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Confessions of a reformed serial reader

About seven years ago I started reading Moby Dick. I never finished it. To this day it is my one and only classics failure, and I've spent those seven years condemning the book for its myriad shortcomings that made it ultimately unreadable. It was absolutely the book's fault that it was so dull, and there were too many other great looking titles in my to-read pile encouraging me to leave it behind.

See, I used to be, right up until a year or two ago, a serial reader—a one book at a time kind of person. I felt that in order to give a story enough of my attention, it needed to be my one and only. I was firm in my commitment—a literary monogomist—and it was probably that rigidity that led to my dumping of poor Moby Dick. The going got tough (boring, really), and with so many other books to choose from, I put it down and I never looked back. It's still on my shelf, though the most attention I give it these days is when I dust (which isn't as often as it should be).

Then one of the prompts for this week's Capture Your 365 is "What I'm Reading", and as I composed a group shot of all the books I currently have bookmarks in, it got me thinking about reading styles. More specifically it got me thinking about how much my reading style has changed since I abandoned that whale of a story seven years ago. First book reviewing, then homeschooling forced me to rethink my reading policies. If I was ever going to have time to read the things I wanted, I was going to have to sneak them in. 

So when I started reviewing books, I tried having a daytime read (my review book) and a nighttime read (my book of choice). It worked out nicely, and sometimes I even found that, either inadvertently or by subconscious design, the two books would complement each other nicely.  Later I started reading longer books with Calvin as part of his schooling, adding another yet title to my active shelf. Then Jon and I renewed an old habit of ours—reading aloud together at (our) bedtime. Then Ulysses happened, or is still happening, and in order to make ti palatable, I've interspersed it with lighter reads (over what is now almost a year). Calvin, too, always has a posse of current or active books—one or two school books and at least two free books, usually more. 

I have become a true poly-reader.

And now that I'm about to finish Joyce's major epic (finally), maybe—just maybe—it's time to give Melville's whale another chance. 

"What I'm Reading" (from top to bottom), with Jon before bed, with Calvin for school, for Booklist magazine, for personal torture. Missing from this shot: To the Lighthouse, which I'm reading for enjoyment. 

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