Melville Lives!

We like to imagine Herman Melville walking down Main Street, Sag Harbor. He’s just climbed off a whale ship, steadying his land legs along Long Wharf and he’s looking for a suitable watering hole. He might find his way into Murf’s Tavern for a pint. Maybe he’d try his hand at the pirate ring toss. While we can’t say for sure “Melville slept here,” we know Sag Harbor’s rowdy reputation somehow reached Melville’s writing desk in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. See chapters 12 & 13 of Moby Dick. Long famous for having hosted marathon readings of that great American novel, Canio’s Books recently hosted a mini-marathon. On the occasion of Melville’s 189th birthday (August 1, although we were about a week late), we invited local Melville enthusiast and green architect Bill Chaleff to read selections from the master’s works. We heard selections from “Billy Budd,”  “Benito Cereno,” and from “Bartleby.” Despite the August heat, Bill kept his thick beard in place, a true sacrifice for the sake of literature. Sag Harbor’s performing plumber Terry Sullivan led us in a round of sea chanteys. (Terry’s new folk CD Hold On has just been released. ) Next year’s celebration, the 190th, promises to be even bigger. Whale ho!

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Canio’s Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963, 631.725.4926. Call or email us, While we love you to SEE you, you can also order new titles at our online storefront or some of our second hand inventory HERE. Thanks for visiting!

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