Let’s Talk Bookish: Big Books vs Short Books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each otherโ€™s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the July 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

Big books vs Short books: Which do you prefer?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: Do you prefer to read longer books or shorter books? Does it depend on the genre? Why is that? What are the pros and cons of long books? What about shorter books? What long books do you love? What are some of your favourite short books?

BIG VS SHORT BOOKS

If I’m being honest, prior to starting this book blog I never really paid close attention to bookish details such as book-length/page numbers, publisher, publication date, etc. If you’d have asked me a few years ago, I think I would’ve said I preferred big books because I used to read a lot more of them. However, since books and reading have pretty much taken over my life (lol) and books became an extension of my being (double lol) I’ve realised that I tend to gravitate more towards short(er) books whenever possible!

DOES IT DEPEND ON GENRE?

My willingness to read a big vs short book does depend on the genre but I also think that a certain length is expected when picking up a specific genre. For example, I’d expect a fantasy novel to be bigger compared to a contemporary or romance, and I think I’d also be more willing to read a big SFF book compared to any other genre. That’s not to say that I haven’t read romances or other genres that were chonksters (because of course I have) but I’d definitely expect it more from a fantasy.

As a mood reader though, I also feel like it depends on the mood I’m in. If I’m in the mood for an immersive read that’s not fantasy, I do enjoy a good long epic historical fiction or thriller and some of my favourite books in these genres have been chonksters!

THE PROS AND CONS

chonksters

PROS:

  • Packed full of detailsโ€”extensive world-building, character development, and intricately detailed plots.
  • You get to spend more time in worlds and with characters which allows you to develop a stronger connection to the story.

CONS:

  • A book can feel overly long especially if the plot and characters are boring or the writing is too wordy.
  • They’re intimidating AF (looking at you Brandy Sandy… and you classics!)

shorties

PROS:

  • They’re the perfect “palate cleansers” between books.
  • If you’re trying a new author, it gives you a good taste of what their writing is like.
  • If you’re unsure what to read or are feeling slumpish, shorties can help you figure out what you’re in the mood for.

CONS:

  • A lack of character development.
  • Unsatisfying or open endings (two of my least favourite things! ๐Ÿ™ˆ)

chonksters: 5 favourites + 5 tbr


shorties: 5 favourites + 5 TBR

Do you prefer big or short books or do you not have any preference? What’re some of your favourite big books and short books?

25 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Big Books vs Short Books

  1. This is an interesting question. I do enjoy novellas if they are part of a series and I already know the characters, so development isn’t an issue. Chunksters depend on a lot of things. I have read a few and listened to audiobooks that were over 15 hours and loved them. I agree, often the chunksters have too much detail and drag, but if they are well written, then I enjoy them. I prefer books in the middle, around 300 to 400 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the 300-400 page mark is definitely the sweet spot! I never used to mind so much with longer books, especially if they were fantasies, before this year but I feel I’ve started gravitating towards the shorter reads these days cos my mind can’t handle all the details! I don’t listen to audiobooks that often (if ever, really) but I wonder if chonksters feel shorter(?) when listening to them vs. when reading them? I must try!

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      • I just listened to an audiobook that was almost 23 hours. There was an ensemble cast, so I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent. If I had read it, it had 643 pages. Much longer than I normally read. It was historical fiction, so I really got into it.

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  2. This is such a great post! I don’t tend to notice a book’s length, but rather, the amount of books a series has. I’ll always prefer reading standalones over trilogies or sagas. If I had to choose between one book with a thousand pages or a trilogy with 300 pages per book, I’ll always choose the standalone.

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    • Thanks, Aster! Oh, that’s an interesting take. I don’t think I’ve actually ever considered whether to read a book or not based on how many books there are in a series but you do make a good point that a trilogy with 300 books would essentially be the same as reading a chonkster. I think the fact that it’s such a chunk in one go is what makes it intimidating for me though! ๐Ÿ˜‚ But I would definitely love to make more progress with the chonksters on my TBR!

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  3. The Way of Kings!!! I want you to read that one sooo badly! hahaha. I kind of want all the short books right now.. I’m not getting that but I want it! lol. It makes me feel so accomplished and these chunky books are taking me too long to read! haha. Totally get the draw of liking all the shorter books whenever you can!

