I first read J. R. R. Tolkien‘s The Hobbit long ago. My copy of the book is the 20th impression published by Unwin Books in 1970 so I was in my early twenties. It’s a children’s book so it was hardly demanding. I loved the tale but found the most of the songs in the book distracting – I wanted more action. It lead of course to my reading The Lord of the Rings shortly afterwards. In the Hobbit I became acquainted with the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, with Gandalf the wizard, with quite a few dwarves, with a whole pit of gobblins, with Gollum, some creepy giant spiders, some fairly hostile elves, some humans and Smaug the dragon.
Since then I have read both books several times (including reading the Hobbit to my daughters (I can’t remember if that was in English or the Norwegian translation – I must ask them about that)). Later on my youngest daughter read the books on her own and I read my copy in tandem in order to to be able to discuss it with her. I am no literary expert – I just like books. From what I have read on the internets Tolkien is not regarded as one of the literary masters – but if you have the time, like Fantasy genre and have a “sense of wonder” these books are captivating.