I was 14, and I had just been cast as a "goblin/elf" in a stage version of "The Hobbit." I decided to find out just what this story was really all about. I started with "The Hobbit" and plowed through to "Return of the King" over the course of about two months, and I've been reading them ever since.
Favorite Tolkien character:
Bilbo. He was the first Tolkien character I really fell in love with, but it's much more than that now. Over the years, I've had a few 'adventures' of my own, (sans dragons, I'm afraid), and I've found I really do identify with the conflicting Baggins and Took sides to Bilbo's personality! A part of me always wants nothing more than to see more of the world and do interesting things, and have more wild stories to tell. And another part, just as strong, is only really interested in the road back home, and returning to my own comfy hobbit hole!