We are just two short weeks and two short days away from the beginning of the Moby-Dick group read. Actually, that’s when the first milestone lands, which means that people who want to follow our calendar should read a bit in advance so that the first batch of chapters is all wrapped up in time for discussion beginning on May 24. I’ve decided for now to stick with a six-week reading schedule; we’ll see how we feel about this after the first couple of weeks and can expand a bit then if there’s an outcry, but I think six weeks will be about right. Moby-Dick is conveniently divided into numbered, titled chapters, so it doesn’t matter a whole lot what edition you’re using. Just stick to the chapter divisions and you should be good to go.
In parceling the chapters out across the several weeks, I tried to find a good balance between keeping a roughly equal number of pages per week and finding reasonable breaks within the content itself. I extended the first week’s reading by a chapter more than I had originally planned, for example, because I thought it would be a shame to break two linked chapters up.
Please note that there’s some front-matter (about which more in a later post) that makes the first week’s reading a bit longer than the other weeks’ readings. I don’t think it’ll be too onerous to complete it all, but I thought I’d mention it in case you’re counting numbered pages (the front-matter most likely falls outside the Arabic-numbered pages) to arrive at a pages-per-day count.
See the sidebar for the official schedule.
For any who want to track their reading semi-publicly on Facebook, I’ve added an entry for Moby-Dick to the InfiniteSummer Facebook app. Since there are so many different editions of the book, I just set the page count to 600, so this will be very much an approximation. When you update your page count in the app, it adds a little blurb to your Facebook profile that includes a picture of the book, your page count and approximate percentage complete, and links back to here. This is totally optional and isn’t something I derive any benefit from. If you want to show people your progress, add it; if not, that’s fine too.
Thanks Daryl! I was actually thinking this morning about the schedule for the read. I’ve started reading some supplementary material – Philip Hoare’s The Whale – and it’s great fun. I didn’t realize until I started it that he looks so closely at Melville and his experiences. One quick question – are you going to set up a separate site for the Moby-Dick read or will it all be here on the Zombies site? Looking forward to it!
I had thought about setting up a separate site for this and future reads, but I’m pretty well established here and decided I’d rather not have to deal with the mess of administering a new site when this one was perfectly serviceable. So this will be your one-stop shop. I read Hoare’s book and liked it. Also fun is Dan Beachy-Quick’s A Whaler’s Dictionary. And Nathaniel Philbrick’s The Heart of the Sea, which is a little tangential but is fascinating nonetheless.
If anybody who happens to read this comment is blogging the book elsewhere, please speak up and I’ll get you added to the blog roll.
Perfect – I like the one-stop shop plan. I read The Heart of the Sea when it first came out and thought it was great. I’ve also picked up Eric Jay Dolin’s Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America and will be dipping into that as well.
I finally got over here to check out what I need to know for the Moby Dick group read. Completely over the trepidation, this is it. I’m really going to get through it this time. Much excitement! Thanks for setting this up, Daryl. Inspired.
Glad to hear it, Sarah. I read your post about Cryptonomicon and am sort of honored that my little project here has drawn you away from (or at least split your time with) something you had been so anticipating. Here’s hoping you make it through and that our little output here at IZ doesn’t disappoint.