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Question of the Week > Does Size Matter?

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message 1: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish (last edited Sep 09, 2012 12:32PM) (new)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish How big is too big? How small is too small? What satisfies you the most? 100 pages or 600 pages? Are you ever okay with novellas, or are the epic stories with enormous page count the only way you roll?

Give us your thoughts!!



UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I'm good with novellas as long as the author isn't trying to tackle a deep subject that requires more page time to set up. When we're expected to have deep feelings about something, it's hard to make that happen with fewer pages. But I've read a couple of excellent short stories that were so well written they didn't feel short, and I didn't feel cheated, at all.

Unlocked (Turner, #1.5) by Courtney Milan Second Chances by Lauren Dane and Pamela Clare's Heaven Can't Wait (I-Team, #1.5) by Pamela Clare are all excellent short stories.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
In all honestly, I am too impatient, so I don't care for super long books. Over 500 pages, you better bring it. I'm the same with epic books, Jenny.

Kushiel's Dart was 911 pages. It was very good, but why did it need to be so long?

The Name of the Wind was 722 pages. I loved it!

Outlander--800 plus pages. Slow start, but very good.

The Lies of Locke Lamora was another excellent long book. It was like 722 pages.

On the other hand, I find short novels kind of frustrating, unless it's in a collection. Much for reasons you expressed, Dhestiny. I try to avoid downloading really short books to my Kindle because they take up space!


message 4: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Versini (lorraineversini) I don't mind how many pages really, you have novellas that drag and mahoosive books that get you so drawn in that you literally gobble them up!

Ps... I liked Unlocked too :)


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish I used to refuse to read anthologies because the short stories never felt satisfying to me but occasionally a good one comes along like SEAL of My Dreams by Robyn Carr which introduced me to many new to me authors.


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (studioeastrat) | 511 comments I don't really care for short stories for the same reasons you all stated. Most of the time they feel rushed and less than satisfying to me. Long books are great as long as they pull be into the story and are exciting. There has to be a good reason why they are so long like the plot is super complicated and could be told without a large word count.


message 7: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
I'm in the middle. I don't care for excessively long books (500+) nor do I really think a story can be adequately told in a short novella (100-). A story that gets too long usually has a lot of descriptive paragraphs that can be tedious to get through. Whereas a short novella often lacks development and leaves me with many unanswered questions.


message 8: by Nomad (last edited Sep 09, 2012 04:17PM) (new)

Nomad I read 'em all! Anthologies, novellas, long novels of epic size, and in just about every genre. The only genre I don't read very much at all is poetry.

Otherwise, if the story is good, than the page count doesn't matter to me.


message 9: by Breeze (new)

Breeze I think size matters when you read books faster than you can afford to buy them....


message 10: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
lol @ Hilary. That is so true!!!!


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (ashhhamanda) Novellas are okay if they're linked with a series but sometimes I completely skip them if they're stand alone. I generally prefer longer books in a series.


message 12: by UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish (last edited Sep 09, 2012 06:11PM) (new)

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Of the three books I mentioned, two are series related, one heavily. But the other two, the Milan and Dane books are not related so the stories were not built on an existing foundation, and yet, both are excellent. It's like I was saying; if the author isn't tackling a major issue it can work.

The long books, like Pamela said, can end up reading like text books because of the long paragraphs where no characters are present. Or the internal dialog that never ends.


message 13: by Sunny☼ (new)

Sunny☼ (sunny2) | 146 comments To me it varies with the time available. Long relaxing holiday..epic is good, a few hours only novella is great, boring lunch to eat alone, quickie hits the spot. Normal length for normal routine.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Excellent points, Sunny! So, along with size, time matters.


message 15: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) , Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Sep 09, 2012 08:50PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "I used to refuse to read anthologies because the short stories never felt satisfying to me but occasionally a good one comes along like SEAL of My Dreams by Robyn Carr which introduced me to many new..."

I love fantasy and horror short stories, so I collect anthologies for those. Romance novel ss's aren't quite as satisfying.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish That makes sense, Danielle, because for a romance to be believable it takes relationship building which takes page time.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
Exactly! Horror is actually quite effective in short story format because an author uses his words most effectively, leading to much more intense end result.


message 18: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 688 comments Anywhere between 100-400 pages is okay for me. In fact, I prefer the meatier 300-400 page books. Not a fan of the epics, and certainly not of the 20-page books, unless it's a really catchy premise :)


message 19: by Anne (new)

Anne Mikusinsi (abghostwriter) | 36 comments I will read almost anything, but I love the bigger books.


message 20: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) I prefer anything between 250 to 450. I find that novellas and shorter books are often rushed with little to no character development and longer books are drawn out and make me lose interest.

Nevertheless, I love classic short stories (Poe, Hawthorne, O Henry) because they manage to convey important messages and it is actually the short length that makes them so profound.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Lauren, the authors you listed are considered "classics" because of their ability to tell a story, so yeah, I can totally see why their shorts would be so excellent.

