Contented Reader

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Moby-Dick Big Read, chapters 1-6

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Moby Dick

Chapters 1-6

Herman Melville

Moby Dick Big Read

I’ve been reading ‘Tom Sawyer’ with my eighth graders.  They find the antiquated language difficult, these urban kids who are placated with easy-reader stories about other contemporary urban kids, and have rarely been called upon to read anything written before they were born.

“Eyes and ears,” I teach them.  “Read the text of the book with your eyes, while listening along with the audiobook.”  And it’s a technique that is working for them, too.  A few of them are even enjoying the book, here and there.

I decided to adopt the same method for myself, enjoying the Moby Dick Big Read project.  Yesterday morning, I read the first three chapters, following with my eyes the text of the book, while listening to a different reader on each chapter on this new audio presentation.

I normally read pretty quickly, and the readers are taking a slowish, thoughtful pace.  The slow pace is helping me to enjoy the language of the book, the digressions, the way Melville drifts through the story in something that is almost a nineteenth-century stream of consciousness.  It’s a very good way to read this long, thoughtful book.

This morning, I enjoyed three more chapters the same way.  I am not rushing, but I suspect that it won’t be very long before I catch up, and join in the pace of one chapter per day as they are released.  I feel good about that.  It’s a rich, dense book, and one chapter per day is probably just about right.

As much as I already loved this book, slowing down to listen while I read it is like reading it for the first time.  There’s no skimming the ‘boring parts,’ and behold, the ‘boring parts’ aren’t actually boring at all.

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Written by Contented Reader

October 11, 2012 at 6:19 am

Posted in Reviews

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