Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

Book Discussion & Recommendation > Does SIZE Matter?

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message 1: by Gary (new)

Gary OK, not that. :) I'm talking about the size (length) of books.

I'm a big reader, but I'm not nearly as familiar with the romance genre as I'm sure a lot of you folks are, so I'm curious if you've noticed the length of the books you've been reading has increased. It seems to me that the length of fiction (be they SF, fantasy, or nearly any genre) has increased in recent decades.

Are the books these days longer than they were in the past?

Also, do you like a long book or a shorter one?

message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Whaley (beckers77) | 80 comments I prefer the longer books because they usually have more content. It also depends on the author if I'm willing to commit to a long book but so far any long book I've read, I have not been disappointed.

message 3: by Sky (new)

Sky (skyswriting) In fantasies, sci-fi, mystery, and thrillers, I love lengthy reads.

But lately, I have been finding myself enjoying short stories or even novellas for Romance.

I agree it also depends on the author. I love, loooove romance reads but done just right, a longer romance can be enjoyable. I am just picky about filler, it has to be fitting.

message 4: by Ariel (new)

Ariel Stirling | 90 comments It seems to me that rather than only getting longer, books are coming in more various lengths in general. I swear all my paperbacks from my youth were homogenous. Now my bookshelf has books ranging from 120 pages to 1200 pages! It may be that publishers are loosening their restrictions of what they think readers want.

Personally, the length of the book I choose has a lot to do with my mood. Light, fluffy reading tends to be shorter (I.e. romance, YA, fantasy) and heavier reading (classics, sci-fi, epic fantasy, dramas) tend to be longer. I'm guessing because they need enough space for in-depth character development and complex plots. Sometimes I'm in the mood for quick fluff, sometimes I'm in the mood for intense, deep, fulfilling reading.

So you see, size really doesn't matter, it's all about what you're in the mood for. ;)

message 5: by Eliste (new)

Eliste | 111 comments I preference big books because it's easier to bludgeon someone to death with them.


message 6: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (crissymoss) I am a pretty slow reader, and I have a busy life, so I have been gravitating more to ebooks that I can take with me anywhere, and short-ish novellas instead of mammoth 500 page beasts that take me weeks to get through.

message 7: by Juli Pennock (new)

Juli Pennock | 6 comments I agree with Ariel about mood. I love a good, long, meaty story and I adore series where you can really get to know the characters. I love to immerse, especially in epic fantasy or horror fantasy like A Storm of Swords, which I'm just finishing, or Clive Barker's Imajica (one of my all-time favs) or Richard Adams's Maia. Something that takes me a week or more to read feels like a real accomplishment, I guess. But I also truly love shorter fare, like any-and-everything by Christopher Moore and Kurt Vonnegut. And Chuck Wendig. That kind of quick, breakneck-paced book invigorates me. Not to say that a shorter book doesn't invite immersion, it definitely can and frequently does. I will say that when it comes to Kindle books, I don't want to pay more than $3 to $5 for anything under 300 pages. That's probably just my inherent frugality coming to the fore, however.

So...yeah, size does matter, but only as it relates to one's mood :)

message 8: by S.K. (new)

S.K. Munt (wordwhisperer) | 14 comments I like 'em BIG! ;)

message 9: by S.K. (new)

S.K. Munt (wordwhisperer) | 14 comments Unless it's Ulysses...then I'd like it much, MUCH shorter. Lol

message 10: by Gary (new)

Gary Does it seem like the books on offer in this genre are getting longer? The Romance section is an awful big percentage of the real estate in most bookstores I visit, but it seems like there are larger (thicker) books in there than all the short, 150-200 page "quickies" that used to occupy that space. Do you think that impression is correct?

message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Whaley (beckers77) | 80 comments I just got Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon and that is an 848 page book but definitely worth it.

message 12: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (crissymoss) Gary, I think part of it is just that they are putting more things in the romance section. Use to be that paranormal romance was in the fantasy section, which generally were longer works. Now you can find almost anything in romance.

message 13: by Gary (last edited Sep 20, 2013 12:26AM) (new)

Gary Crissy wrote: "Gary, I think part of it is just that they are putting more things in the romance section. Use to be that paranormal romance was in the fantasy section, which generally were longer works."

That's interesting. It's part of the mash-up/cross-pollination thing that's been going on in the past few years. The Romance + Fantasy + Science Fiction + Whatever influence.

Hard to prove a thing like that, but I think you're on to something....

message 14: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Weis | 60 comments I love big books. I feel like I get separation anxiety when a book ends and I'm not ready. I get all sad when it's over and if there's no sequel or other books by that author... :(

message 15: by Firstname (new)

Firstname Lastname | 68 comments Kathryn wrote: "I love big books. I feel like I get separation anxiety when a book ends and I'm not ready. I get all sad when it's over and if there's no sequel or other books by that author... :("

message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul | 49 comments It depends on the story and the author. Sometimes bigger isn't better. One example that comes to mind is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. There was about 300 pages in the middle of the book that could have been ripped out and nobody would have noticed. As long as the story is moving and something relevant is happening, great, give me more. But don't just pad a book with page after page of pointless prose.

message 17: by Peter (new)

Peter | 55 comments In my experience, some authors are better at short stories, and others are better at longer stories. I've only read 2 stories by Sherrilyn Kenyon so far. The first was Dark Hunter Christmas, which I found utterly charming. I then picked up a random Dark Hunter novel, and found it so full of plot holes and character inconsistencies that it was difficult to finish. However, I'll persist a bit longer to see if I can identify which of her works I like best.