I get a lot of the amazon freebies and most of them are novellas and too many suck. They'll never be classics! LOL!


message 22: by Nomad (new)

Nomad That's the issue I guess, some books are awful, some books are entertaining, but how many books do we read and think 'Hey... my grandkids are going to be reading this book in 20 to 30 years.'?

I love Poe and have an ENORMOUS book filled with his short stories and poems. The guy knew creepy!

Speaking of epic length romance novels, this thread has reminded me of one. It's really old and considered one of the first of it's format and one of the first books to be published with any sort of sex scenes. Though what was considered sex scenes way back then versus today is most likely worlds apart.

Anyway the thing is HUGE. I first saw it in a friend of a friend's bookcase, pulled it out, thought that I should find a copy of it and then promptly forgot about it for 3 years. Then this thread got me thinking of it again.

I think it was called 'Fanny' and I remember the cover... so now I have both the amazon and Barnes and Noble websites up in different windows looking for it. I hope I have the title right or this is going to take FOREVER!


message 23: by Julie (new)

Julie (musicaficta) I don't usually care for short stories; I like books with meat to them. A series of related shorts aren't usually too bad, though. Anthologies - it depends. I dislike it when authors of series submit a short story to an anthology, because I always, ALWAYS feel like I'm missing something if I read the series without reading the short story, and I hate having to dig around for it, read the single story in the book, then get back to the rest of the series so I know what's going on. =P


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
So true about classics, Lauren and Dhestiny. I love hunting down classics, especially in the horror and fantasy genres. Another master of the short story is MR James. He is considered the father of the English ghost story.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
I've never heard of Fanny, Nomad.

What's the longest romance novel you all have read?


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Nomad wrote: "I think it was called 'Fanny' and I remember the cover... so now I have both the amazon and Barnes and Noble websites up in different windows looking for it. I hope I have the title right or this is going to take FOREVER! "

OOoh, I hope you find the title. Now I'm curious!


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "Another master of the short story is MR James. He is considered the father of the English ghost story. "

I need a good ghost story. Not some chainsaw killer that everyone thought was a ghost, but a good, chilling, ghost tale.


message 28: by Arch (new)

Arch  | 4132 comments Mod
I write long stories, because I tell a lot in my stories. I break my stories up in installments. I don't really care for long books. If a book is a catcher, I'll read it. I don't want it to be longer than 300 plus pages. Maybe up to 325 or 350. 400 or more is pushing it. I love romance and that's what I want to see in books.


Shannonreads like crazy | 2 comments I'll read any length if I'm interested. I used to avoid novellas and short stories like the plague but lately I've read a few that I thought were awesome.

Unlocked (Turner, #1.5) by Courtney Milan
The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy, #4) by Elizabeth Hoyt

So I'm giving novellas a chance now. Short stories, still a little iffy on.

My preference is somewhere between 250-450 pages.

I love the Outlander series but most of them I thought were way too long. If I'm in the mood for an epic throw in the kitchen sink type novel, then I'll read a 500+ page book. Most sit on my TBR pile for a lot longer than they would otherwise, though.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "Another master of the short story is MR James. He is considered the father of the English ghost story. "

I need a good ghost story. Not some chainsaw ki..."


UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress wrote: "Another master of the short story is MR James. He is considered the father of the English ghost story. "

I need a good ghost story. Not some chainsaw ki..."


Oh definitely MR James. You can't go wrong with him.



Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad is a fantasticallly chilling ghost story.

it's available online here:

http://gaslight.mtroyal.ca/owhistle.htm


message 31: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
Nomad, are you thinking bout this old classic? Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure


message 32: by Nomad (new)

Nomad Dhes- If you want a classic try 'The Woman in White'. VERY creepy and one of the classics of Victorian gothic horror. 'The Turning of the Screw' is interesting because the premise is if there is in fact a ghost or is the narrator unreliable and is she the one doing the killing?

However, if you want the true standard in haunted house tales, replete with ghosts, go for Shirley Jackson's 'The Haunting of Hill House'. All her work is deliciously creepy.

Lady D, I didn't know that you enjoy horror so much!

As for the longest romance novel taht I've ever read, I read one many years ago called 'The Countess' it was published in the 80's and it was as thick os my Tanankh (Jewish bible plus scriptures) so I'm going to put it at 1500 pages. I did this by looking at the page count of a book the same size on my bookshelf right now.


message 33: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) , Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Sep 10, 2012 10:42AM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
Nomad, I like old school and classic horror. I don't care for slashers/serial killers/human monsters at all. I'm not big on gore and disturbing/shock value content. I like old-fashioned genteel horror, and a good supernatural detective mystery.

I wasn't a big fan of The Turning of the Screw. I thought it was just okay.

I'm thinking of reading The Woman in White next month.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Thanks for the recos, Nomad. And Danielle, I bookmarked that page, thank you!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
You're welcome!


message 36: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 269 comments I really like short stories, especially anthologies that have an author I love. This has introduced to me other authors I would probably never have picked up.

