From Jan. 6 to 8, the Moby Dick Marathon will return for its 21st year at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

It was in 1995 when the museum started to mark the anniversary of author Herman Melville's 1841 departure from the port of New Bedford and Fairhaven aboard the whaleship Acushnet. Melville would later pen “Moby-Dick,” publishing the famous American novel in 1851.

According to South Coast, the reading will move through multiple settings throughout the museum as well as across the street at the Seamen's Bethel. The event begins in the museum's Bourne Building, which houses the world's largest whaleship model.

The next section of the book is read at the Seamen's Bethel.

The remainder of the book is read non-stop in a gallery with 180-degree views of the fishing fleets and other vessels lining New Bedford harbor.

The few hardy souls who brave the voyage through all 136 chapters of the great American epic, from “Etymology” to “Epilogue,” will receive prizes when the marathon ends on Sunday.

Activities begin on Friday, Jan. 6, at 5:30 p.m., with an event marking the opening of the Melville Society Exhibit, a dinner, and a lecture and discussion on Melville and religion.

Friday tickets are $40 for museum members and $50 for non-members. Tickets are available at or by calling (508) 997-0046.

With additional reporting by Sal Lopez

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