The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is an annual non-stop reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. The multi-day program of entertaining activities and events is presented every January. Admission to the Marathon is free.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Current Large-Print Moby-Dick

In a recent post at The Moby-Dick Collection, Mr. Pettit displays a nice-looking large-print edition of Moby-Dick, published in hardcover in 1969 by Franklin Watts, Inc.  Unfortunately for me, I was not aware of this edition when I ordered a large-print Moby-Dick for myself from Amazon last year. 

This one is a paperback published by BiblioBazaar.  According to Wikipedia, BiblioBazaar is a division or subsidiary of BiblioLabs LLC.  BiblioLabs is in turn (according to its own website) "a hybrid software-media company, with a focus on using technology to enable curators and subject matter experts to create new works from the wealth of licensed, open source and public domain materials available within our core database." 

Not surprisingly, therefore, BiblioBazaar's large-print Moby-Dick uses one of the uncorrected public-domain texts.  This became apparent to me during the 2011 New Bedford Moby-Dick marathon, when I followed along in this version and began marking ways in which this text appeared to differ from what the readers were saying.

I bought a large-print edition because I wanted one that I could read comfortably at the podium without either stooping over it or holding it up to my face.  This worked well for that, although as mentioned the text is not the most up-to-date.  It's also a heavy one -- too heavy for Gansevoort, I'm sure, but I'm willing to put up with that.  Indeed, the text is so large that I can just keep it open in my lap and follow along with no trouble.

It must be admitted, however, that this is no thing of beauty.  It seems very much like a print-on-demand volume: just the text (with "Etymology" and "Extracts" at the end) and a non-specific cover.

Norton Critical Editions Moby-Dick
Signet Classics Moby-Dick
Penguin English Library Moby-Dick


  1. Yes, you can't defy the physics of publishing -- larger print means more (or larger) pages, which means a heavier volume (or thinner paper).
    I'll see if I can find a "Northwestern-Newberry compliant" large-print edition. In the meantime, there _is_ a recent edition that, while not large-print, is eminently usable... I'll be posting about it soon.