When Did You First Read The Novel?
One day in the fall of 2010, I don't remember exactly what day, I did what I do first thing in the morning most mornings: I checked the Armitage News. To my surprise and delight and amazement I found out he had been cast in The Hobbit.
So first opportunity I had I searched for an audiobook of The Hobbit so I could listen to it on my commute to and from work. I found that Rob Inglis had pretty much cornered the market for Hobbit audiobooks, so that's the one I bought.
Of course, I knew about Bilbo Baggins and the book years before the LOTR movies. When I was a teenager Tolkien's books were very popular, but I never had an interest in them at the time. Years later after becoming a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies, I still was not particularly interested in reading the books. It took inspiration from my favorite Leicester Lad to read it.
I've listened to the audiobook three times since 2010. Rob Inglis not only reads the book, but sings the songs as well. (Not quite Richard's beautiful baritone, but a pleasant experience nonetheless.)
Then one day after watching An Unexpected Journey several times, I bought a paperback book of The Hobbit from a used bookstore. I wanted to really READ it and also to be able to easily refer to it if/when I had a question.