Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience: A Moby Dick Reading Experience

During this 10-week voyage, I will be your guide/steward as we will read and discuss (virtually, of course) Herman Melville’s 1851 masterpiece, Moby Dick.

Moby Dick is a dangerous book. Melville himself, when it was all over, wrote to his friend Hawthorne, “I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as the lamb.” It is a book that stares you down and asks you questions you might not be able to answer about things you might rather not think about in the first place.

At the beginning of each week’s meeting, I’ll provide a bit of an overview of what we read and put forth some questions for discussion. The rest of the meeting will be open to discussion, questions, tangents, whale songs, you name it.

Over these 10 weeks, as we read the book, we’ll track the progress it makes through the ocean of our individual and collective experiences, moods, whims, and fears. We’ll share our findings with each other.


  1. Have a copy of Moby Dick. I’ll be using my Oxford World Classics copy if you want to follow along with my page numbers. (Alibris | OUP | Amazon). You can also use an online text like this one from Project Gutenberg.
  2. Keep up with the reading as best you can. We will stick to the schedule.
  3. Be considerate. Don’t dominate discussion. Make sure you are leaving room for the possibility that the more quiet voices among us might be able to speak up. Don’t be afraid of a little bit of silence out here at sea.
  4. Follow standard Zoom meeting etiquette. Generally keep yourself muted and unmute when you have something to say.