Something interesting about "Cryptonomicon":
I have two copies of the first-edition in hardback. Why? Not because I liked it so much (it was a great story), but because I got about halfway through my first copy - and I noticed that it started to repeat!
I thought "well, this is odd" and upon further examination, I found that yes, the folios (or whatever they are called) of the book were repeating; the publisher/printer had made a binding mistake!
I don't know how many copies are like this, whether they are worth anything (not likely, not currently at least), or whether the publisher even knows. However, in order for me to finish the book, I had to go buy another copy. I looked through the batch that was at the bookstore I went to, and didn't see any other repeating copies - so maybe I have the only one? ;D
Later I bought the volumes of the Baroque Cycle in hardback as well; I am still working through them (so many books to read, so little time to read them).
Right now I am reading a paperback copy of "The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus" by Owen Gingerich (btw, the hardback, if it exists would be so much better to read - the paperback has these huge holes in the front for see-thrus to an inner illustration page, and it is so floppy and difficult to hold); it is a fascinating look at the twists, ownership, insights, and discoveries by the author's multi-decade research for a census of all the extant copies of Copernicus' "De Revolutionibus", the book that laid out his heliocentric theory, changing the way we viewed ourselves and the universe, and laying the foundations for modern science.
Do read Cryptonomicon and The Baroque Cycle; but you will miss out if you don't follow up on some or all of the real characters and their discoveries, lives, and adventures presented in those books. Fiction is one thing, but the historical facts shed a lot more light on a fascinating time in history (much as knowing the true history of the Victorian Age does, compared to the fictional trappings of "Steampunk").