Tolkien could not have given us the vast, detail-rich universe that is Lord of the Rings with lines like “The hobbit sits on a chair.” The fact that Bilbo Baggins sits in an old, neatly upholstered, curvy armchair while smoking his pipe and taking notes with a quill made from a near-extinct bird’s feather tells us much about who Bilbo Baggins is — simplicity won’t always cut it.
Lord of the Rings has at ATOS level of 6.1, which means a good reader in 6th grade can read them. You are confusing simplicity with comprehension in this part.
Farther down, you confuse simplicity with vocabulary. Simplicity is not comprehension, vocabulary or sentence length, for that matter.
Writing things that are interesting and writing things that are easy to read are not at odds with each other. Hemingway wrote at 4th grade reading level and never once said Bilbo sat in a chair.
Good point on being the smart kid in class. You should try being a girl at the top of the class. Ask any girl who was. Some of it was not good natured.
Spot on with the reason, though. It is, indeed, a thirst that must be quenched.