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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: #36 – Does Size Matter…

Boys in our Books Friday Question of the Week!

Each week we’ll ask a question about your reading experience. Our review team will give our answers and we encourage you to join in and comment with your answers as well!  Let’s talk about BOOKS! :)

QUESTION:

Does the length of a book impact your desire to read it? What is your threshold, both minimum and maximum?

Tracy: 

The size of the story does matter to me. I LOVE sinking into a good long read, so when I see a book is between 50k-120k words, I am way more excited to dive in. I rarely read short stories or novellas less than a 100 pages unless it’s by a favorite author, or if it’s something like Irregulars, where the four novellas were building off each other.

That being said, when books get to 450+ pages, I also get wary about what to pick up since some very long books are worth every word, while others can feel very bloated, where your first review comment would be, “This needed a good editor to cut it down.”

Ilhem:

I’ve had a phase when I avoided long stories, because I just wanted the immediate satisfaction a 200 pages read brings. I am over that now, but like Tracy, I’m way more wary at committing myself to read something that could very well be a long, endless torture. What a companion this book is when it’s good, though! As for short reads, some of them pack a punch in less than 50 pages, others feel like you’ve only read excerpts.

Xing:

In short, I’m a word count slut. The longer the story, the better. It started out, like most things reading-related for me, with fanfiction. I prefer stories greater than 100,000 words and try to avoid anything less than 60,000. Heck, my favorite fanfiction story is almost 700,000 words long (size DOES matter).

Does this love of all things long blow back in my face? Why yes it does. But all the bad stories I’ve read have been eclipsed by the oh-so-good ones that had been brought to my attention.

Sheri:

Size? Yep, totally matters. Oddly enough, it depends on my mood.

Sometimes I just want a quick thrill and then there are times that I want it slow and steady. ;)

But seriously, these days the two-three hundred page mark seems to be my target craving. I rarely go after a book over 400 pages, it has to be really special for me to devote that much time. I’m a working mum, and real life can soak up my ‘me’ time and a long saga could take me weeks to read. And I have found great pleasure in stumbling upon those rare gems under 50 pages.

To be honest, there are times I wish I didn’t know the size and jumped into the story oblivious to the size. Anticipation can be such sweet torture.

Susan:

I am a LAZY reader. I want a quick story that I can finish in a couple days. (I think it’s partially because of the stress of getting reviews done for the blog!). I have a shelf on GR that’s for books 200 pages or less…those are the ones I know I can knock out quickly. If I see a book over 300 pages, I hesitate. It’s a risk…the investment…especially if it’s an author I don’t know.

Having said all that, one of my FAVORITE reads is the “In the Company of Shadows” series and each of the books was about 1000 pages or more!!!!

HOW ABOUT YOU?

 

15 comments on “QUESTION OF THE WEEK: #36 – Does Size Matter…

  1. Barbra
    November 14, 2014

    I’ve read lots of fantasy in the past and a lot of those books can easily be 500-600 pages. As long as the book is good, the longer the better. I rarely buy the stories that are less than 100 pages because it only takes an hour or 2 to read them, and they usually cost almost as much as the longer books. I have a few auto-buy authors that write a lot of novella length stories, but I do prefer a longer novel.

    Like

  2. llesarlorraine
    November 14, 2014

    I believe it all comes down to the age old saying of “it’s about quality not quantity”. I don’t let the size of a book dictate my needs, sometimes it’s about instant gratification and others, the slow, sensuous burn.

    Like

  3. Susana
    November 14, 2014

    I do not have issues with length. As long as they are good, short stories, full novels or real hunks… Give them to me!
    ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer B
    November 14, 2014

    I used to avoid short books like the plague. I’ve gotten better about them lately and have read some really good ones. Having said that, it irks me when a book with less than 100 pages costs 4.99 or 5.99. I avoid those unless they get exceptional reviews. I prefer longer stories.

    Like

  5. Kim W
    November 14, 2014

    I like shorter books but don’t like short stories. Unless it’s an author I really know, when I see 350 pages or more I am reluctant to start.

