This morning, I spotted Kottke’s post about Infinite Summer, which is a book club that aims to read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest in its entirety (endnotes and all) between June 21st and September 22nd. The book club has a Twitter account that you can follow and a Facebook group that you can join. Neat.
Since I bought a copy of the Kindle edition of Infinite Jest, I’m in, and I’ll probably even talk at length about the book and the process of reading it on my literature podcast, Let’s Talk Lit! (subscribe via iTunes). However, there’s one odd thing that I commented on over on the wall of the Infinite Summer Facebook group. The Kindle edition of Infinite Jest doesn’t have any indication in the text of the copious endnotes. At the end of the book, they are all there and they even link actively back to their locations in the text itself, but there are no hovering superscript endnote numbers as you go through and read. Because of this, I’m somewhat at a loss for how to read it. Do I read it straight through and then read all the endnotes and reread the connecting bits? Do I call the money spent on the Kindle edition a loss and just read the heavy and cumbersome paperback version that is buried in a box in storage somewhere? I’d love thoughts on how to best proceed.