Robert Jordan is a writer who padded his Wheel of Time series tremendously. Despite an interesting world, the second and subsequent books became increasingly full of Nynaeve's contrariness and complaints about men being just stupid, ditto the Aiel, and Rand's random mad ravings. The signal-to-noise ratio became progressively worse. Could have used some good editorial pruning. However, according to my writer neighbour, he subverted the process by marrying his editor!

Finally, with my deteriorating eyesight, I have to hold books closer, which gets strenuous with bigger books. Since I read in bursts, a story that is very convoluted can be difficult to pick up again after a few days, although multiple storylines is not too hard. I loved the complexity and indirect action in Feist's Empire series!

Audio books are no solution, since my hearing is deteriorating even faster. I guess my best bet would be to learn more about how to best use my Kindle.

message 18: by Serendi (new)

Serendi I have my Kindle set on the second-largest font size. It's light and easy to move to the next screen (it's a touchscreen, which *really* matters with this). I use it in chairs and bed in all kinds of ways, and it has a ton of books on it.

I do still use paper sometimes, but get nearly all new books as ebooks. I definitely recommend it for troubled eyesight.

message 19: by Thom (new)

Thom Swennes (Yorrick) | 8 comments I have always had an affinity to epic size books. When my eyes peruse the shelves of a book store, they seem to be attracted by size; the thicker (longer) the better. This may be only an assumption but anyone that can write an epic-size story must have something to say. Finding the sexually explicit passages in such a mass of literature adds to the discovery.

message 20: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 47 comments I find that romance novels tend to be shorter in the ebook format as compared to maybe two or three years ago. That said, now I'm more attuned to the romance elements in other books, which tend to be longer...

message 21: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Weis | 60 comments Chelsea wrote: "I find that romance novels tend to be shorter in the ebook format as compared to maybe two or three years ago. That said, now I'm more attuned to the romance elements in other books, which tend to ..."

Romance books have always seemed to be shorter than "regular" literature. My grandmother loves the old Harlequin romances and they were always really quick reads (~200 pages) while most of the sci-fi and fantasy I pick up tends to be quite lengthy (500+ pages)

message 22: by Alicia (new)

Alicia I don't care - anything between 200 - 500 pages. But for VF book club I prefer them shorter because of only having a month to get it and read it!

message 23: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne | 43 comments I just started reading sci-fi/fantasy/romance a couple of years ago because of VF, so I can't speak to whether the books are getting longer. Overall, though, what matters more than length is if I connect to the story/writing style. I'm a pretty slow reader, but if I'm into the book I can gobble up 500 pages in a week or so.

message 24: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Bingham | 9 comments It all depends on the writers ability to suck me in. I find that I get frustrated if things aren't moving fast enough in lengthy books. However I love being able to have more time with the characters, so I really like reading series. That way they wrap up a story pretty quickly but you get to keep reading about adventures with the people you grow to care about. Remember how sad everyone was when Harry Potter ended? It was like saying goodbye to good friends.

message 25: by Gina (new)

Gina Briganti | 78 comments If the book is good, then I want it to be as long as possible. Being stuck in a long, boring book is not anyones idea of a good time.

message 26: by Miche (new)

Miche (noisygeek) | 13 comments Size definitely matters - I go through a lot of books so i do prefer for them to be longer (500+ words).

However I am getting frustrated with the GOT series. I'm enjoying the stories but the books are massive and i struggle to read them because of their physical size. I actually have to lie down on the floor/couch to read them!

Really wishing id got it on my kindle rather than paperback.

message 27: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (vanessaeden) If its penis, hell yes. Books, I really don't mind but I prefer larger books, 1000+ hence I am reading the Outlander series.

message 28: by Gina (new)

Gina Briganti | 78 comments Kindle does take a lot of the physical size out of the equation. I love that I can store so many books on such small devices.

message 29: by Nemi (new)

Nemi I enjoy a balanced diet of really long books and books that either contain short stories, anecdotes or are just short in general.
It's really nice to just put everything on kindle. No more sore muscles from holding epic fantasy novels all night long.

Huh, that explains my lack of upper body strength recently...

Cassandra Stryffe | 33 comments I do tend to prefer longer books myself. I'm always the one asking for more. But there's a great article by an indie author I really like about this very subject.

message 31: by Gary (new)

Gary Cassandra wrote: "But there's a great article by an indie author I really like about this very subject."

Thanks for that link. Amusing... if somewhat disheartening. It's good to know how that works on Amazon if nothing else. I'm sure there are folks who look at book pages and think "is this a good value for the money?" even if that is a completely ridiculous way to go about choosing a book.

