One of my friends knew about LOTR and the Hobbit long before I did (he also got me interested in D&D), and lent me the books. I don't know how his family reacted to his love for Tolkien's works, but my family was bewildered by mine. When I bought my own books, they scoffed. I had already seen the movies (that is the cartoons); why do I need to buy the books? I told them the books had more information not shown in the cartoons, but that explanation didn't satisfy them. Nowadays, they're more understanding of my fandom, but it took years before they even understood it.
Did anyone else have this experience, or were the folks around you more accepting about you being a fan of Tolkien?