Re: Should I watch Lord of the Rings online?
I am one of those who read the book long, long before Peter Jackson ever even thought of making the films. And, frankly, as far as the theatrical releases of the films... I could barely tolerate a great deal of them. (I much prefer the extended version, which is in many ways closer to Tolkien's vision... especially in Fellowship).
It all depends on what you're looking for. The book (it is one book, a single novel in three volumes) is of an older mode... what Lovecraft tended to call "old-fashioned leisurely prose" when referring to his own work) so a reader used to fast-paced adventure writing will have to readjust to that; and some people are put off by the opening chapters with the depiction of the (apparently) simple hobbits and their milieu... but without that opening, one would miss the growth of the characters and their experience of the world; it wouldn't have near the depth it does.
So, yes, I would suggest reading the book with some of this in mind, and if you find the opening a bit turgid for your taste, unless it simply is beyond tolerance for you, I would suggest sticking with it until at least Weathertop, and see if that opinion changes. It is certainly one of the most richly realized fantasy novels of all time, with various cultures which are more fully alive (in the sense of having richness of texture and a complex inner life) than the bulk of fantasy constructs (largely as a result of Tolkien's own life experiences and deeper thoughts, which inform many of them). They -- and the novel -- aren't as "flashy" as most, but they can bear repeated readings and reveal more and more depth upon each one... and that is the mark of a truly good novel, rather than a mere entertainment.
(On a personal note, I never really found that opening to be at all difficult, boring, or irritating -- though on first reading Tom Bombadil bordered on completely nonsensical for me, in which I have later come to the firm opinion that I was very much mistaken. So not everyone will have such problems in reading this one....)