Today would have been J.R.R. Tolkien's eleventy-first birthday. By way of a tribute, I should like to quote the first paragraph of Tolkien's I ever read (over Irish Mick's shoulder on the train on my way home from school many, many years ago):
“I need no map,” said Gimli, who had come up with Legolas, and was gazing out before him with a strange light in his deep eyes. “There is the land where our fathers worked of old, and we have wrought the image of those mountains into many works of metal and of stone, and into many songs and tales. They stand tall in our dreams: Baraz, Zirak, Shathûr.”
I was instantly hooked.