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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