They aired the Lord of the Rings trilogy on television over the Easter holidays. It wasn't the first time I'd seen the films, even though it took me a long time to get around to it the first time. And I never could get through the books. I got to the end of the Fellowship of the Ring once, and I got to the end of the first few pages of the Hobbit another time, but I just could not muddle through them.
And it's not that I don't like this type of literature, either. I gobbled up High Fantasy as a pre-teen. Especially Dragon Lance, which I do realize owes a great deal to Tolkien. (In contrast: I one day accidentally picked up The Time of the Twins, which my brother had bought for himself - read one half-page of it - and by the end of the week I'd finished both of the Weiss & Hickman trilogies. Which I had to buy for myself, as he only had the one book.)
So what I've been doing for the past few days, is reading up on the story by browsing Wikipedia articles. I'm sure this is considered criminal in some parts of the world, but this way I can get to the interesting bits without having to suffer through the writing. And while I'm sure this does reflect on my poor taste in reading, I do regularly suffer through 19th century German Exegesis. That's writing designed as torture for students everywhere.
While I'm unable to fully enjoy Tolkien's world, I do appreciate the work he put into fashioning it. The man has been lauded for his world-building, and yeah, he's in a league of his own. The tiny linguist inside me appreciates the word-plays, especially. But as far as world-building goes, if the first significant female character is introduced on page three zillion - and it's one named "man maiden", at that - then maybe, just maybe, you're doing it wrong.