Revisiting Les Misérables


I’m making a valiant effort to thin out my very thick personal library. Like any parting, there is grief, but I’m choosing instead to grip the joy and gratitude I’ve garnered from my books. When I picked up this 1232 page brick I faced the glacial reality that I would never read all the words again.

The next best thing was to read the bits I’d underlined in neat pencil.


Because I’m a wee bit obsessive about my books, I knew I had to copy those adored sentences into my commonplace book.


Two long road trips, several shorter drives, the odd minutes gleaned here and there… and I’ve added 30 pages to my journal of quotes from Les Misérables. All the joy, people. All the joy/grief/delight/disgust/admiration of this magnum opus comes flooding back.


It was the next best thing to reading every word. And so many quotes!




One thing remains. Giving this book a good home. A place where it can sit on a shelf, get a few loving glances with the whispered promise to read it sometime.


If my penciled copy of Hugo’s masterpiece sounds like something you want (free), leave a comment. In a week I’ll make a decision where it goes and mail/hand it to that person. Otherwise I’ll donate it.


20 thoughts on “Revisiting Les Misérables

  1. Reading your favorite quotes, here, is a treat. I’m too far away; I’m sure someone closer to home will be delighted to own this treasure.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with Susan, reading the quotes from your journal is priceless!
    We are weeding our personal library right now, too. There are shelves and shelves left to go through, so I must pass on the gift book. It is tempting to get something that you wrote comments in, but my husband would probably disown me. What a great delight to someone who reads your blog and how generous of you Carol. I am parting with gardening books and sending a few of them to our son’s Little Free Library in his front yard. My gardening books will rub shoulders with our Grand’s outgrown board books. 😉 Love and prayers, jep

    • Oh, jep, it would fun, wouldn’t it, to peruse each other’s libraries. I’ve used a local Little Free Library, but I usually end up bringing a book back the same time I drop one off!

  3. Oh, I Love this post! And your accompanying pictures of quotes. I’m so glad to hear you have *30* pages of quotes! I always feel like I’m overdoing it when I end up with lots of quote pages from one book, but no more…’ve broken the trail for me! I’m sure someone will treasure having your copy.

  4. I loved this post!! 🙂 ❤ I am currently reading this book on my Kindle Fire while on the treadmill here in Prineville , Oregon . Getting to read your quotes that you liked from this book is just fantastic.This is a book that has so much good writing and so many things I am not familiar with(such as all the French "stuff")that I think it could take a lifetime to fully grasp what Victor Hugo was trying to say . To say I love this book would be a gross understatement . ~Sharon Goemaere

  5. I love how you love books and how you read them. I’ve never read this one (or any Hugo) and it’s on my lifetime “to read” list. I’d love to be part of the pool to be considered for possession of this gem.

    Sandy C.

  6. If I reread the book of the unabridged book of Les Misérables, I will not attempt to read it in a limited amount of time like I did the first time. I attempted to finish it in one summer and I succeeded. But next time I want to spend more time with the book

      • What helps me while reading this book belongs to the musical. Since I was very familiar with the story and characters through the musical, I could apply it to the book.

        I have been reading the classics over summer and Christmas recently. This summer was Oliver Twist. Last Summer was Don Quixote. Christmas 2016 I read Great Expectation. One Christmas Break was Tale of Two Cities. Summer of 2015 was Les Misérables. Now will continue to read more classics

      • I grew up on a Dickens story. I remember growing up watching A Christmas Carol every Christmas. So in a way, my journey with the Classics began with Charles Dickens

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