Why not try and read the book as it is and mentally separate it from the movies?
The book may feel a little bit anachronistic to today's audience.. hell, it opens up with a discussion about pipeweed and the merits of certain kinds (which ultimately does have some importance to the story
), not exactly how one would imagine a story to start about the ultimate battle between good and evil.
The book takes its strength from the imagination of the reader.. Tolkien goes to great length in describing Middle Earth and everything in it and it seems todays audience sometimes just don't have the patience or desire to lose themselves and create mental images themselves (something that could be said in general about general reading and stories).
So my advice would be to sit back, try to erase the movie pictures from your mind and enjoy the story.. let yourself be drawn into it and do not compare it to the movies. I guarantee you a wonderful experience if you're willing and capable to get lost in a story and enjoy it for what it is.
I don't know if I buy this argument about the patience of modern readers. Song of Ice and Fire goes into great descriptive lengths and back story about its world, but is hugely popular.
I've heard this argument from many people after the movies came out and they wanted to give the book a shot.
Consensus was that especially the detailed description parts where Tolkien wanders off for a few pages bored them until they decided to put the book down and focus on the movies (and the movies also taxed their patience because each one went over 3 hours and they didn't even bother with the Extended Editions).
Song of Ice and Fire is about the same ballpark.. as awesome as the show is the books are even greater but they do involve a serious commitment of time and it seems people are less and less willing to do that (especially if there is a movie or show about the book). People who read as a hobby don't really count as they enjoy spending time with books and don't consider it "work" something like that.