This week’s reading:
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King
I re-read these books every single year for my birthday, and have since I first read them at age nine. I skipped last year (since I’d read them over the summer), which makes this my twenty-first reading. I like rituals. I also feel as though I should buy my Lord of the Rings a drink.
Unfortunately I couldn’t read the same edition I’ve read for the past eleven years, since it’s packed in the bottom of a box somewhere, thanks to my recent move. It’s a little sad, since I strongly associate my memories of books with their physical forms, but my new edition is pretty wonderful and I imagine I’ll keep it through my thirties. My favorite part is the introduction by the publisher, which gives a short history of the different editions and versions of the series. I had no idea that, with traditional publishing methods, it can take as much as three hundred years to come to a canonical, error-free version of a text (at least one that’s published in multiple editions and versions). I wonder if anyone’s looking at how digital publishing is changing the rate of error correction - and propagation! - in books these days.
I admit that this is an unbelievably geeky way to start my reading year. I feel like I ought to go binge on Didion or Dickens or something. Then again, I’m kind of an unbelievable geek.