Cassandra Stryffe | 33 comments You're welcome Gary. And yeah, I have to admit I was a little depressed after reading that. And I went back and really looked at a lot of the books on my shelves...and that almost made me cry.

And I admit, a few times when I've been terribly torn between which book to buy, length has decided me a few times.

message 33: by Katie (last edited May 09, 2014 06:41AM) (new)

Katie (ilovebettymcrae) | 36 comments Sometimes a book can be too short for it's own good or too long for it's own good. Size may not matter but pacing and quality sure do!

message 34: by Nemi (new)

Nemi I get why size would factor into your purchase decision. I mean, it's more content and if you are not sure/aware of the quality of the material, quantity is the only available information.
In terms of quality I agree with Katie though.

message 35: by Peter (new)

Peter | 55 comments Katie wrote: "Sometimes a book can be too short for it's own good or too long for it's own good. Size may not matter but pacing and quality sure do!"
I agree with Katie. Lately, I've become more aware of pacing in much of my reading. I enjoyed the skillful and expressive use of language in Beautiful Creatures, as well the leisurely development of the romance, but the end felt too rushed and left too many loose ends.

Quality is much harder to measure, and is sometimes very surprising. I could summarize the events in John Crowley's Aegypt in 1 or 2 short sentences, yet I was dazzled by his fascinating exploration of ideas. The Gormenghast trilogy is full of unpleasant characters and situations, yet Peake's prose is like a fine wine: rich and evocative, best savoured slowly

message 36: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (stormfire298) | 52 comments It matters to my mood. Also, someone further up mentioned that my threshold is also 300 pages, I'm not likely to pay more than 5$ for anything less. If its from an author that I already like I might. Inused to be a very fast reader so when I go to a book store I gravitate to larger books because it was the difference between reading a book in two to four hours and getting to read something for a few days. For light and fluffy books, I usually refer to then as junk food books, I don't mind them shorter because the ones I pick up are usually a bit predictable but sassy and hilarious so it makes a nice break from text books or things of that ilk.

message 37: by Ricardo (new)

Ricardo Rojas | 3 comments To me it all depends of the book. The first time I read 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which is a hefty book, it went by like nothing, the same goes for Shogun by James Clavell which usually clocks in at around 1000-odd pages with small letters. But for example I agonized over every extra page on "My Name is Red" by Orhan Pamuk.

message 38: by Daphne (new)

Daphne Chennault (daphnech) | 68 comments To paraphrase Yoda, "Size matters not, only in your mind does it matter." The quality of the writing is more important than the size of the book. Game of Thrones, and all the books in the series are huge volumes, but I read them all in a couple of weeks. Likewise, I devoured the Harry Potter books in a matter of days, with the last one taking only five hours.

Good books must command the reader's attention and deliver the content in an interesting fashion. Those that can't, will lose their audience. It doesn't matter how big or small they are. I've seen people give up after reading half of Eric Hoffer's True Believer, and that is only about forty pages.

message 39: by Allison (new)

Allison Brown (alliekat893) | 101 comments I like big books and I cannot lie, you other readers can't deny... ;)

message 40: by Brittany (new)

Brittany (nerdyspinster) | 255 comments For me, it depends on the story, but generally I like to read books that are at least 400-450 pages or more. I don't like short stories or novellas, because I feel cheated when the story ends too quickly if it's a good one.

message 41: by PointyEars42 (new)

PointyEars42 | 476 comments My preference leans towards long novels (100,000 words?) but sensible editing is a must. I'd love to see an end to padding to make a book seem weightier and an end to ripping a story in half to make me buy 2 books.

The only time I enjoy shorter stuff is if its a novella or some other type of short story to supplement a series, especially if its a freebie on the author's website. I love how self-publishing is allowing authors to keep us hooked with little snacks while we wait for the next in a series to be served.

Oh, wait, there are also so-called 221B's. That's Sherlock fanfic told in 221 words and the last word starts with the letter "B" I've seen some entire universes created in 221 words that are better than some of the doorstops of my early fantasy-reading years.

message 42: by Fred (new)

Fred | 5 comments I like longer story's I find it hard to pay 2.99 for something that's only 20 or 50 pages if it's over 150 pages al the better as I will not spend even $.99 for 30or50 page short story only to buy an other short!

message 43: by Miya (new)

Miya (nursethalia) I prefer my books to be at LEAST 350 or more pages, but if they get too big (1,000 pages or more) I get a little flustered, because between work and other obligations that prevent me from reading 24/7, I find myself forgetting what happened at the beginning of the story by the time I reach the end.

message 44: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany Anything more than 65,000 words becomes a second job.

message 45: by Fred (new)

Fred | 5 comments I agree if a book is to big it is hard to keep track of whats been read! so I tend too stay around 100-350 pgs. but it burns my but if I down load one and it turns out to be 30 to 60 pgs. and pay $2.99 or more I read from country, romance, but best of all shifter, witchs, fay!!!!!!fred

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