i’ve read them a few times as well, just finished going through the hobbit 2 weeks ago again, as i saw it in the university library.
there was something else there i found interesting too - a “for dummies” book on tolkien and LOtR. took it out, and found out a lot of background stuff that is not in the appendices of the LOtR books. i haven’t gotten through the silmarillion yet, thought i’ve started more than once … after going through this book, which makes things a lot clearer, (esp, the historical) it might make for less of a slog. maybe next trip home, where it sits waiting for me
even stuff on the languages in there, like differences btw high/low elvish, and scripts for dwarvish and elvish etc. i lent it to a student who wanted to try write on LOtR, so i haven’t had a chance to finish it yet.
i’ve loved reading hte books since the first time some 20 years ago, and i think the next time i pick them up, the extra information will give me even more things to look for/at while reading.
btw, in tolkein’s own words, the hobbit was more written for children, and he didn’t really like that aspect of it later on. he declared he wouldn’t do the same with the trilogy (another thing he didn’t want, but relented to). so if the hobbit ain’t your cup of tea, it’s possible the other three might appeal on a different level.
anyways, enjoy them …