From a letter to Rayner Unwin
10 December 1960
[Puffin Books had offered to publish a paperback edition of The Hobbit.]
Thank you for your news of the 'Puffin' offer, and your advice. I may safely leave the decision to your own wisdom. The chances of profit or loss, in cash or otherwise, are evidently neatly balanced. If you wish to know my personal feelings: I am no longer able to ignore cash-profit, even to the odd £100, but I do share your reluctance to cheapen the old Hobbit. Unless the profit or advantage is clear, I would much rather leave him to amble along; and he still shows a good walking-pace. And I am not fond of Puffins or Penguins or other soft-shelled fowl: they eat other birds' eggs, and are better left to vacated nests.