Victor Hugo's novel Les Misérables is considered one of the most classic and famous literary productions. The action took place in France between 1815 and 1832 and several people devoured the pages of this novel which deals with Jean Valjean and his daughter Cosette. However, Les Misérables is a long novel that may prove difficult for some to read, especially if it is a school assignment. By using some basic reading skills and using alternative sources to learn more about the book, you will come to read and enjoy this classic literary production.
Method 1 of 3: Read Les Misérables
Step 1. Obtain the French version of the book
There are several translated versions of the novel Les Misérables. Buy the original version which is in French and which is as accurate as possible.
The academic versions of the novel are generally the best, with useful annotations. They are only available at special bookstores and even at online retailers
Step 2. Avoid forcing yourself to read
You can turn reading Les Misérables into a real chore by forcing yourself to read it, regardless of any personal or community expectations. Avoid forcing yourself and you will easily be able to enjoy reading this work which deals with redemption and imperial France.
- Keep the novel handy, whether in the office or at home. It may encourage you to read a few lines if you are bored, instead of watching TV.
- Take the book with you to the park, on vacation, to the pool or in your daily shuttles. Having it on hand can help keep you entertained when you get bored.
Step 3. Read when you are relaxed
Avoid reading when you are in a rush or anxious. Reading the novel Les Misérables when you are relaxed can help you appreciate the script better.
- Some studies show that a positive and relaxing environment can motivate you to read.
- For example, keep a copy of the novel by your bedside. This will allow you to take a look at it before going to sleep. You can also set a schedule and take the book with you to the cafeteria and browse it while you enjoy your cappuccino.
Step 4. Consult educational materials
If you have trouble reading Les Misérables because it deals with complicated historical events, consider reading a teaching aid. This will allow you to understand the text and really enjoy your reading.
- Most major literary works have teaching aids with annotated commentaries that can help you understand the more complex parts of the novel. Masterplots, Shmoop and CliffsNotes can help you identify the complex themes as well as the historical elements described in the book.
- You will also need to consult a history book in order to immerse yourself in the vital context of imperial France, which in return will allow you to better understand the novel Les Misérables. The Insurgent Barricade by Mark Traugott offers an impressive overview of the origin of the Parisian barricades and how they were used during political rebellions.
- If you are having difficulty discuss it with a friend or your teacher. They might give you some great tips to help you get by.
Method 2 of 3: Read Les Misérables strategically for an exercise
Step 1. Set up a work plan
If you have trouble reading Les Misérables or just don't enjoy reading it, come up with a plan to get it right. This can help you strategically succeed in your assignment.
- There are several ways you can make a plan to finish your reading. For example, if you have three weeks to finish that 1,500-page novel, you can read 72 pages a day.
- You could also devote a specific amount of time to each chapter. This can help you not get stuck at one part of the story. For example, you could decide to read one chapter each day or even several chapters if they are not long.
- Take breaks to clear your head and get back on your feet.
Step 2. Start reading the novel early
It's never too early to start reading a novel on the program. It can decrease your anxiety and help you withhold information. It can also help you get more out of the book.
Devote half an hour or an hour to the book each day in order to read it more effectively
Step 3. Divide the book into several parts
Reading shorter, less complex passages can help you finish reading well. This will probably allow you to go through every section of the book, even if the book is not interesting.
Go at your own pace and do not exceed the time you have set for each chapter. It can motivate you to finish the novel
Step 4. Use summary techniques
Those who read a lot of novels, including those on the program, employ techniques to quickly summarize (or extract the gist of) what they read. Learning to summarize the novel Les Misérables can help you read it more effectively and profitably.
- The most important parts of a text are usually the introduction and conclusion or the first and last chapters. Be sure to pay special attention to these parts and then you can skim through the rest for more details.
- In most cases, the first page of a novel can give you a rough idea of what the novel will be about.
- Hovering over the book, which equates to reading about 450 words per minute, can allow you to know the important elements developed in the book without having to focus on secondary themes, characters or language.
- You may also have to use a teaching aid that will provide you with summaries, which in turn will let you know which part you should read, skip over, or drop.
- You could also use the support to learn more about a part and then skim over all the images or dialogues.
Step 5. Take notes while reading the novel
As you read Les Misérables, you need to take notes. You may need certain information, whether for a course or for some job. By taking notes as the reading progresses, you can create a teaching aid on your own.
- Taking notes is about balancing taking too much information and taking too little. Don't write down everything you read, but rather the most important details or information.
- Make handwritten notes. According to some studies, humans retain information better when it is handwritten, rather than when it is entered or recorded.
Method 3 of 3: Try other options besides reading
Step 1. Try something else besides the books
Les Misérables is available in several forms apart from the novel. With its popularity, it is available in the form of musical, film and theater. Consider trying one of these options to understand the story and find another way to read the novel.
- There are several films about Les Misérables and you can watch any of them to understand the work.
- You could go see the musical or the theater. In big cities like London or New York, there are still venues that still perform this play and you may well enjoy it in a local theater hall.
- Watching the theater or the movie will help you want to read the novel.
- If you're the type of person who travels a lot, try using a tablet or e-reader, instead of carrying the book itself. It can help you pass the time without having to carry heavy books.
Step 2. Suggest this book to your book club
Reading can sometimes be a boring and lonely pastime. Suggesting Les Misérables to your book club can be a good idea and make the session interesting.
- Watching a scenario unfold and discussing it can motivate a lot of people. It also makes the process more interesting.
- Read the novel while doing something interesting, like sipping a glass of French wine or eating French.
Step 3. Listen to the audio book of Les Misérables
If reading isn't your thing, listen to the audio format of the book. This will allow you to enjoy the story without having to read.
Listening to audio has the same intellectual benefits as reading the novel, according to some studies. There are even some people who learn better when they listen, rather than when they read
Step 4. Take your time
If you're reading Les Misérables just for fun, then there's nothing forcing you to finish it quickly. Take your time to read so that you can truly enjoy this classic piece of literature.
Divide the novel into chapters to make it easier to read
- When you finish the book, you can treat yourself to watching the musical or movie.
- For more challenge, you can then read the book in its English version.