take the WHAT BAD BOOK ARE YOU test.
I'm so sorry Tolkien fans, but I really do think that there's a certain frame of mind and window of time required when reading something like this. That window, for me, was between the ages of 9 and 12. But at the time, I was preoccupied with reading orphans in Industrial age London and hairless white apes who didn't know they actually had a fortune waiting for them. I really tried to read Tolkien later in life, but I couldn't get past page 1.
I also couldn't get past the first paragraph of Conrad's Heart of Darkness, but I managed to finish it. Yes, he of the constipated prose. But I had different motivations then and managed to plow through it in three or four months. It was required reading and our teacher was a rather small woman who frequently asked questions like "What is the political implication of that?" and we had to relate everything we read with postcolonial theory. She also liked sleeveless blouses--she had very toned arms and looked like she lifted entire pyramids as part of the cooling down routine of her workout.
Anyway, Tolkien! I would have even taken Beowulf. (Read it in hypertext here!) While Beowulf may arguably be viewed as the precursor of the action movie hero--the one-man army, like Rambo or The Terminator, that sort of thing--it also convinced me that I'm not meant for morning classes, specifically those held between 7 and 10 am. My brain just refuses to cooperate. But I was an English major, and I seriously needed to get the Eng21 class to complete the series. Eng21 was mostly about really old English lit, in Middle English, lots of Chaucer, Piers Plowman, Samuel Pepys (wtf, right?) and yeah, Beowulf. I had that class at maybe 7am, and halfway through the term, I would have to forego The Canterbury Tales to keep my sanity.
Dropping the class still did not excuse me from Beowulf etc. When I finally took the class again, it was in the afternoon, I think, but I soon found out that it really didn't matter who was handling the class or the time of day it was being discussed.
These days I usually run into my former Eng21 professor while in the girls' room, brushing my teeth. She would also be brushing her teeth and we would nod and smile at each other, bubbles in my mouth and all. Sometimes I get the urge to tell her, Really, it wasn't you, it was Piers Plowman.