Hi, there, and welcome to PT! I hope you'll like it here. Actually, I think you'll love it!
Of course, you read Tolkien's work in whatever way you deem best. But it's one thing to start with The Hobbit and completely another one to start with... Unfinished Tales, for example. What I'm trying to say is that if you want to understand as much as possible of Tolkien's world, you should follow a certain order in your reading.
This is my own option (though that does not mean it's the best one):
1. The Hobbit
3. The Silmarillion
4. Unfinished Tales
5. The History of Middle-earth (I've read only 4 volumes of the 12, and it is a bit repetitive. But vol. 10 "Morgoth's Ring" and vol. 11 "War of the Jewels" are great! And some parts of them should've been in the Silmarillion, as Christopher himself admitted)
6. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (very interesting, especially since you find Tolkien's own view on some of the controversial aspects of his created world)
Evil may yet be good to have been ... and yet remain evil. (Silmarillion)