Pages: 330 (this paperback edition)
Published: 1937 (but republished many, many times)
Keeping in mind that this book is no Lord of the Rings (one of my first fantasy obsessions), I really enjoyed this book. The Hobbit has a charming, kind of Old World feel to it-- I kept thinking how very British Tolkien's writing is. (Not that there's anything wrong with that-- I love Britishness. Harry Potter is British. So is Doctor Who. And Neil Gaiman. All very wonderful things.)
Bilbo Baggins is a typical hobbit in many ways: he enjoys the occasional parties and house guests (as long as those guests don't overstay their welcome); and he is generally very comfortable in his Hobbit-hole and cares little for adventures of the fantastical or unusual sort, thank you very much.
Anyway, I enjoyed doing that-- nice way to liven up a book review with pretty pictures. I loved the illustrations in my edition of The Hobbit, and definitely recommend that edition: the cover is so colorful and the style of the little patchwork drawings perfectly pits this book. The Hobbit is a wonderful read: a good book for savoring and definitely one for reading aloud to kids, if you have kids or little siblings, etc.
The only thing that bothered me about the book wasn't about the book at all: it's how in the world Peter Jackson is going to make this barely 300 page book into a three-part movie series! How will that work, exactly?...One movie about the party in the beginning, one about the journey, and one about a battle? It seems like one Lord of the Rings movie might have more plot action than all three Hobbit movies put together. I'm guessing the pace of these latest films will be a little more plodding... lots of beautiful shots of New Zealand. But a creepy cameo by Gollum and a lot more Gandalf. I've always really liked Gandalf (the Grey variety preferred), and wizards and wizardly hats in general. Anyway, I'm glad I read this delightfully wonderful book, because it's made me even more excited for the upcoming film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which will premiere (yay!) on December 14th.