reading, travel, LotR, Discworld, Star Wars, Harry Potter, medieval history (and most other periods of history, too), music, learning as much as I can
First Lord of the Rings reading experience:
Senior year of high school. A friend mentioned that his brother had read a book about a creature called a hobbit that lived underground, and it sounded interesting. Rather a bland description of the books, if you ask me!
Favorite Tolkien character:
Sam and Faramir. Sam because he's down to earth, reasonable, fair-minded, and yet all too hobbit (human) in his likes and dislikes. He's easy to identify with. Faramir because he embodies all that is noble and worthy. He's a reluctant warrior, a scholar (I always envision him tagging along with Gandalf during his forays to Minas Tirith's libraries), and level headed. He knows enough not to touch or covet the One Ring, knows the danger it holds, and knows that he never was meant to be the steward (or that if he ever became steward, it would be through horrible misfortune). Plus, he melts Eowyn's heart -- what more can you ask?