Over the past few weeks, I've embarked on a voyage to tackle the White Whale of classic literature. In other words, I'm finally reading Moby-Dick by Herman Melville for the very first time!
With a book of this magnitude, it's a given that your attention will wander from time to time. In fact, most people's eyes tend to glaze over anyway whenever I bring up the topic of reading Moby-Dick. Plainly put, it's not an easy read. Yes, there are bits that are funny and entertaining (no one loves reading aloud dialogue spoken by a crusty old captain more than I do), and Herman Melville was clearly a misunderstood genius, but that doesn't really make it any easier.
You never know what to expect when starting a new chapter of Moby-Dick. It might be humorous, or deeply philosophical, or both. You can touch on topics of religion, philosophy, and race in the breadth of a single chapter. And don't get me started on the quantities of new vocabulary words I never knew were even a part of the English language until now.
With a book like Moby-Dick, you are forced to find creative ways to make sure it holds your interest. Shouting out the dialogues of old sea captains is one of my methods (you really should try it), but having famous people like Sir David Attenborough and Tilda Swinton read chapters of Moby-Dick out loud is definitely another great way to spark interest! (Alternatively, you could also hang your own Moby-Dick print from the Proseposters shop for some reading inspiration.)
The University of Plymouth has this amazing site called the Moby Dick Big Read. Each chapter is read by someone different, and features a piece of stunning artwork to really get you in the mood for whatever adventures the book may bring. Even if you've already read Moby-Dick before, this is a fun, and very cool way to tackle the book all over again.
Ready to set sail?