The Hobbit turns 75 this Friday (September 20, 2012) and Tolkien-fever is hitting the book stores, ahead of the release of Peter Jackson’s big budget movie adaptation of the novel. Originally published in 1937, Tolkien’s work of fiction had an initial print run of just 1,500. Now, the tale of Bilbo Baggins has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 50 languages.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a British professor; he wrote the stories for his children and the success of the books – as well as his Lord of the Rings trilogy – has endured for several centuries. A spokesperson from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt trade division, told USA Today “These books have spawned thousands of fantasy novels and inspired hundreds of writers in the years since, but it's important to note that it all began 75 years ago with the opening line of a book, 'In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.”
Houghton Mifflin first published The Hobbit in 1938 and are planning a series of commemorative editions to mark the novel’s 75th birthday. These include “include a leather-bound $19.95 "pocket Hobbit"; a $35 deluxe edition illustrated by Alan Lee, who won an Academy Award for art direction for The Return of the King; and the $13.95 movie-tie in paperback edition for An Unexpected Journey. Meanwhile, a new trailer for The Hobbit movie was released this week, building anticipation for the film’s December release.