The Tale of the Long Book

As I continue to work on my reading list this year, I have noticed that the books I tend to pick up or add to my reading list are books with ever-increasing numbers of pages.  I am currently reading a book that is over 900 pages, and it seems as though books under the 400 page mark are what I now consider “short” or “shorter” books compared with the number of books I am reading that seem to average in the 500-600 page range.

When discussing this with a friend who doesn’t read too often, the question of “do books really need that many pages?” came up and it got me thinking…  I can definitely think back to some books where I wouldn’t change a thing – I loved all of the detail, character development and description.  There are also some books where the level of detail just couldn’t keep my interest, or the author decided to go expand on some characters or subplot within the story.  I will admit that there are few books where I glossed over some parts of a book that just delved too deep into a topic that was causing my eyes to glaze over.  However, I am a reader that cannot put a book back on the shelf without finishing it and I try to find something that I’ve enjoyed or found of interest in each book that I read.  There are some books I pick up that I know are purely for entertainment value, where I don’t have high expectations for a rich plot and interesting characters and other books that have a topic or storyline that I can’t wait to dive into, regardless of the page length.

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover… I also think you can’t judge a book by the number of pages.  I think some folks can be intimidated by a book with a large number of pages–I know I have been guilty of this in the past and worried that I would never finish, but I also believe that if it is a story that grabs your interest, you’ll find a way to finish it and perhaps pick up another one.


4 thoughts on “The Tale of the Long Book

  1. I find that I’m also doing the same. The strange thing is, I don’t mind reading really long books. I guess as long as the story is good, it doesn’t matter how long it is. I remembered when I read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell…that book was over 900 pages long, but when I reached the last page, my reaction was…”that’s all?? There’s got to be more!!”

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