There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away . . .
SHARP has been having a vigorous swapping session about books on ships. It wasn’t inspired by Emily Dickinson — it all got started by this article in The Washington Post about contemporary cruise ship libraries. In general it seems people view them as a good thing. ShipParade gives us a gallery of photos of their top 20 favorite libraries on cruise ships. You can’t of course tell about the bits you can’t see in the photo, but several of these libraries seem a bit short of books while heavy on comfort.
The Hathi Trust has a list of books required on U.S. military ships in 1918. Mostly relentlessly serious — The Almanach de Gotha? Unsurprisingly there are different lists for officers and crew. The crew get a lot more fiction; they obviously didn’t have to worry about how to address that unfortunate admiral they just fished out of the waves. Today’s navy continues to think about providing books: here’s a link to the Navy Libraries website.