The Melville Summer


My favorite reading experience was during the summer of 1976, after my first year of college. I was living at home, working, hanging out with friends and all that, but when I wasn't doing those things I was reading Moby Dick. My sister had graduated from college and moved to Kansas City, so I took over her room which was larger than mine, with a dormer in front. I put an Indian bedspread over the entrance to the dormer, moved a small bookcase into it along with an old armchair our dog had chewed the wooden arms of, which my parents were going to throw away. With a floor lamp and my stereo and records I was set. All summer, when the time was right, I'd put a record on, sit in the chair and slowly, deliciously, read Moby Dick. My memory now is that this lasted all summer and all I actually remember of that summer is the supreme pleasure of being in my little cubbyhole surrounded by warm light, books, and good music and reading to my heart's content.

--John Evans