Why Size Doesn’t Matter

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Let’s face it, for most people, size matters. They might not say that it does, but it does. Who wants a corndog bite when they could have the foot long corndog? Or, alternately, sometimes someone doesn’t want something 3 inches thick. They want something that’s going to be quick and not make their muscles sore just holding it. People generally fall toward one end of the spectrum or the other. We want the in-it-for-the-long-haul romp that leaves us tired and happy and unable to even think about doing it again immediately, or multiple tastes of heaven to be taken at our leisure.

I’m talking, of course, about the size of books. Not only their actual size but how ‘big’ they feel.

Relativity for bookworms: 30 minutes with a good book feels like 5, and 30 minutes with a bad book feels like 105.

So, for this Top Ten Tuesday, we’re going to talk about those long books that were quick reads.

To decide these, we went into our Goodreads list, and organized our read books by number of pages. Then we promptly spent precious minutes double checking those numbers, because those books surely weren’t that long were they?! That’s the one bad thing about e-books. You don’t really get a feel for how ‘big’ the book is. Just how it reads.

Note: Some of these books aren’t really that long. They’re more on this list because we were surprised at how long they actually were.

This TTT is brought to you courtesy of The Broke and Bookish


Long Books, Quick Reads

It by Stephen King (1116 pages) – Alright, the site is part horror, so no one is surprised that this list starts with a Stephen King book, right? He actually appears on this list twice. But I would like to note that this was GracieKat’s inclusion. I remember it as being a massive brick that was enjoyable but still looooooooooonnnnnngggggg.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (736 pages) – Gracie told me that “I thought was going to take forever because of the footnotes and stories within stories and all the weird formatting. I ended up finishing it in two days, though!” (For the record, I picked up House of Leaves in the library. Looked at it for about 1 minute, went ‘nope’ and reshelved it. This is why it’s good to have a cohost that has ‘similar but different’ tastes.)

Necronomicon by H.P Lovecraft (878 pages) – A compendium of a man’s works SHOULD feel like a long read, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately (or maybe not), this one didn’t to Gracie.Book cover for Necronomicon by H.P. Lovecraft - Long Books Quick Reads

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (620 pages) – This one is probably the most shocking one to me. At no point do I remember thinking that this was a big book. Instead, in my head, I think of it as one of the shorter Dan Brown books. That’s so completely wrong. I guess that proves my point effectively. I felt like I spent maybe an hour or two reading this, but at 620 pages, it had to have taken me at least four or five.

Feed by Mira Grant (599 pages)  – Okay, so this one had a bit of heft to it. I remember looking at the paperback in some consternation, but once I started reading it, time flew.

Ghost Story by Peter Straub (567 pages) – My cohost told me for this one that she went into it expecting something different because her mom kept talking about how long and boring and dry it was. So zooming through it was definitely a surprise.

Moonfall by Jack McDevitt (560 pages)  – I refuse to believe this book has 560 pages in it. Not going to believe it until I can get my hands on my hard copy that’s hiding somewhere in my house and verify it. Moonfall was a quick, engrossing read that kept you going right from the beginning. And yeah, nope, no way it’s 560 pages. Not happening.

Dracula by Brahm Stoker (488 pages) – This was first published in 1897. It is old. So, as Graciekat said, obviously she assumed she’d be having to look things up and whatnot, right? Apparently, a good story is a good story is a good story regardless of the year it was written. (Oh, and she was 11 when she read this.)Malus Domestica for Long Books Quick Reads

Cell by Stephen King (449 pages) – I’m amused by Cell’s inclusion on this list, I won’t lie. Normally whenever I mention Stephen King on this site, it’s in relation to how wordy the man is. But I thought Cell was like…25o pages, tops. Yeah, I was just a wee bit off there.

Malus Domestica by S.A. Hunt (448 pages) – Easiest 448 pages I’ve ever read. Malus Domestica was engrossing, used extremely modern verbiage, and is the only book I’ve ever read that featured youtube to such a large extent.

Bonus: 

Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz (429) – Okay, so if doing this list has taught me anything, it’s that my reading speed gives me a skewed perception of what a long book is. Flex is 429 pages? Really?  I zoomed through this one. I know, I know, bookworm relativity and all. But seriously. It feels like I read this book in a ridiculously short amount of time.

5 thoughts on “Why Size Doesn’t Matter

  1. I read mostly e-books these days and they give no indication of how long or short they are, but when I start checking the percentage of pages I know it’s a slow read. I read one that was over 900 not long ago and I thought I’d never get to the end, but I’ve read fairly long ones that didn’t seem that long. (I wouldn’t have thought Cell was that long either, I agree).

  2. It’s definitely great when 500+ page books read like a breeze. I don’t remember my last read that was truly like that. I certainly have a love/hate relationship with It. It’s one of those “I actually don’t like clowns” mixed with “omfg coulrophoboia” and “I am excited for the film adaptation!” — somewhere in there is my true feelings for it. Also didn’t help that I saw the original when I was a wee youngin’

    1. I LOVE THE movie adaptioN of IT but I still think about the head in the fridge scene at least once a week when I’m opening the fridge! I’m not excited about the adaptation. Thought the first one was perfect and they shouldn’t have screwed with it!

  3. I completely agree with Angels and Demons! What a great book. It on the other hand…that was a loooong book. I enjoyed it, but it was a loooong, scary book. I had a lot of sleepless nights thanks to Mr. King. 🙂 Great list! I love your take on the topic this week.

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