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Athena

The length of books and the influence on your reading

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I find it hard to focus on long paragraphs. It feels longer and more tedious.

I agree with this! I prefer shorter paragraphs also.

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I would say I don't mind the length, it's actually the size of the font and paragraph size that gets to me. I find it hard to focus on long paragraphs. It feels longer and more tedious. I've been reading thick books since the year I learned to read, but I'm more likely to pick up a modern book with more dialogue and shorter paragraphs, even though many thick books I have read I've loved. 

 

I'd almost say don't attempt José Saramago's Blindness then - it's got lots of incredibly long paragraphs, sometimes spanning pages! :D BUT, it's not a particularly long book, and if you can immerse yourself in the style, it's definitely worth it.

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As long as there are regular breaks, either chapters or breaks between paragraphs, I'm generally OK with longer books.

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^ Yes, this.

 

The length of books isn't generally an issue for me, but I do like books that are broken down into reasonable length chunks. There is nothing worse than having ten minutes to kill, that you could happily spend reading, only to end up with an hour long section...

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There is nothing worse than having ten minutes to kill, that you could happily spend reading, only to end up with an hour long section...

That would totally annoy me! Though I would just stop reading when I had to stop, but lately I find myself more and more wanting to finish off the section I was reading.

 

It annoys me in video games, where you can't save until you get to a certain point, but if you've never played the game before, you don't know how long it is to the next point. Sometimes I just want to save and stop playing already, yet am forced to play more (or watch more cutscenes) until I can save. Not that I play that many video games nowadays, but still.

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For me it completely depends on the content. Sometimes the shortest of paragraphs can be quite dense and impossible to get through, and sometimes the longest ones are far easier. It totally depends on the book.

In saying that, I do find stream of consciousness without any paragraph breaks heavy going!

:smile:

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On 21-2-2017 at 2:19 PM, chesilbeach said:

 

I'd almost say don't attempt José Saramago's Blindness then - it's got lots of incredibly long paragraphs, sometimes spanning pages! :D BUT, it's not a particularly long book, and if you can immerse yourself in the style, it's definitely worth it.

 

I don't like long paragraphs either and when I started reading Blindness, I was incredibly annoyed bye the lack of punctuation. But I got used to it and it even became freeing. Then the next book I read felt so strange and constricted because it had punctuation!

 

That reminds me I definitely want to re-read this :)

 

For me, the length of a book has no influence on my reading. It's all about the writing style and also the font/font size. I've read 1,000+ page books in a shorter time than 300 page books, just because of how they were written.

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On 2017-1-13 at 8:23 PM, Ben said:

This is an interesting one for me, because I'd love to just say that the length of a book doesn't affect me at all - because I don't believe it should, unless it's for health reasons. I dislike the fact that so many people are reluctant to read a 800/900 page novel because of reading targets or the like. It should be about quality and if that means reading one book over a month instead of 10, I don't think people should hold back from taking on the big beasties.

 

I completely agree with this statement.  I see a lot of people on social media and the like complaining that they are behind schedule with their reading target and it makes me want to scream.  I understand people setting goals for themselves but it's not the end of the world if you don't achieve those goals and reading short books just to play catch up sort of seems to defeat the whole point of reading for enjoyment.  But that's just my opinion.

 

Although the majority of the books I read are probably in the 350-450 page range, which I feel is about the size of an average paperback, I prefer books which are double the length of this.  I like being able to get my teeth into a nice big chunky book as it seems so much more satisfying for me.  I hate books that are too short - novella's for me are a big no-no because the ones I have tried have always felt unfinished and seem like a bit of a waste of time.

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This has really opened my eyes and I must admit I am guilty of this.

I do tend to read a lot of short stories and then think "great now I have another book added to my goal" they are books I want to read but I also end up reading them between another book I am reading and enjoying. Instead of just concentrating on that one book. 

 

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If I know I'm coming up to a particularly busy period, I'm less likely to choose a longer or harder going book, and will instead turn to light, frivolous reads (I'm reading a lot of cozy mysteries at the moment!), as they don't require my concentration as much. When I know I'll have time, like when I'm on holiday, I'm more inclined to go for a thicker book I've fancied for a while.

 

For the record, The Stand (the complete and unabridged version, at well over 1000 pages) is one of my all-time favourite books. I haven't read it in a few years now, and need to get myself a new copy, because I'm starting to hanker after a long-overdue re-read!

 

Some longer books/series I have on my shelf waiting to be read include The Count of Monte Cristo (which I've been DYING to read), and several books from the Romans series by Simon Scarrow - it's been quite a while since I read the earlier books, so I'm thinking of starting the series again from the very beginning to get all caught up again. Same with the Logan McRae series by Stuart MacBride. The books themselves aren't all that long, but the time I'd invest in re-reading the series is comparable.

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On 21/02/2017 at 1:19 PM, chesilbeach said:

 

I'd almost say don't attempt José Saramago's Blindness then - it's got lots of incredibly long paragraphs, sometimes spanning pages! :D BUT, it's not a particularly long book, and if you can immerse yourself in the style, it's definitely worth it.

Definitely endorse that. His style is very different, and yet really good. 

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