I really, really, really wish I enjoyed the book more than I do.
At the heart of it, it's the world building that makes the Lord of the Rings trilogy incredible, and in modernity Tolkien's writing style is just a chore. It's not that his language is difficult to comprehend or that I've missed them themes. It's simply that the asides and depths of history make the pacing of this novel unbearably slow. Tolkien may have invented epic fantasy, but you have to be particularly patient to get through this novel.
If you enjoy peeling back layers of worldbuilding, you'll love this one. As they trek across Middle Earth, the fellowship regales with songs, poetry, and tales of history in each of their races and kingdoms. She characters (Sam, Gimli, Galadriel, and Gandalf particularly) have very distinctive voices that made me, as a reader, latch right on to them. Others seems like cookie cutter heroes and companions. There are moments of action and adventure, but most of this first book saunter by slowly. As Middle Earth is so vast and Tolkien wished to share so much of it, it takes a great deal of time (and pages) to become acquainted, leading to the sloth-speed of this book.
Because it's a classic, and because it was the frontrunner to what has become my favorite genre, I will continue forward with the rest of the series. Though, frankly, I can't imagine how eleven-year-old me flew through them. I suspect I may have been skimming.