He invited fans to join him on “one of the greatest fantasy adventures ever written” in a feat that is expected to take about 12 hours.
Serkis becomes the latest celebrity to read to fans while millions are staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The actor is asking fans to donate to the “Hobbitathon” appeal on his GoFundMe page, which is raising money for Best Beginnings, a charity that supports families with young children, and NHS Charities Together, which raises funds for UK hospitals.
Serkis says on his page the charities “are doing extraordinary work right now to help those most in need” and has set a target of £100,000 ($123,000).
“From an unexpected party to the last stage, join Bilbo and me on this tale of high adventure,” he wrote.
“Together we’ll face the might of the trolls, journey to the magical Rivendell, encounter the giant spiders in the labyrinths of Mirkwood, and the evil goblins living among the roots of the Misty Mountains, until we meet the dragon Smaug, and see the Battle of the Five Armies,” the post on his fundraising page continued.
The actor has also played roles in “The Planet of the Apes” and “Star Wars” movie franchises.