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: Also among my Christmas presents was an all-in-one paperback copy of The Lord of the Rings. I remember thinking this was a great innovation when they first started appearing, but my mother (whose mighty 1965 hardback set was the one I'd used on my previous trips through the trilogy) said that the covers would curl like crazy. How right she was; it's worse in that respect than Cryptonomicon, and I'm going through it a lot faster than I did Cryptonomicon.

Anyway, I'm about halfway through and enjoying it a lot more than last time; the movie made clear a lot of previously fuzzy scenes (like all of book III). I mantain some irrational fear that people will see me reading my movie-branded copy and take me for one whose interest in the books stems entirely from seeing the movie. I don't know why I care what these putative people think, especially since such people would probably not care that this is my fourth time through the trilogy.

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