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Long Vs. Short Books

Discussion: Long Vs. Short Books

Long Vs. Short Books

Hello wonderful people, I have a question for you today: how do you feel about long books versus short books? Does the length of the book matter in your decision to read it or accept it for review (if you accept review requests)? There is a certain amount of pressure to get lots of books read so that we can keep up content for our blogs, so does the idea of spending twice the time reading one book give you the shakes?

long vs short books

Me trying to get ahead.

I’ve found that I’ve become a bit more stressed about keeping a steady stream of content in the form of reviews for this blog, and the pressure doesn’t get much better even as my reading speed has increased. Now that I can always put up two reviews a week, I just want to keep pushing myself. This has caused me to look at some of the books I want to read soon (I’m looking at you Way of Kings) and worried about how long it would take me to read it. Instead, it seems like a better choice to read a shorter book, and I tell myself that I will just get ahead on my review schedule and then read the long book. The problem is that it never happens!

Beyond just a pressure for content, I also want to read everything NOW! It’s so hard to accept that I can only realistically read one book at a time, so deciding which one feels like I’m choosing a favorite kitten (they are all adorable, gah!). But if I read the short books first, then I’ll be able to get to more of them sooner, right?

It’s also just no fun when you find yourself with a review book that was a lot longer than you thought (Veil was like this). Usually I do honestly want to finish the book, since it did look interesting and is fairly entertaining, but it can take me weeks to get through a long review book if it’s only half holding my interest :(. Yes, perhaps I should have just stopped, but I’m a bit completion-obsessed >.>.

So I’m wondering if you have a cut off for how long of a book you are willing to take a chance on. Obviously if a book is super exciting, I’ll ignore the page count because it probably doesn’t matter. However does length ever factor into your decision of what to read next? Or whether to accept a book in the first place? What is your cutoff for what is a “long” book vs. a “short” book?

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings -A


© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. I agree with Don, above. I try to keep things mixed up, length-wise, with the books I read and review, but ultimately what’s important to me is reading books that I find interesting and reviewing books that I like and that I think others might like/should know more about. That said I’m still new at it, so if there’s a balance to be found I’m probably still in the process of finding it … ;)

    • Hehe, it is an excellent way to go. I think that it took me a year to get fully into the overwhelmed “I want to read it all right now” state, and that was especially caused by me buying more books than I could read in a month! I just have a bit of an obsession with the number of books I read, there is something satisfying about getting a lot read, and so I want to read as many as possible :D

  2. If you want to read a long book, just do it. The only restrictions on your blog are those you impose on yourself. If you fell the need to fill content requirements while your read your doorstopper, try novellas or short stories. The best of these are fantastic in multiple ways. My best reading experience last year was Ken Liu’s Paper Menagerie. Finding this year’s equivalent would be sooooo worth it.

    • Excellent recommendation, I have been meaning to try to find more fantasy short stories, since I love discovering new worlds and that would let me fall into more of them :D

  3. Yes since I started blogging I avoid longer books too… *joins looking at Way of Kings* :)
    Before that, I used to love big books, you know because if it’s good, then there is a lot of awesomeness to enjoy. :)

  4. As much as I love to have regular updates on my blog, I’m terribly slow at writing reviews so I end up not having a set schedule. This means that I can take the time to read books that are longer than usual.

    The only thing that might put me off a book is how long the series is. It’s been over a year since I started Dresden Files and I’ve only read first 3. I hate to think how long it would take me to finish the likes of Wheel of Time, Malazan or Shadows of the Apt.

    • Are you a series completionist? ;-) I have no problem stopping a series and picking it back up again when I feel like it for some reason. It makes it much easier to get at least an introduction to many series

  5. Another GREAT discussion topic!! I never used to care about the size of a book, I read whatever I felt like depending on my mood for the story at hand. But now that I’m blogging, I too feel the constant pressure to have content…and not just content. I’d want to have 2-3 reviews a week up on the blog. And lately, I’ve been falling behind >.< so yeah the size of a book now (sadly) has a determining factor. It's the reason I STILL haven't read Grave Mercy…or that I didn't dive into The Way of Kings right away! Hopefully we can both read a ton of small books & finally have time for the big ones :D

