Is Bigger Better? Part 2

Is Bigger Better Part 2 Big Books

Yesterday, in Is Bigger Better?, I blogged about the size of my unruly TBR pile. This was inspired by Dani @ Dani Reviews Things, who wrote a post discussing how growing up and reviewing books has changed her reading habits. I’m turning this into a mini-series, as there are a few things that have changed for me from Before Blogging to After Blogging, so I’ve split them into separate posts for your reading pleasure :D.

I Like(d) Big Books And I Cannot Lie

Before Blogging, I LOVED big reads. The bigger the better. The longer I could stay in my fictional world with my favourite characters, the happier I would be. I also had the (albeit misguided) notion that bigger books were better value. Why pay £6.99 for a 300 page book, when you could get a 500 page book for the same price? To me buying smaller books was insanity. I was also under the illusion (though this one has stuck with me just a little more) that bigger books meant better story-telling, because you got to spend more time walking around in the protagonist’s shoes and really getting immersed in the story. I held this notion, in one way or another, pretty much up until I started blogging. When you have to read the book, take the time to summarise your thoughts, write a review, AND make your sentences coherent and at least somewhat entertaining, all of a sudden those big reads aren’t as appealing any more.

It wasn’t too long after I started blogging, that I began to check the number of pages in a book before committing to it. If it was over 350 pages, chances were I’d put it back into my TBR pile and pick again. Before Blogging, big reads excited me, but when I began to feel pressure to create regular content and reviews for my blog, big reads became very unappealing. Though usually enjoyable to read, a 500+ page book could take me up to 2 weeks to finish depending on what else was going on in my life (and let’s be honest, depending on the execution of the story!). Sometimes, this “pressure” would even affect my enjoyment of the book, because I’d feel rushed to read quicker, or be distracted from the story by thinking about how long it was taking me to read the bloody book. The love affair was over. Big reads became intimidating.

Sometime towards the end of 2015, I had what can only be described as a blogging slump. I didn’t let it beat me, I rolled with it, and waited to come out the other end. Thankfully, I survived it. However, the slump really put my reading, and blogging, into perspective. Reading, and now blogging, are my hobbies. They’re not my job. I shouldn’t feel pressured about them, I shouldn’t feel stressed out over them, and I definitely shouldn’t let them dictate to me what I can and can’t read, and what I should and shouldn’t enjoy. If I fancy a chunkier read, I’ll take the time to read it (I recently finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and it was loooong). If I want something short and snappy, then that’s what I’ll pick up next. I’m feeling much better about this new-found perspective, and can once again gladly proclaim that I like big books (though perhaps not all of the time…).

I like big books

My blogging slump also affected my ARC habits, which will be the next topic in this mini-series! So, are you a big book lover? Or do you swoon after smaller reads? Has blogging changed your preference? Let me know in the comments!

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About Rachel

Avid reader & book blogger. Lover of Business. A fan of drinks & dancing. Ever optimistic. Feminist.

15 Responses

  1. Brandie

    I feel like you wrote this for me. LOL. This is probably my biggest bookish problem these days. Before blogging and getting all.the.new.books. I never really cared how long a book was. Hello, Twilight Series? I devoured all of those books in a few weeks. The page count didn’t even make me blink. But now? Now I can’t bring myself to read a book over 400 pages. Because then I start thinking of how I could read two books in the same amount of time. And will I be bored? And don’t even get me started if it’s a series. I’ll get sucked in and all my other books are also crying for attention. I feel SO intimidated by page counts and long books now, and I avoid them. I have been wanting to read The Bronze Horseman series so badly, but the page count is what stops me from giving it a go. It’s one of my bookish goals this year – start that damn series.

    So, yes, I can totally relate to this post and it’s still an issue for me. When I go to pick my next read, I always look at the page count first. It’s a shame! I need to get over it.

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      1. Brandie

        I know, right?! Page counts still freak me out in eBooks – if it’s more than that 5000 number on the Kindle, it stresses me out. Whatever that number (location) means.

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  2. I hadn’t even realized it until I read this but I used to love reading big books. I haven’t bothered much in the past couple of years because blogging has kind of put me on a schedule and I feel like I need to read more, faster. I’m reading a 500 page YA book right now and with my busy life I’ve been reading it for just over 2 weeks and it’s bothering me so much that I can’t enjoy it! I feel like I’m falling behind on my reading and blogging because of it. 😦

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  3. Ha! I just listed big books as one of the many types I’m intimidated by for exactly this reason – I feel like I’m missing out on reading other, shorter books by picking up that giant. But I’m getting better too. Lately I’ve definitely picked up some longer books and loved them!

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  4. OMIGOSH, THIS! This is so, so, so me. I totally read more big books before blogging, and before numbers became such an issue. After a certain point in time, I was more worried about how many books I could read in a year, mainly so that I could have a steady stream of content on my blog, since my content was mostly reviews and top ten Tuesdays. Lately though, I’ve taken a step back from writing reviews and my “review” are just updates on what I’ve recently finished reading, what’s on my nightstand and what’s calling my name from the shelf. Since they’re more like check-in posts, I’m not worried if it takes me three weeks to finish a book and, as a result, I’m more inclined to pick up a chunkier read, or just take my time with a good book that I’m really enjoying. I read Winter earlier this year, and am currently making my way through A Feast for Crows. I also took more than two weeks to savour Six of Crows and loved every minute. I think that my views on reading are definitely evolving as I mature as a blogger.

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