2001 just before the FOTR came out. My husband made me read the Hobbit and LOTR because he wanted me to know what was going on when we saw the movies. (He had read the books in high school) I was hooked and read them three times back to back. I've read them several more times since. My husband says he created a monster!
Favorite Tolkien character:
It's so hard to pick, they are all so beautifully drawn. I guess Frodod and Sam because of their relationship.