Note: The image links to a nice hardcover edition of this book. Click here for an ebook edition of The Hobbit.
I just finished reading The Hobbit for the first time. It's such a surprise, because I've read Lord of the Rings several times and loved it from beginning to end each time. I did try reading The Hobbit when I was a kid, but I lost interest quickly and never tried again... Until now.
I have some mixed feelings about The Hobbit. I liked the book, but not as much as The Lord of the Rings. It did lack the long "history of Middle Earth" chapter that I've heard people complain about in The Lord of the Rings — though interestingly I've never had a problem with that chapter. It also moved quickly and was a much shorter story.
However, The Hobbit was also not quite as engrossing for me as The Lord of the Rings. I frequently found myself skimming parts of it, and had to force myself to go back and really read them. It just lacked the ability to interest me as much as The Lord of the Rings.
Every year around Christmas I try to reread some of my favorite books. A couple of years ago, it was C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles, which are some of my all-time favorite books, and have been since childhood. This Christmas I was planning to reread The Lord of the Rings, right after The Hobbit Unfortunately, I took longer to read The Hobbit than I had planned, and I've also bumped up a few other titles I want to read sooner rather than later. But soon I promise I will reread The Lord of the Rings, and then we will see whether my comparisons still ring as true with both novels still fresh in my mind!