English department hosts 2nd annual overnight ‘Moby-Dick’ read-a-thon

The English department hosted the second “Moby-Dick” marathon read for students, teachers and parents April 17-18 in Mudd Library. The event, organized by English teachers Malina Mamigonian and Charles Berezin, began at 4 p.m. and ran close to 24 hours.

Attendees were able to sign up online through a Google Doc to read one of 135 chapters. Chapters ranged anywhere from five to 45 minutes in reading time. Participants were provided with food and drinks from Whole Foods, Big Sugar and Starbucks Coffee. Mamigonian proposed the idea last year, the first year “Moby-Dick” was an option for the English curriculum.

“The reading marathon is something I experienced for the first time in college,” Mamigonian said. “Reading the novel aloud brought it to life for me and I hope it does the same for my students.”

Various props related to the book, like blow-up whales, were placed around the library to enhance the experience. Participants were also offered henna tattoos to honor a character in the book, Queequeg the chief harpooner.

“They had chowder and I read a chapter about chowder, so that made the night for me,” Peter Cha ’15 said.

Sabrina Szu ’15 and Sophia Szu ’15 both attended the event and slept overnight in the library, though many students left before then.

“The ambient library setting really set the mood for the whole reading and we all got a 360 experience,” Sophia said.

KHWS live broadcasted the whole event on location. Andrew Ravan ’15 designed T-shirts for the event, which are available on a Custom Ink website. All of the proceeds of the sales will go to Oceana, a non-profit organization for ocean conservation. Mamigonian and Berezin plan to host the event again next year.


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