Les Miserables: Even After all These Years

My sister-in-law gave me Les Miserables (by Victor Hugo) for Christmas one year. It was a big book, a tome. But, I was curious. I hadn’t read the book, seen the movies or performances. Also, the story is over 100 years old (closing in on 200 years even) and I really like history. What better way to see history than from the words written by someone who was there.
Reading the book took awhile. I was glad my version of the book was translated by someone who took out some of the less relevant parts. Victor Hugo did go on about a lot of things, like the war which happened before the story in the book, the slang used in France 200 years ago and other things. The editor (Norman Denny) did not remove these sections from the book, but left it up to the reader to decide to read them or not. Which was good because Les Miserables is a very long book with a story which pauses frequently to discuss life and philosophy in what seems a roundabout way by current/ modern standards of book writing.

Victor Hugo wrote Les Miserables almost 200 years ago.

Yet the story isn’t so outside of our own experience with broken families and trying to manage on a tight budget. I had expected the story to be more about poverty and drudgery. It wasn’t. It also was not just about a police chase. I had seen some of the Les Miserables movie made in the 1970s. The part I watched (before turning the channel) was all about Jean Valjean being tracked down by Javert. If this is your impression of the story you should read the book. There is more to it.

Which movie version of Les Miserables have you seen and which was your favourite?

Real Book Lovers Make their own Bookmarks

bookmarkI became more interested in bookmarks after my friend, Deanna, asked to use one of my drawings for a bookmark she wanted to print out for the First Annual Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention. Before that I never put a lot of thought into bookmarks. I had a few, I lost a few and a few were mangled when they fell out of my book and into the depths of my purse. Most of the time I stuck something in my page, whatever was around: a restaurant napkin, a store receipt, or a candy wrapper.

Sometimes I turned down the corner of the page I was reading, at the top. But, I didn’t really feel good about marking my page that way. Mainly because it seemed to be contributing to the future dog-earred look the book would eventually get it others continued bending it’s pages that way when they read it after me.

I did find a really nice bookmark which someone had made, not the conventional long, slender cardboard bookmark. Instead this bookmark was stiff paper, folded over to cover the top corner of the book’s pages. It was like a page cap, decorated too. But, I thought this would make a fairly heavy bookmark. For me, it was too likely to wind up falling off and being misplaced somewhere. Plus, it wouldn’t do much to save my place in the book.

When I read Les Miserables (a lengthy, heavy book) I picked up an elastic which had been used on a small box of chocolates I was given for my birthday. (From my hair stylist, Megan). It wasn’t just a plain rubber band. Shiny and golden and just the right length to stretch over the pages of the book to rest in the spine between the folds of pages. The gold elastic worked very well but I retired it when I finished the book.

I’ve seen clever bookmarks made from envelope corners, repurposing them rather than putting them into the recycling bin right away. I think this idea needs some engineering work though. I can’t see the corner of an envelope staying on the pages of my book for long. This may be great for people who don’t get into bookpacking (those who keep their book in one place rather than those take it on the road, the bus, the coffee shop, etc.)

I like using whatever bookmark the book store is giving away when I buy new books. I’ve had some nice ones, depending on which books were lately being promoted. I had one for Dragonology. I was sorry to see that one get a bit wrecked from a rainy day. It was inside my purse, in the book, but the rain leaked in and got everything wet. I have one from a website SmileyWorld. But I bought that one.

It doesn’t seem right to buy a bookmark when there are so many available for free, so may ways to repurpose something else as a bookmark and so many ways (simple ways) you can make your own bookmark.

‘Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark?’ – Steven Spielberg


Bookmark Making Ideas