Does size matter? (Talking books here, people!)

I know you may not judge a book by it’s cover, but…does the size of a book intimidate you?

I’ve noticed in some Top Ten Tuesday lists lately that people seem to be turned off by certain books. Not because of the characters, plot, or genre, but purely based on the book’s size. The book just has too many darn pages to make an effort to read it. This really surprises me. Actually, for me, the longer the book, the better! When I enjoy the characters or the overall story, I want it to keep going. 250 pages just isn’t going to cut it.

When we found out that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was going to be the longest book yet (870 pages!) I squeed with delight. Sure, in retrospect there are probably some edits which could have been made, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I loved each and every word.

Stephen King’s heavy tomeย 11/22/63 comes in at a whopping 849 pages. Still left me wishing for more at the end.

Sure, sometimes the size will have me delay starting a book. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but with my TBR I want to tackle a few shorter books first. I’ve got several large Elizabeth George books as well as Stephen King’s Under the Dome on my shelf right now. I’m going to get to them. Eventually.

I’ve only felt regret on book size while reading Jane Eyre. While that book had some great moments, a lot of it was a snooze fest for me. I’m just not that into the classics. For me, Jane Eyre could have easily been 150 pages versus it’s 500+. This (and let’s face it, there are probably some other classics that I could add here too) is the exception to my rule. And a good engineer knows there’s always an exception.

What about you? Do you let book size determine your reading? Are you like me and embrace the page count?

26 thoughts on “Does size matter? (Talking books here, people!)

  1. Size in terms of pages? Well pages don’t bother me. Actually BIGGER books make me EXCITED! I love big books and I cannot lie.
    But in terms of actual shape size I really like it when books are taller rather than short and stubby, especially if there are over 500 pages and its a short book. Its just chunky and gross.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh I see. Sometimes I don’t understand why people get intimidated by books with a huge amount of pages, especially when people complain that some books did not require it to be as two or three separate books. But for me, I have a strange love for huge books. I love seeing them on my shelves.

        I loved reading this post! xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

    • I was actually disappointed with the size of the final novel – I wanted it to be longer. But I guess JK learned from Order of the Phoenix and kept it down a bit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Critics really complained about the size on that one and editing.

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  2. I think for me, I definitely like long stories, but if I see a book is super thick, it makes me feel like I could read four or five books off my TBR in the time it takes me to read that one. So it’s not that I’m intimidated, it’s more like I’m trying to be efficient with my time haha.

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    • Sometimes I pick up a long book that seems like it will take forever, but the style is fast and the pages keep turning and I finish much sooner than I think. But you’re right, sometimes you just want to hit a few more off your TBR instead!

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  3. It depends on the book. Some books are so beautifully written, so exciting, so GOOD, that a huge page count is a good thing. David Copperfield, Lirael, The Woman in White, The Rook, and, of course, Harry Potter. Other books seem long at 300 pages because they’re poorly plotted, poorly edited, just BAD.
    Also, I think some authors have a gift for shorter works. Lois Lowry’s books are amazing and mostly very short.
    Jane Eyre, like most novels of the time, was originally published as three volumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great points! And I should point out I do not have a problem with shorter books. I appreciate when an author tells their story and it is on the shorter side. Just sometimes they are so good, you wish you could stay with them a little longer. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was just surprised at people stating they would never even try a book because the page count was too long.

      That’s so interesting about Jane Eyre. I had no idea. Thinking back to the structure, I can see where she would have split the story up.

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  4. I’ll admit it, size does sometimes put me off books. Not always, I devoured all the later Harry Potter books (which were huge), all the later Skulduggery Pleasant books (from book four onwards, huge) & all of the Heroes of Olympus books (again huge and I think I finished the last one within a week!). But I think the difference is when the bigger books in those series came out, I was already invested in the story and the characters so size was not going to put me off (even HOO which was a new series, I was invested enough in the world that I wanted to keep reading). When it comes to series that are new to me/don’t have characters that I’ve already read about, I am more hesitant to pick up a larger book because for one thing I am a terrible DNF’er, so if I hate the book it’s going to take up a huge amount of my time and secondly, I have such a large TBR list, that I don’t really have the time to read huge books unless I know I’m going to like them!

