But there hasn’t been one like this! The evolution of the eBook continues!
The Hobbit Enhanced Edition will be published on the Kindle and iBooks tomorrow. It shows the strength that the eBook medium brings to the industry, the wonderful tale of Bilbo Baggins featuring color images and audio from the late great J.R.R. Tolkien. Some readers won’t care for this; they just want their physical book and nothing more. But there are a growing segment of our reading population who love eBooks and the additional content they can deliver—audio and pictures!
Here is a bit more about the new eBook enhanced edition of The Hobbit:
Exclusive to this Enhanced version of the eBook are new high-resolution colour images of all of Tolkien’s illustrations for the book, many of which are also included in their earlier black-and-white versions, which can be revealed by a simple swipe of the screen. A Foreword by Christopher Tolkien examines the writing of the book, complete with illustrations including manuscript pages and unused drawings. Finally, the Enhanced eBook includes some recently discovered audio recordings of J.R.R. Tolkien reading excerpts from The Hobbit, including the dwarves’ party song, the account of their capture by the three trolls, and Bilbo Baggins’s terrifying encounter with the hideous Gollum.
Bilbo Baggins enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home. Then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services—as a burglar—on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo’s life is never to be the same again.
The Hobbit was an instant success when it was first published in 1937, and 75 years later Tolkien’s epic tale of hobbits, elves, dwarves, goblins, myth, magic and adventure has lost none of its appeal.
For me, I find the release of the eBook fascinating from a historical stand point. J.R.R. Tolkien ardently disliked industrialization, the development of the automobile, electric lights, and other technological progress destroying the English countryside and society as he knew it. I have no doubt Tolkien loved a good library. Therefore, I wonder what would he think about the Kindle and like devices? Would he embrace them as a means to educate and storytell? Or would he shun them, hate them, like Gollum did the Baggins?
I’m leaning toward the latter. Tolkien would not be a fan of the eBook. It does, however, have some remarkable abilities that a normal book does not possess—audio and video capability. I think in the future we are going to see a lot more “enhanced” editions of books we love.
In the meantime, we can start with one of the best books of all time!
The Hobbit Enhanced Edition is published tomorrow on several eBook platforms!