Comparing Covers #6: The Lord of the Rings

Posted March 16, 2017 by Lampshade Reader in "Shady Talk", Articles, Comparing Covers / 15 Comments

Comparing Covers is a new feature on Lampshade Reader. I will showcase a book title that has multiple covers; from first editions, re-releases, and international releases.


Today, I’m showcasing The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I remember when the movies were about to release and my brother took it upon himself to demand I read the books first. I think there was a veiled threat in there that if I didn’t read them, we wouldn’t see the movies. So I spent my whole summer vacation reading the entire series. Which was a lot to a teenager. So, I totally thought they would be boring, but really it was probably one of my favorite reads to date. I went on from there to read The Hobbit.


Here are a few notable covers that I came across…


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

(Custom Clamshell Case for the 1963 Deluxe Edition of The Lord of The Rings. J. R. R. Tolkien. Found this book on

Other editions:

International editions:

Which cover is your favorite?

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Which cover did you vote for and why?

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15 responses to “Comparing Covers #6: The Lord of the Rings

  1. Emily Endrizzi

    I voted for 1995 because I like Gandolf on the cover. The colors are muted so it looks kind of vintage and that’s cool. Runners up are 2003 and Portuguese.

  2. I voted for 1991 because that one looks so dramatic, but these are all good! My second favorite is the 2003 one. I like the black and gold and how it showcases the ring so clearly. But that’s such an awesome setting in that Portuguese one! I think I’ve seen that one before on Greg’s blog.

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