A week or so ago, Ariel made a video entitled Why I Love Short Books. I've watched the video through multiple times, and the more I watch it, the more I've reflected on my own reading habits. I do agree with what Ariel says in her video, but I've noticed that I am naturally drawn to long books for many many reasons.
For as long as I can remember I've wanted to read long books. I would check out ginormous classics from the library that I knew I had no chance of finishing in the two weeks before it was due back. But for some reason I kept attempting to finish them. There was something inside of me that needed to prove to myself that I was committed enough to read books that were over 500 pages long.
I'm still like that to a degree. I felt the greatest sense of accomplishment when I turned the last page in Les Miserables. And I still look at big books as a fun challenge. As I've grown older, though, there are many more factors that feed my love of long books.
I have found that I simply enjoy long books more than short books, typically. My shelf of favorite-books-of-all-time is crowded with large, thick volumes. I think that this is because as I read books that are longer I grow more attached to the characters, the story, and the way the author writes. I become invested in the plot, and it's always bittersweet to finish because I become so attached. I don't get that feeling often with books that are shorter in length.
I do have a very huge appreciation for short books. As someone who can become unnecessarily wordy in my own writing a lot of the time, I understand the importance and skill it takes to be concise. Books such as The Great Gatsby and The Bell Jar have left a significant impact on my life, and it amazes me when an author can deliver such a punch in just a couple hundred words, or even less. But there are some ideas that are just too big to contain in a small book. Some have to overflow beyond a reasonable length for a book.
I do know people who are intimidated by large tomes, and that is something I totally understand. It does take more time and commitment to finish a book that is very long, but I find that, for me at least, it's always a rewarding experience. Whether it's long, short, or just right, don't let the length of a book turn you away from what you could potentially learn from it.
What is your personal preference in your own reading? Long books or short books?