I’m an aspirational reader — meaning that my shelves are full of books I intend to read . . . some day. It is only with great reluctance that I am willing to admit defeat after years of gazing at their spines, and place some of them, unread, on the shelf in our office reserved for tomes destined to be sold off in bulk to the second-hand bookstore The Strand.
It was in this spirit that I bought a used copy of Moby-Dick a long time ago, hoping to read it again. I had it on a shelf in my bachelor-pad apartment for a while and then when I got married and my wife demanded a domestic book purge, it was removed to a shelf in my office. There it sat for a couple of years. Finally, over the holidays, the mood struck and time allowed, so I picked it up and reread Moby-Dick (skipping, I must confess, the most technically cetological parts).