    • Ugh, Grave Mercy, I hear ya! I really wanted to read that one to stretch my genre limits some (I never read historical fiction), but I didn’t realize how long it was before I started, haha! I have such a bad eye for length, so when I got it from the library Overdrive, I just dove in. It was a bit of stretch to finish it before the due date D:

  6. I don’t mind a longer book as long as it is face paced..if it’s 600+ of nothing happening then it is not for me!

    • Definitely agreed! Depending on the pacing of the book, I probably wouldn’t even notice the page length ;-)

  7. I think it honestly depends on the book. Usually my cutoff range is about 700 pages. After that I feel pretty discouraged because I don’t expect to actually be able to finish it. Then again, A Storm of Swords is 1170 pages…so ya, I can be persuaded to read longer books if I can set aside time for it.

  8. I’m really struggling with this lately…Before I started blogging it was nothing for me to read 4 books in a week, but with blogging being time consuming(plus the extra dump of work because i’m finishing up my senior year) I’m reading about 1, and that’s just not okay. I think a big part of that is also that i’m desperately trying to read the more popular books to generate more traffic and so i’m not looking at every book as being just enjoyment. So, when I go to the library and see that they finally have the Inheritance books… but I can’t rationalize spending that long on a book when I have a blog to run, it sort of hurts! I’m actually taking this week off from blogging to get my head wrapped around my blogging schedule and to get caught up on my reading…

    Basically, I think 450+ in a standard size book is where I have to step back and go “Is this worth the time?”

    • That is an excellent point! My time for hobbies is now taken up by both reading and writing posts, Twitter etc. It’s good to take time off for fun books though, otherwise reading becomes a chore and who wants that!

      450 pages definitely would be pushing it for me also, excellent cut off point.

  9. With longer books, if you are worried about falling down on blog content, you can divide it up into weekly sections and provide your thoughts on the book as you go along. Personally, I would love to know what you think of The Way of Kings, and wouldn’t be put off my multiple posts on the subject.

    Second, it’s only you imposing this schedule of reviews on yourself. So, do what you like, as this blog is primarily here to entertain you. I’m just a lucky onlooker, being entertained by your reading antics.

    When I accept a review book, I do check out the page count along with numerous other qualities before accepting. I do love my epic fantasy/scifi/historical fiction, so page number alone won’t put me off. But if the book is consistently showing low reviews AND has 400+ pages, I probably won’t accept even if the premise looks interesting.

  10. I totally feel your pain! Back in high school, I was all about the long books. That was because I had no time limit for reading them, and when I read a great book, I just wanted it to go on and on, especially if the next book in the series was two years away (Yup, I’m referencing Wheel of Time here). But now, like you, I put time limits on myself, have a gargantuan TBR list, and made the goal to read at least one book a week this year. So far, I’m on track, but longer books do make for more stressful weeks. That said, if the writing is good and it’s something i’m interested in, length doesn’t usually keep me from reading it, but I do take it under consideration, depending on what my week as a whole looks like. Great discussion topic! :D

    • I definitely read longer books in college before I started blogging too! I’ve been trying to read a book a week as well (since I’ll need to to reach my goal), but it often happens that some weeks I’ll finish two and some weeks none, haha.

  11. Great topic. It seems that I haven’t run into this problem, yet. Although I’ve purposely NOT read any Stephen King books for this reason. I don’t really stress about review content because I do read so quickly, but I am a little less inclined to pick up a daunting book. I honestly have no idea what I’ll do when the next George RR Martin book is released. I read them all before I started blogging and spent quite some time on each of them.
    I suppose it all depends on what I’m in the mood for. If I’m reading a bunch of shorter YA books, I may pick up a longer, more wordy book on a whim because I’ve knocked out so many reviews.
    I try to do a lot of memes each week so that way if I’m lacking in review content, at least I’m posting something fun and interesting each day that appeals to my readers.

    • It is very useful to read quickly! I’m amazed at people who can read an entire book in a couple hours, I just don’t understand how their eyes move so fast, haha!

  12. You should ask readers to submit reviews that meet certain guidelines or even partner with other bloggers. Then the pressure is off of you and you can enjoy reading and reviewing more.

    • I posted about a month ago asking for guest bloggers or a co-blogger, but didn’t get much of a response to be honest. I’m not sure if people are just really busy with their own blogs, or if not a lot of people saw it. I’m always welcoming guest posts though :D

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