books, more books, writing, music, film.
Give me a good character and I'll follow them to Amazon.
First Lord of the Rings reading experience:
Believe it or not, it was an aborted attempt to read The Hobbit when I was in high school. It was one of three books that I've ever thrown in my life. The dwarf names were my undoing back then.
When the LOTR movies came out I gave the whole thing another shot, fell in love with Middle Earth and came here. After that taste, I read The Sil, UT, and some of HoME.
Tolkien became a touchstone for me during some very trying years out in the real world. No matter what happened I could always rely on Tollkien to remind me of the power of little people and the value of wandering.
Favorite Tolkien character:
Oh well, now there's a problem with that. I can't pick just one!