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    • I KNOW! It intimidates me so much but I’ve geared myself up with the audiobook AND the ebook sooo… I’m hoping that the combo will help me through and it will help me love it more ๐Ÿ˜‚ I have no doubt I will enjoy it though! I defo am in the mood for all the short books these days as well to feel more productive and like I’m actually doing something with my time LOL ๐Ÿ˜‚

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      • Yay!! I hope it does help you out. It was one that I took my time with.. I didn’t focus on it as my main read but would read a chunk of pages every day. It made it feel a lot less overwhelming and I was able to read shorter books at the same time!

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  4. I think i prefer to read book that have like 350-400 pages. All that is more always makes we weary but if a book catches my attention i wish it would never end. Bookish problems, lol!

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  5. You are so in my head. When it comes to length, my sweet spot is between 300 – 400 pages. I personally think a contemporary can be accomplished in this page length, and most (not all, but most) of the contemporaries I have read that exceeded needed editing in my opinion. I forgive length for fantasy because they have to build a whole world and lay out some sort of system too, but contemporaries are starting with this world. Yet, I see many readers loving some authors whose contemporary book clock in over 500 pages, and my experience wasn’t as positive. Book length is apparently my thing.

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    • Yep, 300-400 is definitely the sweet spot now! I don’t think I’ve read many contemporaries or romances even that have far exceeded this page length although I can think of a few, such as Zapata, whose books are in the 600+ range. I’m also definitely more forgiving of fantasies and I do feel that unless a contemporary is super engaging all the way through, if it’s over 400+ pages it’d be such a bore! ๐Ÿ™ˆ I guess thinking about book length is also my thing ๐Ÿ˜‚

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      • Zapata and some of Quinn’s and Lucy Score too come in over 400. I have only read one book by Score which was slightly over 400, and I thought the extra pages were used well, but I don’t feel the same about the Zapata book I read. I have yet to read Quinn’s most massive books

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  6. I…was not a fan of THE GOLDFINCH haha sorry (but I’m glad you liked it!). That was definitely a long read and I struggled through it, though not because of its length. Anyway, back to the prompt at hand…I think this entire year I’ve gravitated towards books that are less than 500 pages simply because I’m really trying to catch up on my NG backlog. I think once I have that under what I perceive is better control, then I’ll feel like I have the brain space to read a couple of chonksters I have sitting on my bookshelf. Those include The Priory of the Orange Tree and Empire of the Vampire. I definitely agree that some of the shorter books may not have as great character development, though thankfully I haven’t run into that much this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Goldfinch is actually still part of my TBR list ๐Ÿ˜‚ I actually started reading it several years ago but was going through such a BAD slump that I put it down cos I just couldn’t read it. I was definitely on the track of enjoying it enough to finish it but not loving it as much as everyone else seemed to! I think I might try it with the audiobook though cos I sampled it and the narrator sounded like someone I’d enjoy listening to for… How long the book is! ๐Ÿ™ˆ I feel like I also don’t have the brain capacity to read 500+ books these days either or at least I read them less. I read Priory with a group and sadly, it wasn’t a hit for all of us. I hope you enjoy it more though! I also want to read Empire of the Vampire (eventually, lol) but I definitely feel like I need to gear up for it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh oops I guess I misread the section of your post where The Goldfinch is listed haha. If you find the audiobook works better for you, definitely go that route. I’d love to read your opinions on the book once you finish it. It seems like everyone I know in person who’s read it LOVED it. Meanwhile in the book twitter community it seems like more of a mixed bag.

        When I got Priory in the mail last year I had a “Holy sh*t!” moment because I failed to see how long of a book it is hahaha. It is so chonky.

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  7. I’m definitely a fan of large books. For me, a real book only starts after 500 pages. LOL.
    Honestly, shorter books always leave me empty, I want more. And I rather read a book of 2,000 pages than six of 300. I just love to have a story together.

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  8. I still read a few long books here and there when I’m in the mood for fantasy, but most of the books I choose now seem to fall between 300-400 pages. Shorter than that and I usually feel cheated, longer than that and I tend to get bored and start skimming, lol.

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  9. For me, at least, it depends entirely on the genre! I will quite happily read a 500+ page fantasy novel, but if you give me the same page count in a romance novel, I won’t be interested. Romance novels, to me, at palate cleansers and should absolutely remain under or around the 350 page count range. Am I weirdly specific? Yes. LOL

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