Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Daydreamer's Ramblings: Big Books

The Daydreamer’s Ramblings is a semi-regular feature here at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. It ranges from discussion posts to rants to raves. 
In 2012 I avoided big books for a few reasons: 1) I was obsessed with finishing my GoodReads challenge (100 books), 2) I’m a slow reader, and 3) I tend to find that a lot of big books are unnecessarily long and a good chunk of them is filler, which drives me nuts.

So I purposely avoided big books last year, with a few exceptions. This year, I don’t want to do that. Even though I’m aiming for 102 books this time around in my GoodReads challenge, there are so many books I want to read that are 450+ pages. Sure, it may take me several days, or maybe even a week, but it seems ridiculous not to read them, especially since I own quite a few.

Just a few of the big books I plan to read this year:
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (517 pages)
The Diviners by Libba Bray (578 pages)
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (485 pages)
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (563 pages)
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (487 pages)
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (452 pages)
The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling (503 pages)
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (527 pages)

My solution for reading big books and still completing my challenge: balance it out by reading a short novel or novella for every huge book I read.

How do you feel about big books? Do you avoid them? Do you love them? Do you not let the size of a book deter or influence your decision to read it? On average, how long does it take you to read a 500-page book?


  1. I have mixed emotions there... I love certain big books, but not all. If it can capture my attention, I can read it relatively quickly. If it's full of filler, it may take a few weeks for me to get through it. I usually don't pass up a book based on the size--if it sounds like something I'll love, I will pick it up! :)

    Can't wait to see what you think of Mara Dyer!!! I love that series. <3

  2. I feel the same way about a lot of filler in really long books. Especially when it's a series. I read the first Mara Dyer book, but I picked up the second one at the library and then put it down because it was too long and not something I wanted to read at that time. I am determined to read it though. I may wait until summer when I have more free time. I have a few other books that are 500 or so pages that I have been avoiding.

  3. I don't mind big books at all, and informally do big books in the summer. Some go by faster than others though, so I try to choose wisely.

    Tanya Patrice

  4. Good luck! You know I feel the same way about fillers and I'm a slow reader too but sometimes it's good to read long books. (although for me it depends on the genre. I loved Tana French's first book which was about 600 pages but I'm not sure I'd feel the same way about a really slow paced story)

    I've quite a few books which are over 600 pages (almost 700) but I'll try to read them this year :D

  5. I've been avoiding big books lately too. Not because I have so many books I want to read (although I do) but because when I read, I do it in one sitting. If I put down a book before I finish it, I don't pick it back up. It doesn't even matter how good the story is. I'm a one sitting reader, so when I have big books to read, NOTHING gets done until I get to the end. Which makes my day very unproductive.

  6. THE DIVINERS! Oh man. GET ON IT, girl.

    Big books DO intimidate me sometimes. Before I started blogging, I was always reading 600-1000 page books (like the Wheel of Time series, and others). Now I read mostly shorter books because of the shift to YA. I want to tackle a lot of MY personal TBR this year though so that means more big books. :)

  7. I find that YA books that are big are unnecessarily so. If I'm gonna read a big book I want it to be that way for a reason.

  8. I really think it depends on the big book! I love a book that grabs me on the first page and never lets go, but I find the problem with some big books is that there is a LOT of filler information that can get boring after a while. Good luck with your choices!

  9. It really, really depends on the book for me. I read Divergent in one sitting. I'm not a "fast" reader, but I do have a decent amount of free time. On the other hand, a little book can feel just as much like wading through oatmeal as a big one if I don't like it.

    Regardless of size, a book really needs to make me want to drop Everything to read it if it wants my full attention. If I'm spending more time checking what page I'm on then glancing down to see that a hundred pages have gone by, there's generally a problem.

    I recently did Bout of Books 6.0 and it took me longer to read The Vincent Boys (288 pages, I think?) then it did for me to read The Mephisto Kiss (450 pages). In that case it was another variable: some books require me to stop and sort out what I've just read. There was a lot in The Vincent Boys that made me want to throw things, even though overall I "liked" it. Whereas with The Mephisto Kiss it sucked me in like a pile of quicksand and didn't let go.

    Anyway, good luck with your big books and your goodreads challenge. :)

  10. I go back and forth on big books. That is one thing about ebooks, it's harder to see the length before you start, unless you look it up.

    I have a few big books on my list this year too. Topping the list is The Passage by Justin Cronin. I keep looking at it, but I'm not ready to devote the time needed to read it.


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