Monday, January 1, 2018

Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-Along


I just learned about this Read-along for Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. The main  goal is to commit to reading a chapter a day as there are exactly 365 chapters in the unabridged version of the novel. I cannot say this is a book that ever called to me to read it but the idea of experiencing it one chapter a day for a year sounds very appealing. It is a very very long book. I am guessing the chapters average 4-5 pages each.



The Read-along is hosted by Nick Senger at One Catholic Life. It starts on January 1, 2018, and concludes on December 31. At Nick's blog, he will have weekly posts that will stay on track with the reading schedule, and since he has experienced this novel several times and taught it in school, I think those posts will be useful to me. Check out the sign-up post for more details.

Although the idea is to commit to reading a chapter a day, there is nothing to prevent one from reading ahead at times, or getting behind, and I imagine I will do both.

I will start reading this on my Kindle, which will be a big step for me since I have avoided using it for at least a year now. I think the shorter chunks of reading will allow me to see how I like the experience (both reading the book and using the Kindle). I will also be looking for a print copy, but I want to start reading today, and an e-book is the only option. Plus I can verify that I am enjoying the experience before I commit to a print copy.

I want to give credit to Brona at Brona's Books for alerting me to this Read-along.



18 comments:

  1. Tracy, I did not know that the unabridged version of "Les Misérables" had 365 chapters. Reading a chapter a day sounds like an exciting and a daunting prospect. Will you be reviewing every chapter? I wish you luck.

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    1. I did not know that either, Prashant. At least the first few chapters are relatively short, which gave me courage to start reading. I will not review every chapter. I will probably comment on my progress at the end of each month when I do my reading summary, and then one or two times a month besides that.

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  2. Welcome to the Les Mis Read-along, Tracy! I hope it's a great experience for you. I look forward to your thoughts about the book as we read through it. Happy reading!

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    1. Thanks, Nick. I am excited about this, and I hope it goes well, also.

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  3. I had to read this as a sophomore in high school and ended up hating it. At 15 I was still very much a child in my thinking and couldn't relate to the characters at all. Maybe I'll reread it some day.

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    1. My husband read this in high school also, Janet. I remember my English classes but not what I read back in school back then.

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  4. I think that's a really good idea for experience the novel, Tracy. It's not a long daily commitment, but you still read what is, as you say, a long novel. I wish you well with it, and I hope you'll post on your progress.

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    1. I agree, Margot. I would never think of reading a classic novel that long but with the plan to read it over a year, plus the supplementary info from Nick's blog posts, I think it will be a good experience.

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  5. Good luck, rather you than me. I did have to read Death of a Detective and some tales by Theodore Tinsley (over 1000 pages) this way - too daunting otherwise.

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    1. Aha, I guessed how you would reply, Col. I saw a copy of Death of a Detective at the book sale, but the print was so tiny I decided against it. Maybe some day.

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  6. Intriguing idea, Tracy. I hope it works and you enjoy the experience. Please let us know how you are doing, even if it is just a box score.

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    1. I hope it is a good experience too, Elgin. I do want to have some way of posting about it now and then, but not sure how to do that yet.

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  7. Tracy, so glad you are reading along! I post 1 x per week a summation of my thoughts as a 'page' not as a post. I struggle to get though 365 chapters in French...sometimes I miss my target!

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    1. I am reading along and enjoying it, Nancy. I do see that reading in French would slow you down. I checked out your page and I will take a look every week and see how you are doing.

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    2. Do you have a twitter accoumt, Tracy? All the tweets by others are easily found via #LesMisReadalong

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    3. No, Nancy, no twitter account and no facebook. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the reading I want to do and blogging and working full time, I don't want to add anything else that will take my time like that. Maybe when I retire... in two years.

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  8. What a good and interesting idea! I read the book some years ago, and liked it very much, but probably won't read it again. That time, I borrowed it from the library, but of course didn't finish it in time and had to take it back. So I bought a copy because I could tell I was going to continue - and found that the translation I now had was much better and made it a much easier read. So the translation is really important!

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    1. I am enjoying the chapters I have read so far, Moira. I am right on target at the moment although I read two a day and then skip some days. Nick who is running the read along recommended three translations... a recent one, Norman Denny from 1976 and one from from 1862. I went with Norman Denny. I found an affordable Kindle version and started reading that way, and reading it is what I prefer at this point. I can't handle too heavy a book. I bought a paper edition with the same translation (and introduction, which I haven't read yet) to have on hand. Very glad I ran into this read along.

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