Does Size Really Matter?

My question for today is: Does size matter?  How’s that for a lead in?  Before we go much further, I need to clarify, because I’m sure you’re wondering – the size of what??  The size of a book!  Does page length sway your reading or purchasing decisions when you are weighing your options for your next read?

For the longest time I was very resistant to the idea of a novella.  I didn’t think an author could satisfactorily create a setting and a reader connection with the characters in a shorter length story.  I have discovered that  I was wrong, and I was wondering about your views on the length of a book.  What’s the perfect length of a story before you pick up a title to read?

Typically I would say however long it takes to tell a good story, but outside factors often weigh on my decision about page length.  During the week, when I only have limited time and energy to read, I don’t necessarily want to start wading through a long, complicated book.   I am more inclined to pick up something that I perceive to be a quicker, less demanding read, saving the longer, and therefore, more complex, again, in my mind, reads for the weekend.  After a stressful day at work, I don’t want to feel pressured to read a longer, more involved book.  Silly, I know!

In the past, I haven’t enjoyed shorter length novels.  I refer to novellas that are between 100 – 150 pages.  Then I read Courtney Milan’s Unlocked and realized that I have been missing out on some great reads.  Last weekend I read Theresa Meyers’ Shadowlander, the first book in her new Shadow Sisters series, and I liked that, too!  The world building was interesting for such a short story, and the romance between the leads was blazing hot.  I am looking forward to more in that series.  Last night I finished Kelly Hunter’s Wish, a self-pubbed short format romance.  Despite some Aussie turns of phrase that sounded very awkward to my American ears, I enjoyed Wish as well.  Now I’m all excited about novellas, a format I had completely dismissed until this year. 

When you are looking for a new book to start, does the size of it matter?  Do you balk at longer novels?  I admit that I do.  Anything over 400 pages is a bit daunting now, given my limited free time.  I used to love long, epic fantasy novels, such as George R R Martin A Song of Ice and Fire.  Give me one of those epic reads, and I was a very happy camper.  Now, though, I tend to read shorter page length books, and kind of dread longer books.  I find this turn around in my reading preferences a little bit ironic.  From colossal tomes to feather-weight novellas is quite a switch.  I think that I don’t want to invest the time in a longer length book because there are so many choices of reading material now, especially with eBook publishers and self-pubbed authors vying for my attention.

So, how do you weigh in?  Does size really matter, when you are looking for your next great read?

3 thoughts on “Does Size Really Matter?

  • November 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I like how paperbacks were a few years ago, longer. I like picking up bigger novels and reading them, the author has more room to put more information and more story in there. I’m not a fan of novellas.

  • November 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    “From colossal tomes to feather-weight novellas is quite a switch.”

    From fantasy to pornography is no smaller a switch. Ah, females and their porn books..

  • November 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I think it depends the writer and the story mostly. Not the size. And sometimes smaller books are good for a small break or when you don’t have time for something bigger.

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