I recently started reading Moby Dick. You might laugh but I decided I wanted to read the book for two reasons.
1. Because I have always heard (and can nowÂ attest) that if you want to increase your vocabulary, read. Since I am always over the top I find the most “sure fire” way toÂ accomplishÂ the goal. To at least keep things interesting I chose, instead of reading the dictionary (how much more sure fire can you get than that?), to read a good novel.
2. I chose Moby Dick because I honestlyÂ felt more distinguished just THINKING about having read that book. I thought it would really be something to mark down as a life accomplishment to be able to say I read one of the world’s greatest novels.
I must admit, it has been a challenge since day one. The first PAGE required me to look up approximatelyÂ 5 phrases I was not familiarÂ with, and 3 or 4 words. “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth”. Another way of saying “When I get down (which would be evident by my constantly frowning face)”. It makes perfect sence now but when you first see it you scratch your head.
Not too far into the book you are introducedÂ to a characterÂ named Starbuck, which is Captain Ahab’s first mate. When I read his name I thought “Ha, Starbuck – like the coffee place”.Â DUH, what an idiot! Starbucks (The coffee house) was named after Starbuck in the book! (read more here).
This is just one example ofÂ how reading, especially history or works that have become part of history like Moby Dick, can change your view of the entire world. Having known Starbuck a bit through now partly reading Moby Dick I look at Starbucks completely different when I visit there.
(About the title: The Pequod was the name of the whaling boat in Moby Dick. And of course there wasn’t a “Starbucks” but a “Starbuck”, but IÂ included the s for full effect. 😉