I first read the Lord of the Rings when I was in college. It was such a long book that I nearly gave up on it and had to rebuy (I originally bought the one volume edition) the last volume at my local used bookstore so that I could finish it. I don't know about any of you, but I don't like to be left hanging (not knowing how it all turns out).
Favorite Tolkien character:
Thorin, for his seriousness (sort of like me, to tell you the honest truth), epicness, complexity, charisma and depth. And I'd hate to be on the other end of that icy stare. Yikes! What have I done wrong now? And let's not forget that he's easy on the eyes (or at least, Peter Jackson's version is).