I just got an email from Amazon saying that typos and omissions in my Kindle edition of The Lord of the Rings have been corrected, and I can opt to receive the updated edition for free. However, like a certain similarly magical gift that I’m sure we’re all thinking of right now, this boon comes with a price: it will cast all your bookmarks and annotations into the fires of Mt. Doom.
I did not annotate the text heavily, but I did bookmark each section whenever I paused for the night, to the bookmarks chronicle the journey my kids and I took. Exactly what day did I have to make up, on the spot, a tune for Aragorn’s song about Tinnuviel? (I based it on Barbara Allen, and has to sing it three nights in a row because it kept putting my kids to sleep.) Exactly what day was it when I got chills down my spine while working myself up into a frenzy to recite Boromir’s seemingly heroic but sadly misguided justification of his claim to the Ring? When did my daughter scream in real terror when I described Gollum’s final attack on Frodo at the edge off the volcano?
For now, I think I’ll keep these memories — and the Kindle edition’s typos — where they are.