    Like

  6. Serena S.
    November 14, 2014

    I rather read a long story than a short one, even one of my favorite authors writes long books (over 300 to 700 pages). Of course, like everything, sometimes it’s a hit and miss but with short stories it’s mostly a miss.
    I agree with Sheri, sometimes I wish I didn’t know how many pages a book had, it already happened to me I read 3 short books that I didn’t know were less than 100 pages and I loved them!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shirley Ann Speakman
    November 14, 2014

    I’d rather read a long story than a shorter one but sometimes you can be in the mood for something quick to read and that’s mainly why I buy a lot of anthologies.

    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

    Like

  8. dtorini
    November 14, 2014

    I enjoy reading short stories (around 50 pages) or long novel (400 pages or more), number of pages less an issue than the story itself, though long stories tend to get you more absorbed and involved.

    Like

  9. Marlobo
    November 14, 2014

    I agree with Susana, the extent of a story is never an obstacle for me. Furthermore, I make use of that variety to adapt my readings according to my time availability and my mood.

    Besides, I love the short-story as literary piece, I believe that it’s a true challenge for a writer, when an author works it well can achieve a masterpiece. Think, without going any further, Cortázar, Poe, Kafka, Borges, Bradbury, Maupassant, Chekhov, Wilde, Asimov, Andersen, Lovecraft and so many other. Obviously, in our loved MM Fiction World also there are notable tales and storywriters

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Moira
    November 14, 2014

    I don’t mind the size of the book as long as the story ends, I hate getting a book and it stops no conclusion and then you have to buy the next part of the book. If it is a short story then make it a short and not divide the book up into parts.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. gaycrow
    November 14, 2014

    I prefer longer stories, and avoid short stories, unless they’re by a well trusted author. Parhelion’s a good example of a brilliant writer who rarely writes long stories. I’m always left wanting more …

    Like

  12. H.B.
    November 15, 2014

    It matters a lot for me. The length of a book determines when I will start it, whether I’ll finish the book and whether or not to even buy it. I usually like to keep around 30-300 pages. Anything 400 pages or longer usually get pushed back on my reading list until I feel like I can tackle it. Although I must say the Harry Potter series was quite an easy read for me.

    Like

  13. kveta
    November 15, 2014

    Before I started reading M/M Romance length of the book didn’t really matter. Now, when I’ve got 156 finished M/M Romance books on my E-book Reader, I can see that I prefer stories from 90 to 250 pages long :) And only finished stories. Hate “cliffhangers” since my yaoi manga fan-girl days x_x

    Like

  14. Lisbeth Ames
    November 15, 2014

    My favorite books are those where you fall in love with the characters and get so wrapped up in them that you don’t want to see the story end. As you can probably guess, that makes me a big fan of series. I hate letting go of characters that have gotten under my skin. Therefore, I’m not a big fan of short stories. It’s a rare author who can develop a character so completely in a mere 40 pages or so that I feel as sucked in or engaged as I would with a full book. But there are always exceptions to the rule. For instance, Jay Bell is one author I discovered through this very blog who does an impressive and admirable job fleshing out his characters in the abbreviated span of a short story. I really felt like he’d given me enough to sink my teeth into that I got to know not only the main characters, but also the supporting characters, too. Not everyone has this talent. As far as novella length stories go, I like them as add-ons to an existing saga (such as Napoleon, an add-on to the Pierced series by JC Mells). But series entirely made up of novellas feel cheap to me when they turn out to be an obvious attempt on the author’s part to snare the reader into multiple payments to finish a story. So a book bundle clears that complaint right up for me. Hook me with “books” 1-3 as a bundle and I’m far more likely to be genuinely thrilled to follow the rest of the latter installments through to their conclusion.

    Like

  15. Kaje
    November 15, 2014

    I’m another fan of the long books, and of series, including series of shorter stories. I have a hard time letting great characters go, and I read for the great characters. The more the better.

    And yet, there are a few really short stories that are so complete in themselves that they don’t need more (which is true art.) Sometimes it’s the bittersweet ones (like “Henry and Jim” or “Cooper’s Hawk”) where short really works. And sometimes it’s just the perfect choice of words, like Tamara Allen’s “If It Ain’t Love”. There’s something special about a short story that catches your breath.

    But really – words on a page with a couple of great guys getting together? Any length – lead me to it.

    Like

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