At the least, and I mean the least, it (along with The Hobbit, The Silmarillion et al) has been something I could keep reading during a period while -for some reason- I couldn't read anything at all. Then, it (the whole legendarium) became something I would re-read almost ritually at least once a year, in parts or as a whole.
Overall, it's much more than mere fantasy for me. (Admittedly I refuse to define it as fantasy at all, maybe even in spite of its author, but prefer mythology). It's been a window opening into a common human consciousness with very ancient and widespread roots in many dimensions (cross-cultural, cross-religious, diachronic...) leading to gain a better or deeper understanding of seemingly distinct or unrelated texts, textual/oral traditions, literatures, institutions; from religious canons to folk lore to cinema and music.
Both aside from and interrelated with the above, it's been a major source of fuel feeding the steam of my love of and interest in languages...
And finally, on a very personal and discreet note... as fate likes playing the prank at times... it happened to be a bitter present (given not received by me) :-\
Last edited by Urwendil; Feb 01 2013 at 08:10 PM.
Landroval: Kibilturg, Taurunion, Erohtar... (Watchers of Elendil)
Crickhollow: Kibilturg (Tarciryan Knights), Zigilturg (Forever Notorious), Birnavor (The Northern Kingdom)...
Visiting elsewhere as Kibilturg, Urwendil... Born and raised on Imladris