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why I love long books

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Inspired// I watch a lot of book related videos on youtube. It's my guilty pleasure. One of my favorite Booktube creators is Ariel Bissett. Even though I disagree with some things she's talked about and discussed, I still love her videos because they really make me think deeply about literature and writing in ways I never would have before. 
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.
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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?

10 comments

  1. Truthfully, I like both long and short books. For me, it's the story that counts. I also agree with the fact that a person grows more attached to long books because they have to spend more time with the book. At least, that's how it is with me. :)

    I had a similar feeling when reading Les Miserables. At some points (like when Hugo rambled on his own thoughts) I just wanted to give up reading the book, but I just kept on reading. It took me about 1 and a half months to finish the book. I finished the last 200 pages in one night because I was so caught up in the story. I think I finished it at 2 AM, and I just remember sobbing from the emotional journey the book took me through. I will always remember what it felt like to read Les Miserables. I would not have enjoyed the ending or even cried if I had not gone through over 1000 large pages of small print. I feel like if you can't or don't want to read a long book, like Les Miserables because it's long, then you don't deserve to be rewarded with the same feelings.

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    1. I agree with you of course, the story and what you can get from it is ultimately the most important thing. I hope I implied that in my post.
      It took me 6 months to read Les Mis (mostly due to a reading slump in the middle of it, but still), and my reading experience was pretty my the same. I definitely cried when it was over. I fought through the dense history chapters, and I feel like that added so much to the overall reading experience and I would never do it any other way.
      Thank you for your comment, Ekaterina <3

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    2. Yes, you implied it in your post, and I agree the story is the most important thing. I also watched the video you mentioned at the beginning of the post, and I can see more from where you are coming from.

      I fought through those dense history chapters too. I remember when I got to the point where Hugo is describing the battle of Waterloo, I kept thinking, "Ok! I know that the British won. Could you at least made the description of the battle 20 pages instead of 60 or 70 something pages?"
      Those chapters did add to the overall reading experience. I didn't realize, though, until I finished the book and looked back on the experience.

      I'm glad we have similar feelings toward Les Miserables! The only other person I've met who has read it did not like it.

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    3. They definitely added to the reading experience! And yes, the Battle of Waterloo was especially difficult to get through. But it was worth it!
      It's very rare that I meet people who have made it through Les Mis and loved it too, but I absolutely love gushing about it whenever I get the chance. :)

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  2. You've rekindled my love for long books. I think I love long books because they give me more time to think. I live in two worlds while reading a long book, and when I'm in my own, part of me is still stuck in that other world. It takes more time to process the story, to chew on what you've read, and to look forward to continuing reading.

    I love short books but there's nothing like a long book. I need to read Les Miserables.

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    1. Ahh yes! You described it perfectly. It is exactly like living in two worlds!
      And you totally need to read Les Mis now!

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  3. I love both short books and long books. I think it depends on the story and the characters. I don't like stories to be dragged out longer than they have to be, but if a story really does need to be 600 pages, then I'm totally fine with that :-)

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    1. Yes! Whatever is necessary for the author to tell their story effectively!

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  4. I think long books can be intimidating, but you're right, there's something satisfying in knowing you read the whole thing. I recently read the entire Harry Potter series and that last book was a doozy! :) But I agree; you get invested in the world in the book and the characters when the book is long. At the same time, there's something beautiful about brevity, and it's almost more difficult to tell a story in a short amount of pages. Either is wonderful! I think it's fun to mix it up. :)

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    1. They can definitely be intimidating, but it's almost always worth it. I've never read Harry Potter (I know, I'm a disgrace), but the last book does look like a challenge.
      There is beauty in long books and short books. <3

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