Reader FAQ

This FAQ is intended for readers in the Liverpool Moby-Dick marathon May 4th-6th 2013.

Where am I reading?

The reading schedule here ( will give you a rough idea of where each chapter is going to be read. The first session and last sessions of each day will be held on board the Kathleen & May, the schooner in the Canning half-tide dock outside the museum entrance, and all other sessions will be held in the Maritime Museum, in Learning Base 1 on the first floor. There will be helpers around the museum (wearing distinctive pale blue t-shirts) to help you find your way. If you are reading in the first session of the day (9am-10am) go straight to the Kathleen and May, otherwise, find a helper in the museum entrance. NB. It is important that you make yourself known to a helper at the location where you are reading, so that we know you are there.

What time should I get there?

The timing of each chapter is going to be quite important, but it is unlikely that we will be running exactly to schedule. For the sake of everybody’s nerves it would be useful if you could be in place to read about half an hour before your allotted time. We will attempt to log each chapter, and any other information that might be useful, using the Twitter feed @merseymobydick which you can see even if you don’t use Twitter here: However, do not rely on this as we cannot guarantee to send a tweet at the beginning of every chapter.

What should I read from?

Most editions of the novel, including the ones from Penguin, Oxford Worlds Classics, and Everyman are identical, and based on the second (American ) edition. The most useful online edition is at and the free ebook editions available on Kindle and elsewhere are generally ok too. Oxford Worlds Classics have kindly sent us some copies of the book to use during the weekend, so if you forget to bring yours with you there will be one available for you on the day.

How will I know when it is my turn?

The chapter currently being read will be indicated by the timekeeper.

Have you any advice about reading?

Please step up to read promptly. When you have settled yourself (either standing or seated) state the number and title of the chapter, and then proceed.

For obvious reasons, the key to this is timing. Chapter timings have been calculated to include a few seconds for switching over from one reader to the next. There is no need to rush your reading, but at the same time it is important to keep to time if we can. The book is so long that delays will be magnified over the course of each day. It’s a good idea to read through your chapter out loud a couple of times to work out how much time you have to work with.

Otherwise, just relax and enjoy it. This is a giant storytelling exercise that is intended to be fun.

Will there be microphones?

There will be no microphones for the reading, so a certain amount of projection will be needed. The reading spaces are quite small though, so it shouldn’t be too bad.

Is there anything else I need to know?

There may be some general background noise while you are reading, particularly in the museum. We will do our best to minimise noise in the reading areas themselves, but we will have to ignore it and keep going. The only possible exception to this is the fire alarm.

What if I haven’t read the whole novel?

That’s fine–you are not alone. To help explain what is going on during the reading chapter summaries will be available. But really, what are you waiting for?

What else do I need to bring?

It’s probably a good idea to bring a small bottle of water but please no fizzy drinks. On Sunday and Monday there will be a room available to leave coats, but unfortunately not on the Saturday.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s