I remember reading 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' for the first time when I was around 10 and thinking "this is going to be good". As a first line, and it's ability to draw you in, it is up there with 'It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife' (Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice) or 'My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was ...' (Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones). I've read both the Hobbit and LoTR to my older boys and the only books that I read again every 2 or 3 years are LoTR and Pride and Prejudice. Two books you wouldn't normally associate in the same sentence!
Favorite Tolkien character:
I fell in love with Faramir on first reading around 14, and I'm not quite sure why Glorfindel sticks with me but Eowyn was the one I pictured myself as. And I was monumentally delighted to find out she ended up with Faramir. Serendpity! Treebeard hold's a special place too.