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Noodling around on this odd little node, along with a recent resurgence in the desire to get travelling, and just, I don't know, SEE more, sent me back to reread the original Hitchhiker's Guide book, for the first time in years. On the basis of the length and depth of the relationship, I can say that the Guide trilogy (the first four books) is my favorite work of literature… Even as I say it my snobbish literary side (product of a liberal arts education, despite the mediating influence of majoring in chemistry) cringes and wants to shout out "But wait! That's just a sentimental favorite! I also read the classics! The Idiot is really my favorite book!" But the fact is I've only ever read The Idiot once, whereas I've read The Guide probably about twenty times. All my copies are paperback, beat to s**t, corners ripped off the covers, water-stained (tub), who knows how many varieties of food (chocolate, catsup, cola and coffee at the very least). Cheap acid-rich paper slowly dissolving into nothing at the corners. All the hallmarks of a book that's been truly loved. I'm generally not much of an internet joiner, but I suppose that's the reason this personal page exists. My original copy of the first book is gone now, where to being one of the great unsolved mysteries of my life. I replaced it with a 25-cent copy from my favorite bookstore, the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library. The new copy is almost as beat up as the original, plus it has the old-fashioned card pocket in the back, handy for a bookmark, and a sticker on the front with a little picture of a ringed planet letting you know this is a work of Science Fiction.

While writing this, something I've been trying to remember for a while - how I got my first copy of the Hitchhiker's Guide, came back to me. When I was a kid (I must have been twelve or thirteen) we would sometimes pull really odd public radio stations on my dad's old short wave. When the weather was just right we would get stuff from all over. One day my dad called me to listen to the BBC radio series. After about half an hour it sort of fuzzed out, and never came back, though I trolled around the dial every night at the same time for a while. I thought it was the most amazing thing - and I was so dissapointed that I couldn't hear it all that my dad went out and got me the book. I later saw the television series rebroadcast on Public TV, but to this day I have yet to hear the original radio version.

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Hallo vector Apr 20, 2000


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