Big books are daunting, unattractive and generally have too many pages. There I said it. When I see a huge 500+ page book I’m instantly thinking ugh unless it’s a series or author I love to spend time with. Let’s chat about this.
I put out a tweet about this topic recently and got back some mixed responses. Some people love the big chonky, chunky, thicc, large tomes that you find in places like Skyrim or Cluedo as a murder weapon. Others said that they preferred their books to be small and this allowed them to read more.
I can completely understand the people who told me they preferred big books because it meant that they got more story for their money, spent more time in the world they loved and essentially enjoyed the story more because it lasted longer. These are very good points but honestly…
…I prefer books that are in the 350-500 page mark! Anything within those numbers is perfection to me as I tend to read a lot of debut authors from arcs (advanced review copies) given to me by publishers and I don’t know before reading if I am going to love the book or not. If the book is 500+ so 650-800 pages (or more!) I’m not so keen. It’s a huge time investment and as I mentioned in my previous article (Why you should DNF bad books), you can only read a certain number of books in your life so you need to choose wisely which ones you give your valuable time to (this is why following reviews from others can save a lot of time)
If I have an 800 page book then that’s one book I can read over 10 days or so. If however I have two 400 page books then that’s two books I can read in that same period. That gives me double the adventures, double the authors, double the books read and double the content for my blog. Also, with bigger books I sometimes find the story just goes on and on like a 3 hour film. (Don’t tell me you’ve not gone to watch something on Netflix and chosen a “short” 90 minute film compared to something that is 180 minutes+)
When getting new books, generally arcs, the first thing I do is to check the date they’re released and how many pages they have. This way I can try and plan out when I can read that book. Most of these are digital arcs and so when you look at how much is left it gives you a location and not a page number. If this location is more than 6,000 then I’m again like ugh. There are exceptions though.
There will be times where books are larger than I like to read but I am happy to read them. This rare occurrence happens if any of the following factors are met:
1. It’s an author who’s work I love.
2. It’s a book in a series I love.
3. It’s hailed as a phenomenal 5* book everywhere.
Some good examples of books I’ve enjoyed that are “big” are Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt (616 pages), The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter (571 pages) and the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (multiple books, 670-780 pages). Now these might not be considered big books to some of you but remember that my sweet spot is between 350 and 500 pages. Your sweet spot might be 800 – 1200 pages for example.
In summary, there was an even split on the tweet I put out and this was good because it showed that I am not alone in my preference of “small” SFF books. I like reading smaller books because I feel they are punchy and hit that sweet spot plus are easier for me to maintain an interest without getting as distracted by things like my phone or my environment. With my limited time as I work full time, fitness train full time and have a girlfriend who I spend time with – reading and blogging become a squeeze. There are exceptions, this year I’m waiting for Jade Legacy (624), Shackled Fates (656) and Empire of the Vampire (736).
If you like science fiction and fantasy books then consider joining The Oasis Discord here – it’s free and has a great community, buddy reads, community reads and much more!
How do you feel about books? Do you love thick, chunky, huge SFF books or are you like me and prefer smaller, more compact adventures? Let me know in the comments below!