I remember when I was about 10 years old, my brother gave me four books... one was The Hobbit and the others were the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I can still remember him saying that he was envious of me because I would be reading them for the first time. Having read them all more than a few times, I can understand his feelings exactly, and I have enjoyed introducing others to the wonderful world of JRR Tolkien's imagination.
There is something so special about the creation of another world by a mind of great intellect. I have just finished reading The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter, and although it was not a work of anything like the same scale and depth, it filled me with the same kind of nostalgic longing for another world which is as real as this one, but frustratingly just outside my grasp.
(There is a lovely, illustrated biography of Tolkien on this blog .)