Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “Moby Dick”

Stacking the Odds



Now and then I try to squeeze in volunteer time at the library by shelving a cart or two of books.  Having worked at a couple of libraries I can do the Dewey sufficiently well.  In the future I should remember that the reason the non-fiction juvenile cart is up for grabs is because it takes a loooong time to do. I will have to say that it does involve quite a bit of aerobics stretching from whales to the Star Wars cookbook.

Besides the getting some calisthenics in and helping out the library, I volunteer shelve because I find all sorts of treasures for myself. And because I am on my own clock now I don’t suffer the guilt (and rebuke from my supervisor and coworkers) when browsing. Okay, I do feel a little bit of guilt.

Here  are some of the treasures I’ve discovered:


The Good, the Bad, the Barbie by Tanya Lee Stone
Being a Boomer girl I had quite the Barbie collection. I even had the one in the zebra one piece. Had Midge, Skipper, Ken complete with a kitchen set and canopy bedroom ensemble. Oh, yes, I do wish I still had them. No, not because I’m a Barbie fan, but I’m sure my retirement account would have been a bit healthier because there are LOTS of Barbie fans out there.

Lincoln Lawyer (this was a series before the movie!)

Limitless–having watched the movie I was intrigued enough to read the book. Go with the movie.

Monk? based on the series? How could a book do him justice?

Deadly Pursuit–a Christian thriller mystery? I’m game. Toss it on the TBR list.

I also made some observations:

If I look like I know what I’m doing people will think I do know something. I felt really, really good about helping a patron find a book she wanted. We didn’t find it but I gave her information how to place a hold or a search for the title.

I had no idea how prolific Christie, Cussler, Jance, Patterson are as authors until faced with trying to alphabetize their numerous titles. SIDENOTE: I found out it’s okay to get the titles in place by author (you know how that’s dratted patrons just mix them up anyway–wait, I’m a dratted patron).

People really do read Melville’s Moby Dick.

And To Kill a Mockingbird still rocks the shelves! Big yeah on this one.

So don’t be shy, trot right on down to your friendly local neighborhood library and see about volunteering for shelving. You’ll feel good, the library folk will be happy, and you’ll have an even fatter TBR list.

“Words, Words, Words” Hamlet Knew What He Was Talking About

I came across this information in one of my many literary newsletters, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this profound trivia concerning some of the books I’ve read over the years.  The source is Publisher’s Weekly, with a nod to Amazon.

As an added bonus, if you click on the book title you will be rewarded with even more amazing stats.  You never know when book stats will come in handy.  I tend to either amaze or bore my students with my accrued literary triviarium (my own word–ahem: the collection of meaningless, yet seemingly important factuals, which would be a shame to delete, hence, they are kept and spouted at some random point in time) .  Click here for the entire article.

                                                                                                                Animal Farm

29,966 words (75% of books have more words)


47,192 words (64% of books have more words)

Lord of the Flies

62,481 words (51% of books have more words)

Brave New World

64,531 words (50% of books have more words)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

70,570 words (45% of books have more words)

Mansfield Park

159, 344 words (9% of books have more words)


209,117 words (4% of books have more words)

East of Eden

226,741 words (3% of books have more words)


310,593 words (2% of books have more words)

War and Peace

544,406 words (0% of books have more words)


So why care how many words might be found in a book?  Maybe there is no reason.  Except it might give one pause if one is looking for a measure against what has held up over time in bookdom.  I dunno.  Maybe I just like books so much that I tend to grab onto anything booksy to store in my triviarium.  I wonder how Hamlet would have appreciated this info?

Happy Pages

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