CHICAGO, IL- On Tuesday, local sources reported that Whitney Stephenson’s copy of “Moby-Dick” was returned to the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington branch completely unread for the 7th time.
While checking her phone, Stephenson was notified by email that her book was due; just as the next episode of GIRLBOSS was loading on Netflix. A longing glance was spared for the 822-page tome, which lay under a thin sheath of dust on her nightstand. She then clicked, “Yes I’m still watching”. The next morning, she threw Herman Melville’s American Renaissance novel into her work bag, where it remained for 3 days until she remembered to drop it off.
Stephenson reportedly first checked out “Moby-Dick” on October 22nd, 2015. She was able to renew it twice before Thanksgiving weekend, but another library patron put a hold on the book, forcing her to return it the first time. After paying her $0.75 late-fee, she then checked out another copy before heading home for Christmas. She tweeted at the time, “Can’t wait to crack open an American classic. This book is my white whale, lololol!” She expected to read on the plane on the way back to Kansas City. But Southwest has wi-fi now, so instead she scrolled through Instagram for the entire flight. Over the past year, she has returned the book 7 times and renewed it 18 times.
Librarian Joyce Price noticed Stephenson’s library record when checking the book back in for the 7th time. “This copy is in great condition. Usually a book this large, there’s binding cracks and cover damage- it looks like this has never even been opened. Look, if I’m being real though, most of our copies of Moby-Dick come back like this.” Although no one asked her to, Price went on: “It’s interesting if you think about it, she keeps pursuing this book while in the novel Ahab is ultimately destroyed by his single-minded pursuit, though of course if you read it from a Marxist dialectic perspective, it’s actually his class and social status are what brought him down.… Hey, are you still listening?” Price inquired.
In defense of her actions, Stephenson, a 26-year-old ad sales manager, responded, “I think Pitbull’s Twitter is criminally underrated.”