Just now I am reading Jules Verne: Inventor of Science Fiction by Peter Costello.
In 1848 the young Jules Verne and his friend Edouard Bonamy went to Paris. An impoverished student, Verne struggled to keep his expenses down to 40 sous per day, a budget recommended by his careful father. Between them, the two young men had only one evening suit and one pair of dress shoes. Consequently, they had to take turns going out in the evening to the elegant salons of Mme. de Jomini, Mme. de Mariani and Mme. de Barrere.
But for Verne the real hardship was not having enough money to buy books.
At the beginning of December Jules was telling his father about buying a complete Shakespeare and a set of Scott. He got nervous shudders when he stood outside a bookshop, so great was his desire for books of all kinds. He went through 'all the torture of unsatisfied passion' when he could not buy them. He had been unable to resist the well-bound edition of Shakespeare and had to live on dried prunes for three days. (p. 39)My goodness -- what utter disregard for the digestive system!