-floor rotunda of the Martha Miller Center for Global Communication.
The Pine Grove is located in the central Hope campus, south of 10th Street approximately midway between College and Columbia avenues. The Martha Miller Center for Global Communication is located at 257 Columbia Ave., at the corner of Columbia Avenue and 10th Street.