'Moby-Dick' - and why I took 'shore leave'

'Moby-Dick' - and why I took 'shore leave'
Source: Reusableart.com

Have you ever had books come to your public library "on hold" that you've been waiting for? How about great books lent to you by a friend who's eager for you to try them? Or how about just feeling like you'd like to finish a book for change, not be several hundred pages from each cover?

Well, all that has happened to me lately with "Moby-Dick." So don't tell Captain Ahab, but I took some "shore leave." I will go back to reading it soon, but I've had about a week away.

I have a list, "Books Finished in 2018," which I now publicly vow will include "Moby-Dick." I'm not giving up on the book -- but neither am I giving up on the list. Yet it wasn't growing, it was slowing. In January, I finished four books; in February, two; March, one; April, two.

It was very early in March when I set out to read "Moby-Dick," as this post reveals. Well, I'm still enjoying it, but now, in May, I'm on page 483, the beginning of Chapter 94. Without peeking too much, I can see that there are more than 40 chapters left.

I just needed some faster, cozier reading -- something I could finish in a day or two and have all tied up in a bow, fictionally, so that I'd have something new on the "Books Finished" list. A change to something I could read after dinner was nice, too -- the Pequod's a very vividly described ship, but some of its whaling business is not for the squeamish.

So I got a couple of long-delayed detective stories from the library -- very different works by Rhys Bowen, both good enough to be knocking around in my mind as possible future posts (beyond this one). I went off on separate adventures to southern England in 1941 and Italy and Switzerland in 1935 -- and didn't mind that I did them in that order. Problems, Serious ones of course, needed solving and got solved. All's right with the books' respective worlds, and also with my list -- three books finished in May.

Now I've had my adventures on fictional "distant shores" -- and I'm ready to get back to the Pequod and "Moby-Dick." It's a good enough story to let me take this sort of "shore leave" and come back, but I admit that I looked for a chapter with a very clear mention of what had just been going on so that I can "get aboard" easily when I return.

The journey continues....

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Filed under: Expressions, Sustaining Books

Tags: Moby-Dick


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  • I could recommend War and Peace or Mein Kampf, but won't.

  • Thanks. I love Tchaikovsky and a lot of other Russian music, but I have never gotten very far with Russian literature ever since I struggled with "Dr. Zhivago" as a teenager. I like mentions of full names now and then, but constant First Name Son/Daughter of Father Last Name just bogs me down.
    As for Mein Kampf, no. Just plain no.

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