Book length (was Re: tad williams)

Sally Odgers sodgers at
Fri Feb 7 22:17:44 EST 2003

rejecting a book on
> length of pages is as silly as rejecting it because the cover is blue.

Not quite (in my opinion). Some readers know by experience that long books
tend to be either rambling or complex and some people just hate holding up
all that weight or having the spine crack or the pages spring shut. I know
from experience that I write quite differently when allowed (or required) to
write "a long book". My sentences are longer, I digress more and add many
more side issues and sub plots. This slows down the reading experience. I
don't mind that, but some people hate it.  My husband, for example, will
watch a longer-than-average movie and keep muttering "get on with the *(&^
movie!". This is because there has been a digression from the main dramatic
plot. You *can* get books and movies with a pace that matches that of
shorter ones, but then you get complexity and sometimes, action overload. My
father, a lifelong reader, doesn't like long books. At 81, he says he can't
remember the mass of detail if he takes more than 3 days to read a book.

I wouldn't say long or short books are bad, but I can quite see why some
readers reject one or the other. In the case of short books, I think the
objection is usually that they don't have time to immerse themselves.


By Sally Odgers By Request - visit my new project at and have your say.

To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list