Why I Struggle with Larger Books

With the Priory hype and hearing my friend slog through the last Throne of Glass novel I’m starting to realise I have no interest in massive books. This seems cruel, to right off a novel I haven’t even started just because of page number but honestly the size really puts me off.

Firstly you have to consider the practicalities. Big books are a pain to cart around, they weigh down my little bag and hurt my weak shoulders which lack any sort of muscle due to my phobia of exercise. I have so many pages to rifle through to find which bit I last read and it’ll inevitable fall on the floor, making a big noise and denting the cover. Or possibly the floor. And then I have to get a new floor and will probably have that horrible buzzing in my ears from the bang.

I’d have to put it lower down on my bookshelf so it doesn’t fall on anyone, and now I’ve got to reorder my entire shelf. The whole bookcase vibe would be off so I’d shuffle the series around to be together and then I have to reorder everything because I’ve started now. And then it comes to Bookstagram. I can’t hold it up due to the aforementioned lack of exercise so I have to place the thing on the floor where is casts awkward shadows and inevitably looks oddly rectangular on camera, jumping out as larger than the other books in the shot. I could put it spine up but the spine is so big it dominates the shot. Although it would be great to lean other books on knowing they wouldn’t topple next to that mass.

But I digress. And as you can see from a purely practical point of view, big books are a pain. But from a reading pont of view, I’m also not so keen on them.

You can be in one fictional world for too long

Even Hogwarts has it limit. Yes I said it, even the fantastical world of Harry Potter which, let’s face it, every kid dreams about, would get boring if I were sucked in for 900 odd pages. I’m not saying any of the Harry Potters were too long, they really weren’t, I’m just saying as a reader I want to explore a wealth of worlds and not be stuck reading one for a few months. Actually, maybe Harry Potter is a bad example since I did actually read them back to back… Sometimes I like to visit Victorian London, sometimes that clichΓ© magical world full of mahogany dressers, strewn with castles and medieval peasantry, and sometimes I crave the traffic filled streets of modern New York, full of tattered jeans and bright city lights.

It’s not just the setting that gets tired. Most massive books visit a handful of locations along the way to try keep it interesting, but the writing style gets stale, the characters get old, the dialogue gets repetitive. Basically all the unique aspects that conjure together to build a novel become stale. The plot starts to drag as you forget what happened two hundred pages ago, the pacing is obviously off if the author felt they needed this many pages to write it, and honestly I’d just want to read something else.

Then there would be the inevitable complexity that comes with such a large book. I’d be doing a constant brain work out to try and remember who X was when they appeared five hundred pages ago but I remember nothing of them since. Multiple plots wold drag over hundreds of pages all with their own complexities and nuances, and I struggled to keep up with Biff and Chip and their magic key so a more complex story would be quite taxing. Basically it would exercise my brain too much, and we all remember how I feel about exercise.

The final reason I’m put off massive books is hype.

I’m not talking about the hype for that particular novel but for other ones. I’m a greedy reader with a worrying social media addiction, if a book pops up on Bookstagram a lot, is featured all over book Twitter or a friend goes on and on about it I’ll want to read it. Neigh I will need to read it. And I’m just going to resent that massive read I’m stuck with for the next fortnight. And we all know if I put it aside to read something else I’m never going back. What if there’s a sequel released for a book I loved?! What if there’s a sequel released for a book I haven’t read yet but everyone is talking about it? These things are unpredictable and I just can’t commit to a massive book while there’s still so much potential for other more pressing reads.

Overall I’m not a fan of these massive fantasy books. I’m not saying don’t write them, go for it, I’m just saying I probably won’t read them. Even with the growing trend to finish a book series with an epic I’m still deterred. I’ll just Wikipedia the ending.

What do you think? What’s the biggest book you’ve read? Do you enjoy bigger reads? Let me know in the comments!

13 thoughts on “Why I Struggle with Larger Books

  1. I think big books just take some time and commitment. I don’t love carting them around, and read them mostly as ebooks or audio, but think they are still worth the time. There is no promise that i’ll like the newest, buzziest book, so I may as well read what I want.

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  2. I find that if I have a really massive book, I just end up obtaining an eBook copy of it. Yes, it does eliminate some of the best reasons to read a “real” book, but it also takes away a good portion of the issues surrounding larger “real” books. Because let me just say, some of these books are stupidly massive!

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  3. I think the last Throne of Glass book was the latest big book I read. I’ve read a lot of long books though like Anna Karenina to the aforementioned book and all the Song of Ice and Fire books. Honestly, if it keeps my attention, I’m all for it. Surprisingly, I never forgot any characters, not even in Ice and Fire. I am definitely like you where I get impatient to read books that everyone is talking about, however, I’m so behind on so many of those books I add to my TBR, I don’t really worry about that anymore haha … great post!

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      1. I really like the Song of Ice and Fire books. They’re really complex and written really well. While I remember most characters, I will say that there are some minor characters that I don’t really remember that well. I do love that they tend to have many aspects of drama, action/ adventure, fantasy, romance, and some mystery, Happy reading!

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  4. Order of the Phoenix was nearly 900 pages. I think it depends on the story. Priory has long boring patches and was/is repetitive, but I was doing okay with it reading a little bit every day. I had to set it aside because of a pile of ARCs in August, but I will get back to it. If a book is long because of filler fluff, like Priory, yes I agree 900 some pages is way too long, but there are books like The Goldfinch and 1Q84 that have engaging content from beginning to end. I don’t see how it’s all.that much different from binge reading a series, plus ebooks are very light. πŸ˜‰ I realize how they wouldn’t be for everyone, though. Great idea for a post. πŸ‘βœ¨

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    1. Ok maybe I should make a few exceptions because I tore through Order of the Phoenix as a kid… Ooh that’s cool, I don’t think I’ll try Priory but the cover is so pretty 😍 I e not heard of Goldfinch or 1q84, are they good? Tbf I do binge read so I may just be a hypocrite here πŸ˜‚ thanks!

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  5. It depends on the book for me. I didn’t mind the length of the Harry Potter books, but longer classics like Anna Karenina can be a bit more tough to get through. I do tend to get swept up in books I’m enjoying and want them to last forever though. πŸ˜‰

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  6. It really depends! A book doesn’t need to be longer than it needs to be, if that makes sense. Sometimes long books serve a purpose and sometimes long books needed an editor working on them who was stricter.
    And by the way, Priory, is definitely too long a book.

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