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 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?