Knopf knocked themselves out producing 1Q84. Even the page numbers have a weirdly appropriate design: the recto and verso numbers are mirror images of each other, and their positions in the outer margin changes from page to page, moving up and down in retrograde motion. Parallel worlds! Shifting viewpoints!
But what am I going to do with this 925-page artifact now that I’ve read its contents? It’s not joining the vanishingly small number of books that I want to reread someday. It can sit on a shelf only if I make room on the shelf by getting rid of some other book. Most likely I’ll donate it to my local library. But it deserves better.
Ah, e-books! The perfect solution for the shelf-space problem. Recently our family was blessed by the arrival of a second iPad. Not having thought much about it, I was surprised when I downloaded the Kindle app from my “purchased” apps at the app store, and I found that it had tracked all my book purchases. All I needed to do was download them to from Amazon to the new iPad. Simple!
And yet, those page numbers in 1Q84 were a treat. Like album covers on LPs. Like major motion pictures seen in CinemaScope on a huge screen.
I must be getting old — except that I love my iPads.