Big Book Problems 

Big books are my weakness. For most of my reading life, I’ve been attracted to weighty tomes with hundreds of pages. Why? Because if the book turns out to be a story that I really love it means I can spend a long time between its pages. Also, I always feel like I am getting value for money when buying a juicy, thick book as opposed to something that’s over in a couple of hundred pages but that’s the same price.

 My current to be read pile

My love of big books and lots of words in one place crept into my own writing life. When I was at high school and had to write a history essay, everyone else would hand in a few pages while I handed in a 20 page epic. I was never able to write a short story as I always had too much to say and explore. It was only when I started working in marketing and had to craft one-liners for advertisements (due to space issues) that I reluctantly learned the art of being succinct.

I usually pass on reading short stories and collections of short stories as they are not hefty enough for me. I’ll only consider reading novellas by favourite authors after I have read all their full length books. Short and sweet just isn’t me!

Before I discovered the perfection that is an e-reader (I use a kindle), I carried around an extra bag, in addition to my handbag, just to house my book. Getting  a kindle was a revelation. Suddenly I could carry an unlimited amount of big books on one small device that fitted perfectly into my handbag. It meant that no matter where I was–on public transport, waiting in a doctor’s surgery, or in my workplace lunchroom–I always had access to a book. I no longer needed that extra bag.

But I recently joined the amazing book community that exists on Instagram and have become addicted to taking photos of books. Suddenly, I’m buying physical books again and I’m once again facing a whole raft of Big Book Problems. Such as:

  • Looking like a bag lady wherever I go as I now carry multiple bags, one purely for my book
  • Getting a sore neck, back and arms from holding and reading a hefty tome, as well as carrying one around. I also get sore hands from keeping a thick book open
  • Running out of room on my bookshelves because of the size of the books I buy. I now have a pile of books next to my book case
  • Reading a big book takes time and commitment and I have an ever growing to be read pile because I am stuck reading an 800 page novel. Think of all the books I could read if I went for shorter books!
  • I sometimes like to read while I eat a meal which is easy to do with a kindle as it just sits there flat. But I can never get a big book to stay open on the page without having to hold it with one hand while I eat with the other
  • It’s harder to abandon a big physical book verses reading one on my kindle. On the kindle, I can ignore the fact that I’ve only read a third of a book and abandon it with ease. It’s harder to give up on a read when I have the physical book staring at me reproachfully.

Despite all these issues with big books, they will always remain my favourite. For me, size really does matter!

Do you judge a book by its size?

15 thoughts on “Big Book Problems 

  1. Claire @bookscoffeeandrepeat December 15, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    I’m usually intimidated with big books with small/tiny print. 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads December 15, 2017 / 1:10 pm

      Small tiny print is just rude no matter what size the book is. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. PerfectlyTolerable December 16, 2017 / 3:46 am

    I don’t like reading short stories either. They need to have some bulk. But I don’t like huge books either. There is a happy medium.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads December 16, 2017 / 4:58 am

      A happy medium? If only I could find that 😀. Thanks for stopping by.


  3. theorangutanlibrarian December 16, 2017 / 4:54 am

    I can completely relate to this post! I also like more substantial books and find I want something more than a short story. And my stories always have a way of running away from me too- I just can’t write short stories. hahaha I can relate to these problems- especially running out of space and that guilt of having a book staring you in the face when you’ve given up on it (like you said, it doesn’t seem so bad on a kindle). hehehe yes size does matter 😉 Love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads December 16, 2017 / 4:57 am

      Thank you 😀. I’m glad that I am not the only one who likes chunky books and writing way too much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. J Z. Smith December 17, 2017 / 1:38 am

    I have to admit if it is a really long book, aka George RR Martin, I think twice. I have to really be invested in a story to read more than 500 pages because I often wonder if it can be told more concisely. My sweet spot is about 300-400 pages, but I have recently started reading novellas and short stories and am enjoying them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads December 18, 2017 / 6:15 am

      I started A Game of Thrones but never finished it. Like you said, I have to be invested in the story to keep reading. What short stories are you enjoying?


      • J Z. Smith December 18, 2017 / 8:29 pm

        I just finished a Christmas collection by Jeanette Winterson. It is stories interspersed with personal essays and recipes. Really good read.


        • Janereads December 18, 2017 / 8:36 pm

          That sounds like an interesting read!


  5. cricketmuse December 17, 2017 / 11:49 pm

    Big books are a time factor consideration because there are so many smaller books ready for their chance. Page wise? 400 max

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michelle Ross January 9, 2018 / 10:00 am

    Have you read 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster? Fantastic “big book” of 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janereads January 9, 2018 / 10:17 am

      No I haven’t! But it is huge isn’t it? I will have to add it to my to be read pile.


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