My name is Myla D’Avanzo, I’m 19 years old, from Connecticut, USA and I am currently a college student studying in New York City.
It all started when my dad brought me to see “The Fellowship of the Ring” back in 2001. I’ve been hooked ever since.
I don’t remember exactly, I was about 8 or 9 years old when I started. After I saw FoTR in theaters I was so blown away because it was so different than anything I ever knew. I guess I fell in love straight away.
Later on my dad showed me his old box set of LoTR that he read when he was younger and soon he bought a newer one volume edition. I ended up taking his books for myself to try and read. Then I started looking around for different editions of LoTR; I loved looking at all the different covers and most especially the artwork. I was surprised to find out that there were so many other Tolkien books out there, I had no idea how much there was. I knew I couldn’t possibly own everything but I still wanted to try and collect as much as I could.
My dad, being a collector himself (mostly of comic books and James Brown), helped my collecting obsession grow. He would (and still does) help me find items around in flea markets, bookstores and other places. Once you start collecting it’s hard to stop.
I haven’t been concentrating on one particular topic. I suppose I would say Tolkien books in general though I’d love to start collecting more items involving the art created for Middle-earth.
For a while I focused mainly on the movies and merchandise from that, but in the last few years I started to branch out and look and buy items not exclusively from the movie trilogy. I collect books mostly, ones I find for a good deal online and in secondhand shops or certain books that cost a bit more but are great additions to my collection.
Now I’m trying to collect items that really interest me, like books about Tolkien’s maps and letters as opposed to just getting yet another copy of LoTR.
I have around 250 items in my collection; about 130 books which include various editions of “The Lord of the Rings,” (7 of them being one volume editions) “The Hobbit,” “The Silmarillion,” and other of Tolkien’s works. I also have 13 calendars, 7 board games, some card sets and action figures, 14 magazines (I was even featured as a collector in theonering.net’s Hobbit magazine) and various other items like DVD’s/VHS’s and journals. And my own replica of the One Ring and chain!
My bookcase is now filled up with hardly any room to spare and soon I’m going to have to invest in another one.
I don’t know if I have a ‘great find’. Maybe it’s my copies of LoTR illustrations by Frank Frazetta; my dad and I came across them years ago from a family friend. He knew how much I loved LoTR and ended up letting me keep them. It’s probably one of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received. I grew up looking at a lot of Frank Frazetta artwork, and he’s now one of my favorite artists, so having something that combines LoTR and Frazetta makes me really happy.
Collecting is something I really enjoy doing, and I do it for other things like Broadway playbills and Archie comic books, not just Tolkien. I love discovering or coming across items I’ve been searching for, it’s a great feeling to finally acquire something I’ve been trying to find for a while. Also seeing items I never knew existed is always exciting, like Franklin Mint LoTR knives (I have the Gandalf one) or the LoTR Stratego board game. Collecting does get addicting, I admit.
But it’s a lot of fun!
Spread the news about this J.R.R. Tolkien article: