I finally finished my book last night. Lord of the Rings was probably the longest book, save for the Holy Bible, that I have ever read from cover to cover (I bought the one-volume version). I started it just after New Years, having finished the prequel, The Hobbit, just after Christmas.
I have wanted to read Lord of the Rings ever since high school, when everyone else was reading it. The Hobbit was recommended to me even earlier, as a pre-teen, by my trombone teacher, Mr. McTeague. But I never quite got around to it.
Then the movies came out. I didn't want to see them until I had read the books. I wanted to form my own images of characters and events before I saw someone else's interpretation. Still it was hard to avoid the movie stills on the cover flaps, which had some effect on my imagination.
Overall, the story was a good adventure. Tolkien writes in such a way as to keep you going with little effort, yet gets into great descriptive detail without dragging things down. My only complaint was the lack of depth to the characters. Eventually I came to know them fairly well (and I will miss curling up on the couch with them in the evening) but adequate character development came awfully late in the reading.
One minor incident of curiosity occurred when I was about half way through the book. There was a word Tolkien used, descry, that I wanted to get to know better. So I looked it up in the dictionary. Much to my surprise, the dictionary provided, as an example of usage, the very sentence I had just read in the Lord of the Rings which prompted me to look it up!
To those considering reading it, I highly recommend you read The Hobbit first, for it sets up the story for Lord of the Rings.