While in High School I read The Lord of the Rings and found it books which I loved but had to take a very long (and slow) time of reading. I'm not quite sure what the reason behind this is because usually when a book takes me forever it's because I don't like it. But Lord of the Rings broke that rule. It seems that The Hobbit is much the same as The Lord of the Rings. It took me forever to read although I did enjoy it.
I enjoyed how it was told as if one were to tell a story to children. Referring to characters as 'poor Bilbo' or 'our dear friends' makes the reader feel more emotionally attached to book and it's characters. Add the elements of this fairy tale with elves and dwarves, dragons and wizards, and it becomes the perfect story to tell to your child or read amongst a family.
However, Lord of the Rings is a bit more dark and grim. I feel it's not necessarily suitable for children. At the very least, older children with a high maturity could, I am sure, handle it. But The Hobbit is funny, warm, and cute with just enough adventure and tension to make it's readers eagerly continue on.
Most people can relate to at least one character in the book since Tolkien hosts an elaborate cast with every type of personality available. I adore Bilbo Baggins because I can relate to his enjoyment of his home life. Waking up, having tea and breakfast. His little garden and Bag End. He is set on his ways and content with life, completely against the idea of having it change, and at times very grumpy. There is an underlining meaning to the story, amongst the magical creatures and adventures, that when you have a chance to live life it will indeed change you. But is that really such a bad thing?