The Length of Books

Bookshelf

You step into your library and are immediately in awe at the hundreds upon hundreds of books lining the shelves. Thin, thick, tall, short, five pages, five hundreds pages, they are all there, waiting to be picked up, waiting for their pages to be flipped through and devoured by the reader’s eye. Yet which ones draw your attention the most?

Everyone has different opinions on what size they want their books. When you are small, you most likely are not going to go running excitedly towards a three hundred page, tiny printing book. Its size is overwhelming to a little one’s eyes. Instead, those thin books with large print and pictures is much more pleasing to young eyes.

As you get older, you start growing bored of the books that only take a few minutes to read and instead find yourself searching for more thick, in-depths novels across the shelves.

Then those teenage years replace elementary times and soon you are finding yourself actually picking up those books that your once younger eyes passed over, that your little hands might could not even grasp from the thickness. You have finally found yourself reading books of every size within that grand library. There is no more one section you go to, the whole building is a smorgasbord for your eyes to feast on.

So what size book do you choose?

Book

While, yes, we are now old enough to read and comprehend any size book, that does not mean we still choose the ones that make our arms sore trying to carry them around, nor not always the light ones that will fit in a pocket or purse without notice. But there are still some people who likes variety, not caring of the size of their novel.

Personally, I am much more of a fan of the large books. I am one of those crazies that finds the entire length of Lord of the Rings a perfectly acceptable size. No, a fantastic size! I like the epics. Those books that are not just a story but something more. Something that takes far more than a few thousand words to tell.

That is not to say all thick books are well written. Some are quite the opposite. Some you wonder if the story will ever begin instead of just rambling on and on about this pointless event and that, or just ridiculously wordy.

Then there are series, which I love far more than single novels. Long series at that. I am just not a big fan of short things. If I like the story of course. When I enjoy a story, I want it to be deep and long, I want it to continue. I don’t want something I will finish just in a day and not gain that feeling of having just read a great epic.

With this said, you have probably guessed I write lengthy stories. Unfortunately, this is not always a good thing. I want long things myself, but that does not mean everyone does. And sometimes things can be too long.

A story I finished writing not too long ago is the first book in a series of eight books I am planning. Having that many books, each one does not need to be too long. Guess what it ended with? 214k words. Yes. I was none too happy. I cannot have a series of eight books all of which will be 200k words!

Another book I just finished a few days ago, to which I was determined would be no more than 80k ended at 100k. If it was a single story I would be fine with that, but it is part of a series as well.

It seems to be a curse I have. I am incapable of writing short things. I should not even mention another novel I am writing that is at 222k words and only halfway through. Like I said…a curse.

I have heard in numerous places that starter authors usually cannot get their books published unless they are around 80k-120k words. So if I am ever going to try to get publish I must find a way to write shorter.

Still, despite wishing I could write short things, I enjoy reading those crazy epics that drain away ludicrous amounts of time getting through.

Give me a long book any day!

So what length novel is your ideal size?

-Lauriloth

Stack of Books

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About Christine

A 20-something avid reader, crazy writer, striver of uniqueness, lover of all things fantasy, enjoyer of the whimsy, and follower of Jesus Christ. View all posts by Christine

5 responses to “The Length of Books

  • Lectin Gaezat

    I love this kind of post, Lauri! ^^

    For me, I don’t quite measure how a book should be by length but rather by plot. As I am very much a plot-nazi, my strongest critique for any book would be the plot length and pacing. So long as the book’s plot and pacing is good enough for me, it’s gold. Regardless of length.

  • Tassel

    I agree with Lec – plot length is more important than physical number of pages. I do love long books, though. 😀 I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that you write such long first drafts; you can always edit them down, if necessary. Good luck with that endeavor!

  • Lauriloth

    Thanks, guys!^_^

    I actually agree wholeheartedly. Like I said, I want the book to be long if it is a GOOD book and has a good enough plot to keep it going. In the end, it is really about the plot. Still, I get way to attached to stories and characters and want them to go on forever. 😉

  • Eva

    OMG HAI. I love your blog posts, Lauri. They’re pretty much epic. 😀

  • Hunger

    THIS SO MUCH.

    I like long books. Unless, of course, I start one and then realize that I don’t like it. Because then I have to finish it.

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