This is a slight exaggeration. There are exactly 41 people on Facebook to date who openly admit to hating the book—soon to be obliterated by the advent of Peter Jackson's film adaptation. The reason for the hard feelings? "I'm only on chapter 10 and I have to read the whole thing!" It's the first thing any student notices about an assigned book: unless they are sporting an e-reader, the heft of the volume forms the first impression. Let's face it. The Professor can get pretty wordy. And what do you expect them to do with all those songs? Should they really read them?
Forget the philosophical reasons you will give them for plowing through the book, including "it gets better" and "there are passages of extraordinary beauty in there." You need a practical strategy to help your students get past that benchmark page 100.