Specifically on the audio book: Listening to someone else reading it is a different experience. Rob Inglis was the right age and with the right vocal quality to make you feel that the great author himself is reading it to you. In any book you read to yourself, you can skip over places that get a little tedious for you, especially when re-reading. But with an audiobook, you are forced to listen to every word – which means you hear the story in new ways and get reminded of how you felt when you read it for the first time.
The book is not perfect, even in Inglis’s reading. There are a lot of masculine voices and if I didn’t know the story so well, it might be difficult sometimes to know if Aragorn or Gandalf or Boromir is speaking. And Tom Bombadil’s singing is still irritating. But after so many times through the book, by now I see even that as a “feature”, not a problem. Even with flaws, the great scope of *The Lord of Rings* makes it one of the major books of the 20th Century and a permanent classic. It will be popular 100 years from now.