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?