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Steve Chapman: In praise of fat books and slow reading

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I recently started Victor Hugo's novel "Les Miserables," which most people seem to prefer in movie or musical theater form if only because those take less time. You can get the story in under three hours instead of taking who knows how long to plow through the 1,232-page Penguin edition. No, I'm not fishing for sympathy. Having this mountain of pages to climb gives me great peace of mind....