Long Books

We all have them on our shelf, and in some cases, we avoid these books because of their size. We don’t want to carry them around (Let’s face it, my shoulder would be in much better shape if I didn’t lug 1,000 page books with me everywhere.), we don’t want to spend weeks reading them when there are so many other books out there waiting to be read, or whatever your reasons are.

For the past 10 days +, I’ve been reading The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. I finished it last night and now feel bereft but I’m going to leave that for the review. In terms of size, it’s 1,000 pages, exactly. It’s a very large book, a very heavy book, but an incredible book. I sometimes wonder how editors let books like this one through the editorial process, but after having read all 1,000 pages of this one, I know why. Rothfuss is a talented writer and the way he tells this story cannot be told any other way. Well, I imagine it could but the impact wouldn’t be the same. Epic. Yes, it is. Meandering. Yes, that too. Engrossing. Most definitely yes.

I bought this book months ago after finishing the first book, The Name of the Wind. I had plans to start it but the size put me off for a bit. I needed time to read this one and it never seemed to be the right time to start it. I decided that the New Year was the time. Clean slate and all that.

It’s not the only humongous book waiting for me either —- A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin has been on hold for over a year now. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is another.

One thing I know, I will be picking up a much smaller book after I finish this one. I love being so engrossed in a story that it seems no other book can exist beyond the world of this one, but when that last page passes, it will be time for something that I can walk away from in a day and feel lighter for it. My shoulder will thank me.

What say you, thoughts on long books? What appeals? Keeps you away?

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14 thoughts on “Long Books

  1. Absolutely! That’s why I love the DAW books. “doorstoppers”, “bug smashers”

    I like to get cozy in a book and know that I won’t have to go through the Between Book Blues for a while.

    However! For every long book that I commit to, how many others am I missing out on RIGHT NOW?! Agony!

  2. I don’t mind long books but I do need a few shorter ones in between! I recently won signed hardcover copies of both The Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear but I think I’ll shelve those and read paperback versions. Those hardcovers are HUGE!

    • Huge is not the word for how big they are, even in paperback! Rothfuss is fantastic. Don’t wait too long to read them. You won’t be disappointed at all.

  3. Yeah, I have to alternate longs books with short books. And my standards of pre-known excellence are much higher for a longer book. For a shorter book, I might go, what the heck, it’s got a so-so ratings on goodreads but I like the description so I’ll give it a try. For a long book, it better have a stellar rating and a personal recommendation to boot!

  4. I love long books because you can lose your place and keep trying to finish reading it like I have been doing for the past seven or eight years with my Gormenghast Trilogy (all in one). I read the first one, then I couldn’t find the second one so I read the third one, then I ordered the anthology and started from the beginning and now I am in the middle of the second one. I don’t think I want it to end so I am probably never going to finish it.

  5. I love long books but I sometimes worry that I will fall behind on reviews if I read them. It’s silly! And the size is troubling to me too, because of lugging them around on subways. The Nook is a blessing for this though!

    (Also? Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell’s publishers are stone cold geniuses for releasing an edition of the book in three paperback volumes. I read JS & MR constantly because of having it available to me in this format.)

    • It was genius! That book is tooooo big to carry around.

      I love my nook for the same reasons. It makes traveling so much easier too. I can now meet the 50 pound bag limit, most times.

  6. I just realized that one of the reasons I like Juliet McKenna’s books is because they are huge books packed into a mass-market size. They are 500+ pp but still fit in one hand.

    I love reading multi-volume stories, too, for all the reasons discussed here. It’s like one giant book.

    • Ok, wait here. I’m off to google this author right now.

      Back. How did I not know about her! Now I want this book. :) That list just gets longer and longer… it’s a thing of beauty that ginormous list.

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