First read The Hobbit a long time ago, possibly after seeing the Rankin-Bass cartoon. Still have my beat-up hardcover with the green, blue and white cover. Was quite happy when I discovered I could translate the runes on the cover.
Still have my LP version of the Rankin-Bass cartoon too, come to think of it. Used to go to sleep listening to it.
Favorite Tolkien character:
Boromir, in the movies at least. In the books, Sam. Eowyn close behind those two.