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.