I can't believe that I haven't read this before now (well actually I can believe it because I wasn't really big on sci-fi/fantasy much before and am now really branching out into it and other genres, but that is besides the point). It seems like everyone I know has read this and the three volumes of Lord of the Rings. I've seen the three Lord of the Rings movies and enjoyed them but I haven't seen any of The Hobbit movies yet. At the end of last year I decided that it was finally time for me to read this and LOTR and that I would read them spaced out during 2014.
I was a bit wary when I first started this because I read the author's note and some introductory materials and boy was some of the stuff confusing. I thought the story would end up being confusing and having all these things that I wouldn't understand but that was far from the case. It felt like I was right alongside Bilbo Baggins on his adventure. I loved following and getting to know Bilbo and the dwarves. Bilbo was such a loveable character with heart and unexpected courage.
There were times in this book that I felt things went a bit slow and my attention did seem to wander but it didn't happen a lot. I did have a problem with my book being an ebook because the map was in the front of the book and I kept wanting to "flip back" to look at the map to see their progress but I tired of that quickly. That is obviously no fault of Tolkien and just me needing to have a paper book to flip to the map easily.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dive-in to a book and go on a grand adventure.