I work part-time as a bookseller at Waldenbooks, a division of Borders International. Anyway, today I was intrigued to find a large white envelope lying upon my manager’s desk with a bright orange sticker with white lettering on the front proclaiming’Lord of the Rings material inside.” The return address read as follows:

Marketing Dept.
Houghton Mifflin
222 Berkeley St.
Boston, MA 02116

Needless to say (me being a Tolkien fanatic like the rest of you) my curiosity was piqued. The package was already opened so I had no moral qualms about reaching inside and taking a gander at whatever treasure it might hold. I drew forth some curious items:

1. A ‘Teacher’s Aid’ for helping to teach Lord of the Rings to students.
2. Something called a ‘shelf talker’ with a whole bunch of movie art and photos that’s meant to be put up in the fantasy section.

I also found this EXTREMELY interesting letter which I photocopied and am now reproducing exactly…

Houghton Mifflin HOT TITLE ALERT


Now a movie from New Line Cinema!

Dear Bookseller:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS is coming to a theater near you! The movie, directed by Peter Jackson, releases next year, but the trailer…

is in the theaters December 8th

Tolkien sales spiked last spring after 10 million people downloaded the film teaser released on-line.

Please place the enclosed shelf talker in your fantasy section immediately!

We’ve included the ISBNs of our best-selling Tolkien backlist to help you order up today; and please let us know if you’d like more Teacher’s Guides.

Are you ready for the movie of the year?!
Shelf Talker
Full-color, featuring movie art, ‘1/2(ISBN: 0-618-13857-9 /NC)

Teacher’s Guide for THE LORD OF THE RINGS
16 pages with comprehension questions, vocabulary, discussion and essay topics (ISBN: 0-618-12011-4 / NC) packs of 5

For a complete, annotated listing of our best-selling Tolkien-titles, please visit our web-site: www.lordoftheringstrilogy.com

For the latest movie news, please visit:


To order, please contact your Houghton Mifflin sales rep or call / fax customer service at (800) 225-3362, Fax (800)634-7568


That was the whole letter, and boy was I surprised when I read that whole December 8th part! The only New Line film I know of being released that day is the Dungeons and Dragons films.

What happened to ’13 Days?’

Well, I quickly grabbed that letter, photocopied it, and retyped it. Now I pass it on to you all for judgment…