Except for a few exceptions, I do not like really long books and a lot of the old bodice rippers and classics that I used to love, their books are just too long. If it takes me over a week to read (and I read a book every 1-1/2 days usually), it's too big. I was on a "pick it for me" in one of my groups but the books that were picked were just so huge that I really lost interest about halfway through. Is it a shorter attention span? I have no idea why I don't care for them anymore.


message 37: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen) , Loves 'Em Lethal (last edited Sep 10, 2012 05:16PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
I want to read a least a few books a week at least.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Carolyn F. wrote: "I really like short stories, especially anthologies that have an author I love. This has introduced to me other authors I would probably never have picked up. "

For me, it was JR WARD's BDB series. Missing out on that would have been tragic, true.


message 39: by Nomad (new)

Nomad Yes, it WAS Fanny Hill! Thank you Pamela. I was mixing it up with Forever Amber which is huge as well.

Forever Amber was written in 1944 and is a romance novel of gigundous proportions about a female street kid/person/homeless woman (What the hell is the term here?). I like the idea beause normally it's the guy who is the tortured street person who is in need of love and understanding. I think I'm going to enjoy seeing it written the other way.

But now I'm off to download Fanny Hill and read the official first romance novel. Or at least put it on my To Read List.


message 40: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 688 comments This is the longest one I ever read A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth I think the paperback version I read was 1200 pages long, and typed in TimesNewRoman font size 8. No clue how I got through it, but I did :)


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish The longest book I've ever read was The Stand and it was the long version. I can't recall the page count.

I've also read most of the Bible, but not front to back and it's taken years.


message 42: by Pamela(AllHoney), Danger Zone (last edited Sep 11, 2012 08:11AM) (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) | 1706 comments Mod
The longest book I've read was The Count of Monte Cristo. I read the Bible but it's technically a collection of books. I read Gone With The Wind and it was long. I try to stay away from those honkers.


message 43: by Sunny☼ (new)

Sunny☼ (sunny2) | 146 comments I think the length of a book will dictate if it is finished or not. If I am into a more than 500 page book it had better be darn good (4 or 5 star) or I will not finish it. If I am reading a 200 page book and it is only three star I will very probably finish it. If a quicky is hot but terrible story I will probably finish because not much time or money will be invested.


message 44: by Breeze (new)

Breeze 974! The Pillars of the Earth was the longest book I have read and well worth the read! Imaginary kick to the author for not having made it 1000 just so we could say we read a thousand page book; right?!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "The longest book I've ever read was The Stand and it was the long version. I can't recall the page count.

I've also read most of the Bible, but not front to back and it's taken years."



I started but didn't finish The Stand. Will one day. Salem's Lot is quite long as well.

I have read the Bible (recently finished The Old Testament for the first time, and The New Testament for the fourth time), and I started over again with Genesis and Matthew a couple weeks ago. It's amazing how much I am getting out of it this time around.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
Nomad wrote: "Yes, it WAS Fanny Hill! Thank you Pamela. I was mixing it up with Forever Amber which is huge as well.

Forever Amber was written in 1944 and is a romance novel of gigundous proportions about a fem..."


I started Fanny Hill. I put it down because I wasn't in the mood. I was surprised how detail the sex was!


message 47: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (laurenjberman) Thanks for the info on MR James Danielle. I have not heard of him but now I'm intrigued.

I loved The Lottery by Shirley Jackson - amazing story that I teach to my intro to prose course. It also evokes such intense reactions.
However, I was disappointed by The Haunting of Hill House. It didn't creep me out as much as I wanted it to.

The longest book I've ever read is IT by Stephen King - loved if!


message 48: by Laura (new)

Laura I don't really mind the length of the book, but if they get too descriptive and the plot isn't moving along fast enough I get bored. The longest books I've read lately are the Game of Thrones books but its gotten to the point where I'm 400 pages into the last book with 500 more to go and I just want it to end!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 9730 comments Mod
The Lottery was great! Quite shocking. Haven't read The Haunting of Hill House.

I can't do 800-900 page books all the time. Has to be a special book.


message 50: by Nomad (new)

Nomad The Lottery made my heart stop when I realized that any child old enough to be helped to put their name in the box could.... win isn't the right word... lose more like it.

Child death/harm is my hard limit. Once it's there, unless I'm REALLY invested in a book, I have to put it down, cry till I'm a snotting mess, have a cocktail or 2 and then never go back to the book again. There are VERY FEW exceptions to this hard line rule of mine.

So yeah, the possibilities of The Lottery had me staring of into space for a little bit.

I downloaded Fanny Hill to my nook and when my spate of haunted history reading has run it's course, it's my next read. The sex is vividly described? I know that it was banned when it came out, but it's so old I figured that what was bannable then would be considered nothing by today's standards.

Has anyone here read Forever Amber? It's a long one and it too was once a banned book. So if you're looking for an epic length story that has some controversial historical cachet, there ya go.


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