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Because, you know, no one would ever hear about him otherwise.
Traditionally, this day is celebrated by reading something written by Tolkien.
If you have your own copy of The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Rings trilogy or any of Tolkien's other, less frequently filmed works, we encourage you to take this opportunity to dig them out and start reading.
If you don't have any Tolkien of your own, why not borrow some of ours?
We've got those hobbity books, if that's what you like, as well as his poems and stories - but don't forget the man used to research and teach Anglo-Saxon. He was a well known expert on the topic of Old English literature.
So, if you don't feel like getting all hairy-feet-and-elves on Tolkien Reading Day, why not check out his translation of Gawain and the Green Knight? Or his lectures on Beowulf? Or that classic discussion of fairy tales, Tree and Leaf?
Actually, I think I'll read Gawain and the Green Knight myself. You can have the hobbity things.