"They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than bearded dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which allows them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along, making a noise like elephants which they can hear a mile off. They are inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow natural leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly)..."
Here I should point out that the reader is only half-way through the description of a hobbit. How does JRR Tolkien get away with such a long description. Well, the answer might lie in the previous paragraph where we learn:
"This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbour's respect, but he gained - well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.
Did you notice the hook - the word adventure. Also, if the hobbit had lost his neighbour's respect, it doesn't bother us the reader. In fact, the reverse, it makes us want to learn more about this rebel. We will read anything now - in order to get to the adventure part.