I recently learned that there are 365 chapter in Les Miserables. Which just happens to be my favourite book.
I recently started rereading it, but when I saw this, about 365 chapters, I decided that instead of just reading it straight through, I am going to read a chapter a day for the next year.
I feel like this will help me to focus on the chapters even better, and absorb more of the story.
And May 22, the day of Victor Hugo’s death, seems like a good day to start reading.
I’ve loved Les Mis since I first read it. I think I was somewhere between 12 and 14. I got the book from the library, and, let me tell you, it isn’t an easy one to finish in the time the library lets you keep a book.
But I did it, and a short time later, my folks got me a paperback copy as a gift.
That book has gone with me to every continent except Africa and Antarctica.
It missed Africa, because I wasn’t taking it everywhere with me at that point, and it hasn’t been to Antarctica, because I’ve not been.
It even had its own little adventure in Australia, when I missed it as I was packing my bag at a hostel, and had to track it down and have it mailed back to me.
Yes, I am well aware that this brick of a book is a little bit of a silly option for reading material on a trip. Why not just put Les Mis on my Kindle?
Well…funny thing…it actually is on my Kindle. I have my whole Victor Hugo collection, and Les Mis is one of them.
But I love my old book.
It’s nothing fancy. It says on the cover that it is the only complete and unabridged paperback edition, and it looks a little rough.
The funny thing, though? This edition is copywritten in 1987. The same year I was born. You might say we were meant to be.
The inside is full of tea wrappers, and boarding passes, and even some random money (very small bills only, I know there’s at least money from India and Romania in there currently). Various things I’ve used as bookmarks while reading at different times.
It’s my anchor in the moments when I feel alone and adrift.
I’ve read Les Mis clear through at least a couple of times. And at other times, I open the book and read random parts that apply to life at the time.
This is the intro to Les Miserables, which makes it seem like it is just as appropriate now as it was when it was written.
Maybe it takes a little time to read, but I believe that the universal truths in it make it very worthwhile.