I read this for the first time as an adult and will forever lament that I did not grow up with this story. I had seen the animated movie but thought I should start reading Tolkien at the beginning, so I picked up my dad's copy of The Silmarillion. Not a great choice for me at ~10 years old, as I was used to reading Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary at that time. I didn't try Tolkien again until I was an adult and looked over my husband's illustrated copy of The Hobbit, gifted by his school-teacher aunt and uncle when he was a child. I have devoured JRRT's works since then. That's how good The Hobbit is.