9 Jul 2014

Bookish questions: Does size matter?

Do you prefer long books or short ones?

When it comes to the length of a novel, perhaps there is no perfect amount of pages that a book should be.
But when it comes to my own personal preference, most of the time I'm looking for a quick read, something I can get through in a couple of days instead of feeling like I've just spent half my life reading it.
Honestly, big books scare me, there's just something intimidating about a novel big enough to club someone with, then there's the other problems of 'How will I fit that in my handbag?' if I decide I want to take out to read on my travels and don't get me started on the thumb ache and weighed down arms when trying to read it. Big books can be a work out all of their own.
After these issues, there's the more pressing worry that I could be investing a lot of time in something I mightn't even like, an author I've enjoyed in the past or a synopsis that sounds like my perfect story are more fair game but if I've never heard of you and your book is 450+ pages, chances are I might be scared out of reading it. Unless of course all of my friends have read it because, I admit, sometimes I'm a sheep.
But most the time I just have to wonder, how much story do you really have to tell for it to be that long? Am I going to end up reading pages and pages of unnecessary descriptions that leave nothing for the imagination, or is the book filled with lots of extra plot twists that don't really need to be there, just to make it longer, or maybe the book just changes halfway through and possibly could've just been two separate books?
All these worries and more run through my head when I'm weighing up a hefty tome and even though the book might actually be brilliant, there's a good chance I'll never know because I was too scared to read it.
There is a flip side to this though, like I said I'm usually after a quick read, about 300 pages is my perfect size, but countless times I've finished a novel this length and upon closing the book have wistfully though 'I wish that had been longer to go into more detail.' I know right, I'm a total book hypocrite! I want to spend more time in a book I love, yet I won't pick it up if its reeeeally long so I'm often putting myself in a lose-lose situation.
If its a sequel to a book I loved, then I'll pick it up without hesitation no matter the size, because chances are, I'm going to love it as much as the book(s) before it, but if its something new to me, I'm more on the fence and spend so much time umming and ahhing about it that it usually ends up back in the TBR and I read something else.

What's your preference when it comes to book size?

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