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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
Does the length of the book affect your decision to read it?
Poll: Does the length of the book affect your decision to read it?
Yes, I prefer a book I know I can finish!
Yes, the longer the better
Depends on the writing - if the writer holds my interest I'll keep going
Never thought about it
other (what?)
View Results (42 votes)


May 17 2017, 3:15pm

Post #1 of 11 (8148 views)
Does the length of the book affect your decision to read it? Can't Post

I've recently encountered several people who are put off by the length of a book. I'm the opposite; as long as I'm loving the story & the writing, no book is too long (and if I don't love it, I won't stick it out to the end of even a short book).

Do you pass by the weightier tomes on the shelf, or are they the ones you go for first?

Superuser / Moderator

May 17 2017, 7:21pm

Post #2 of 11 (8076 views)
Never thought about it. [In reply to] Can't Post

The length (or lack of it) doesn't come into it when I'm choosing what to read.


May 17 2017, 7:49pm

Post #3 of 11 (8079 views)
Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a preference that got started as a kid. We lived way out on a farm and didn't get into town much. The town library had a limit of three books per cardholder, so when we did make the trip I'd go for the biggest books they had so they'd last me. (It's how I got hooked on stuff like Dickens.) Same for those rare times I actually had money to buy books. I'd go to the old drugstore and dig through the stripped paperback bin. All the stripped books were a dime apiece so I'd get the biggest books I could find. That's how I found LOTR. From the back cover and inside blurbs ("stripped" = no covers) I had no idea what they were all about, but they were lengthy and a three volume set. For 30 cents how could a poor country boy resist?

By now the habit is so ingrained it kinda takes an effort to pick up a short book.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on May 17 2017, 7:52pm)

Tol Eressea

May 17 2017, 8:51pm

Post #4 of 11 (8069 views)
I voted Never Thought About It, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

that's probably not entirely correct. I'm somewhat put off by really thick books, but still have read them. I finished Harry Potter 7 in about 8 days, which is a record for me. But as I've mentioned elsewhere, I never finished the first Outlander book. Right now I'm in the middle of Two Towers, may take me all summer to read that. We have a single book of LoTR, which is HUGE, so I bought the same book on my Kindle - kind of dumb, but at least it's smaller. A bigger turn-off for me is, thinking a book would be interesting only to find out it's the 2nd or 3rd book in a series, which usually means you have to read the first book to know what's going on. I've bought one or two and found yes, I'm missing too much info to be able to understand the book, so if I see it's the 2nd or 3rd in a series I put that book back down pronto!

Grey Havens

May 18 2017, 1:02am

Post #5 of 11 (8041 views)
Not sure [In reply to] Can't Post

Sometimes the weight of a book is off putting as I might be carrying it around but the length of the story doesn't matter so long as the story moves along. I've read some short stories that dragged more than a four hundred page novel.


May 18 2017, 4:45am

Post #6 of 11 (8021 views)
If it's a book I'm not entirely sold on, yes [In reply to] Can't Post

But more often than not I'll give anything a chance. And if it's a work I've been looking forward to diving into, then no, the length never factors into my decision to read it.

Tol Eressea

May 18 2017, 1:46pm

Post #7 of 11 (7991 views)
I always keep a book in my car [In reply to] Can't Post

to read while waiting, well, anywhere. It takes a long time to actually get through one under those circumstances, so some have taken a really long time to finish. That doesn't deter me in the slightest and I do eventually finish them. I tend to read non-fiction in that case, so I don't lose the thread if l don't get through it for a while. And sometimes I have to switch because I've been reading something that I just can't wait that long to finish!

I do find that some "bigger" books are heavy and unwieldy, so I'm more likely to read a paperback than hardcover.


May 19 2017, 4:11am

Post #8 of 11 (7930 views)
I seem to gravitate towards longer books [In reply to] Can't Post

As a kid I picked the books that were worth the most "points" on the reading tests we took. Those tended to be the more advanced books--which, as it were, also were the lengthier ones. I saw--and still see them--as challenges, as prolonged experiences of mood I'm able to ride like a wave over the course of weeks/months. Several classes in college were perfect incubators for me: I took two separate classes on Proust's In Search of Lost Time, one on The Brothers Karamazov and Anna Karenina, and one on Ulysses--those were probably the four heftiest. And I went through periods in which I became embedded in each book's rhythm of narration and observation, which affected my life as a result.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions (I like short stories and essays), and there are also long books I'll likely not approach for various reasons.

I just purchased Dostoevsky's The Idiot a few weeks ago, which may end up being my next undertaking.


Jun 2 2017, 9:42pm

Post #9 of 11 (7752 views)
never really thought about it [In reply to] Can't Post

sometimes i'll put a long work off for a bit, if i don't feel like committing to a long haul just then, but length has never really put me off a book

Cuwen Maegmacil

Jun 5 2017, 10:50pm

Post #10 of 11 (7717 views)
The Longer the Better! [In reply to] Can't Post

Initially, I will pick up a big book because it looks like a challenge and a rich world in which I can immerse myself. If it gets hard or boring to read, it just takes me longer to finish. I have only ever not finished three books, roughly.


Jun 23 2017, 12:12pm

Post #11 of 11 (7423 views)
I love big books... [In reply to] Can't Post

...As long as they are good, of course Smile - a book that is still boring after the first 20 pages or so is not usually worth the time it takes to read, even if it's short. But if I like the author's style and the book holds my interest, the longer the better! Some of my all-time favorites have been close to, or over, 1000 pages (or very long series). I never leave a book unread because it's "too long", there is no such thing. (The opposite has happened, when a book or some other tale I have really enjoyed felt much too short while I would have loved to spend more time with the books' world & characters.)


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