The Hobbit at the age of 12, followed straight off by The Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion.
Favorite Tolkien character:
My favourite character is a tie between four: Boromir, Faramir, Pippin and Eowyn.
What unites these characters is that though they're all good eggs, they're also flawed and torn between conflicts both external and internal. Perfection equals boring, so elves for example have always been pretty much out of play for me. Extremities lack all the wonderful shades of grey which make the characters of a novel – alike people in real life – intriguing and believable and thus easy to relate to.