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  5. I do sometimes get intimidated by long books because many of them are unnecessarily bloated. I get frustrated when I see stuff that could have been edited out. For example, I love Stephen Kingโ€™s Dark Tower series, but some of those books could have been cut in half without losing anything important.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good point. Sometimes the authors do keep too much in the books. I think editing would be a tricky process to cut and make sure you leave enough for the reader to follow the story. It’s probably easier to leave too much in. And possibly in a series like Dark Tower he could be trying to set the stage for future novels in the series.

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  6. I totally laughed at your title because I have a post in the making with the same one but about reviews ! Anyway back to this – size can be super intimidating for me. I won’t NOT read a book because it is huge but I will probably take longer to get to it. I always feel like the author could have cut some stuff out when I read really long books. The longest I read this year was The Goldfinch at 800 pages. It took me forever and I liked it but there was definitely some stuff that was just too extraneous.

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    • I do that too sometimes – my book sits on the shelf in favor of other novels that I know I can get finished in a more timely fashion. But then sometimes a long book reads much faster than I anticipated, it depends so much on the author.

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  7. I don’t get turned off by large books at all. That’s pretty evident by having read A Song of Ice and Fire (each book a daunting ~1000 pages). Lately though, I just don’t have enough time to read everything I want to. So I generally pick shorter books so I can get more done.
    I find it interesting you didn’t like Jane Eyre. It’s personally one of my all-time favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know a lot of people love Jane Eyre. I did like parts of it, but I found a lot of it boring. BUT I have never really been a classics fan. I do have some classics I really love, but for the most part I just don’t care for them. I think a lot of it has to do with the language. Modern books with modern language are just a faster, natural read for me.

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  8. For me, size doesn’t matter. I’m neither thrilled or turned off. What I worry about is whether or not I will enjoy it because I often feel obligated to finish books but I don’t like spending time with a book that’s a bore and hard to complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great point. You dedicate yourself to this story and then if you don’t enjoy it that page count can be rough to get through. Sometimes it’s better to just say goodbye early and move on to something else. (I say that, but I rarely ever do that! I too feel the need to finish.)

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      • I used to stick it out but these days I don’t mind giving up if I don’t enjoy the story. There’re too many books to read to suffer through the ones I don’t like.

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  9. I love big books. The longer the better provided the book is good. But sometimes I feel slightly put off by the bigger books because I don’t feel like committing to it. The bigger the book the longer the read. Sometimes all you want is something short and sweet and then the bigger books are left on the shelf.

    I don’t let the size determine whether I buy/read the book overall but on certain days I rather read something that just surpass 300 pages. In general I embrace the larger page count though ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Depends on the book, and the genre. ‘Proper’ lit-fic can be as long as it likes so long as it’s not full of padding, but crime fiction has become ridiculously long recently and generally speaking it’s full of stuff about the detective’s miserable angst-ridden life instead of concentrating on the plot. I don’t read much fantasy but I don’t mind it being long if it’s good – agreed about the later HP books! Sci-fi though seems to work better when it’s short… and two pages is about my limit for romance… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • I hear you on romance. I actually like the longer crime fiction when the detectives are interesting. I appreciate a mystery that is more than just the murder. But I am very character driven in my mysteries, and enjoy series more than standalones.

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  11. I’m with you – I don’t find I’m intimidated by the size of a book. I do love longer books but have to plan for them accordingly. Right at this very moment, for example, I’m trying to squeeze in an 800+ page whopper that I’ve been dying to read and I just know I’m going to have to set it aside for other review stuff before I can finish.

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