NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — The New Bedford Whaling Museum is holding its 18th annual “Moby Dick” Marathon.

In what has become one its most popular events, dozens of readers will get a short slot in the marathon when Herman Melville’s classic novel of man versus whale is read from cover to cover without breaks. The reading started at noon Saturday and was expected to take about 25 hours.

A portion of the reading will be held in the nearby Seamen’s Bethel, made famous in the novel as the Whaleman’s Chapel.

The reading and associated events are attended by everyone from serious Melville scholars to just plain folk who like the book.