I Like Big Books and I Cannot—Wait, I’m Lying

Well, I’m not completely lying.  I like big books just fine, it’s just that I’m intimidated by them.  I’m such a slow reader that often I find myself putting a book off forever just because it’s so huge and because I feel like I’ll get really behind in my review schedule if I spend too much time on one book.

For example, I’m reading A Game of Thrones right now, but I’ve been reading it SINCE THE BEGINNING OF OCTOBER.  I really wanted to read it, but I knew that if I just tried to read it and nothing else, I’d have a month of no reviews. So instead I’ve been reading it a little bit at a time, but focusing most of my time on other books, so that I’d still have reviews on a regular basis.

But then when I see a book on my shelf that’s not GoT long, but it’s still over 400 pages, I kind of cringe and think, “Maybe I should wait…”  Which means that A) I put off a lot of really anticipated reads and B) I have TONS of unread big books on my shelves now.

Just a few of the unread big
books on my shelves…*

Some books just seem bigger, you know what I mean?  Like with the Harry Potter books–I know a lot of those are pretty long, but they just don’t seem so long to me.  But certain books are long and heavy, like A Game of Thrones or the Throne of Glass series.  Those kinds of books are going to take me FOREVER. My reading speed does seem to be improving a little, since I do read a lot, but I also have a kiddo to take care of for most of the day and when the hubs gets home we often want to catch up on our TV shows.  So that means that I’m lucky to get in 50 pages a day.  There are those off days, of course, where I am able to read for most of the day and can get a couple hundred pages in, but those days are few and far between.

So I often find myself combing through my shelves, looking for a shorter book to read, that way I can keep up with my review schedule.  I used to be so behind with reading that I would finish a book and then write the review and post it the next day, and then I’d have to hurry to read a couple books so I could be a bit ahead.  These days I’m normally at least 3 or 4 books ahead, so sometimes I can read a larger book and feel okay about it, because I can take a bit more time since I’m ahead.  But I still often feel really intimidated by those big books!

What about you guys?  Do big books scare you?  Or are you like one of my friends, and do you flock towards big books so that the story can just go on and on forever?
*At the time I wrote this post, I hadn’t read Gone, but now I have.


  1. mariska

    June 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    At this moment I have no trouble with reading. I think I got to much time for it because I am in between jobs. And I don't have a hubby or a child.
    But I see it with friends of mine, they get a child and they have no more time for reading or other things. I hope you get soon over your fear with big books because a lot of these books are awesome and you fly true them in no time ;)


  2. Shannon RiverCityReading

    June 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I definitely know what you mean about looking for shorter books or avoiding big ones for purposes of a review schedule. Unfortunately for me, I'm a total sucker for big novels that take place over the course of several decades, so I end up reading them more than I probably should for the blog's sake.

  3. Elizabeth Stiert

    June 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Thank goodness for this post, Andrea! I am the exact same way! Books with 400 + pages are so intimidating because I am also a very slow reader. It's why I have not yet read The Throne of Glass series, even though I really want to! I'm just so glad to know that I'm not the only one out there. Thanks, Andrea!

    – Elizabeth @Redhead Reader

  4. Angie F

    June 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    I don't read a lot of big books, but I definitely don't mind doing so! I'm not a fast reader, but I do read a lot, so I can get through them pretty quickly. I actually read the first two Song of Fire and Ice books in three days. That's three days total, not for each! I really need to get to the next one soon.

    I also finished The Host by Stephanie Meyer, which is 620 pages, in one day. Both times I read it! It doesn't feel long, since I loved every moment of it!

    Angie @ Pinkindle

  5. Jessie Marie

    June 3, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    We've had this conversation before, but I love big books. Short books, particularly standalones break my heart a little because they're over so quickly and then you're left with… what now? Big books let you be in the world, with the characters for a long time and I love that. Though I still feel the … what now? when I finish a big book. But it's more satisfying, personally.

    I will say that if I'm unsure of what to read, I'll often compare two books and choose the shorter one. I have to be wanting to read the big book to choose it. And, if I were in your shoes, I think I'd choose shorter more often as well. Chasing a 4-year-old around and dealing with all that you do can limit your time substantially. So I get it.

    This isn't an exclamation that you're henceforth swearing off all big books. Just an admission of self, yes?

  6. Brandi Kosiner

    June 3, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    I like big books fine, as long as they are YA. I liked ToG but not GoT (wow. never realized they were like that)
    But I have only read one of your pictured books–Gone

  7. Hanna Whitehead

    June 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I agree completely, which is a shame because sometimes the larger books can be the best – they spend more time developing their characters, creating backstory, explaining the world, etc. I just get impatient with them and want to move on to the next book!

    Aside from anything else, they're HEAVY! I travel the whole County on a daily basis for my job so I always take a book with me, which isn't really doable if you're lugging a 600 page monster on the bus!

  8. Micheline D

    June 4, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I also like big books but I used to be intimidated by them too – and I guess I still am sometimes! It does take a HUGE chunk of time to get through them and when you blog on a schedule it can be a challenge. I have LOVED so many big books though and most of them are entirely worth it so I feel like I've gotten out of it a bit in recent years. Personally speaking though, I found Dreams of Gods & Monsters to read a lot faster than it looked like it would hehe. I hope you can find time to read all the big books on your shelf soon – awesome discussion post :)

  9. Kate Midnight Book Girl

    June 4, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I love big books, but sometimes I find myself reaching for a shorter title. It depends entirely on my mood, but I do prefer reading longer books on audio since I can listen at a faster rate and I can still finish other books in print.

  10. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    June 8, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Lately I've developed this issue with big books. I just don't seem to have the patience to read them, so I pretty much have to listen to them on audio now, because I can do that forever. I picked three big books at BEA, one of which I know I won't bet to before release and I've preordered the audio anyway, one is Afterworlds, which I am dying to read, and the other is one I didn't hear of until BEA and the most likely not to make it to my coveted read bookshelf.

    Big books do take a longer time to get through and I like instant gratification :)

  11. Brittany S.

    June 18, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Big books TOTALLY scare me! I was so excited to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters but it still took me more than a month to actually finish. I never would have finished A Game of Thrones much less all of the current books in the series if we hadn't done a read along! I really pushed me to stay on track and finish within the allotted two months!! Admittedly, I read a lot of my smaller books first before I ready to tackle the big ones!

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