Small books are my favourite things.
This is probably because I am also on the smol side * of humanity (sometimes referred to as “vertically challenged”, particularly when trying to reach the top cupboards) and therefore I feel great connection with books that have a shorter selection of pages in them. It’s like we’re twins or something!! Kinship!! Neither that book nor I know what the oxygen is like up there with the tall folk!!!
We will have a small garden party and drink out of thimbles and you are not invited. **
But are small books actually better? Because while I way way prefer them, I do admit they do have faults and failings that bigger books don’t fall into. Which leads us to the obvious conclusion that we need to (A) have a pros and cons list for big vs small books and (B) follow it up with a quiz I hath made to see if I can predict which length of book YOU prefer, and (C) we probably should really have that garden party. I’m hungry. Bring forth the thimble tea.
I’m also massively cheating and linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for a list that is neither top nor ten. SO WHY AM I EVEN HERE? IT’S PROBABLY ILLEGAL. But I’m still posting in spirit of the prompt! It was just when I looked up the small books I’ve read via Goodreads I realised I don’t own many of them, ergo how can I take photos, ergo WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS LIFE.
And I also didn’t want to bore you with 10 samples of novellas where my collective thoughts are “why doth this novella exist, good sir, it does nothing for my constitution or furthering the story”. Which would make a very very short post. And we can’t have that. My posts must be the size of Jupiter. ***
* I’m 5’1 (158cm) so like I do have a bit of height on the hobbits at least.
** Just kidding, you’re totally invited. You can bring the food because what else do you have friends for if not to supply food for mad quaint garden parties while you frolic about with the flamingos and hedgehogs.
*** Why? I DON’T KNOW. I USED TO WRITE SMALL POSTS. I think it’s because I only post 3 x a week so I have a lot of words to use up.
I mean I’m already biased that I like small books better. JUST SO YOU KNOW. But I shall be factual and logical with my lists here. And “factual and logical” is a phrase here which means “Cait will be totally ridiculously biased and type nonsense onto this screen because of who she is as a person and that is allergic to reason“. Right. Let’s go.
- THEY DON’T TAKE UP AS MUCH TIME. Which is obviously an amazing thing if you’re either (A) short on time due to a busy life raising dragon eggs, or (B) you have a short attention span and stupidly made a very enthusiastic Goodreads goal. Don’t even FRET. It happens to all of us! I mean, I’m totally 19 books ahead of schedule but hush.
- YOU’RE NOT COMMITTED TO A HORRID BOOK. I used “horrid” just now because I’ve been reading European books lately and it’s leaking into my life. BUT MOVING FORWARD: when you read large books and they’re horrid, and if you really hate leaving things unfinished…you’re sunk. Cleaning every blade of grass outside with a toothbrush sounds more exciting. However!! Small books = less commitment if they’re awful!
- YOU READ MORE AND FEEL LIKE A #BOSS. And reading isn’t a competition, kids, so whether you read 1 book a day or 1 book a week — it doesn’t matter so long as you have fun. But it’s undeniable that it feels good to watch that stack of “read” books grow quickly. And it makes me feel productive! Also if you have the stupid system of “read one book and acquire 10 more” you get to acquire more books so fast!! This is so not the reason I am drowning in books right now!! Ha ha ha ha!!
- SHORT PEOPLE CAN FEEL KINSHIP TO THEM. Like me, for instance. Did these books eat their greens? Probably not. Did I eat my greens? Definitely not. THESE ARE MY PEOPLE. (Or, well, um, books?)
- IF YOU DROP ONE YOU WON’T DIE WHEN IT LANDS ON YOU. Huge plus.
- LESS WRIST STRAIN HOLDING THEM UP. Because those 500+ page hardcovers are killers.
- THEY’RE JUST NOT SO DAUNTING. I have so many 450+ page books on my TBR because I’ve avidly avoided them for so long and now they’re building up. Help. But they’re just big and scary and aghhhhhh I need will power to attempt them and I seem to have lost my will power along with my left sock. Where is my will? Have you seen it.
- ATTENTION SPAN OF A GNAT = WE GOTCHA COVERED. Because I confess that I do get a bit weary of stories sometimes. Like that middle-of-the-book lag area?? I like to read a book at 5pm, but smite the sun at 6pm because I don’t like sitting still for too long so: short books are just better for this.
- BIG BOOKS ARE JUST SCARY. This is the honest truth. All those pages. All that commitment. Yikes. I am not ready for this I am just a child.
- YOU CAN’T USE THEM AS WEAPONS. This is really going to be an issue in the apocalypse, is all I’m saying. My #1 plan is to hide out in a bookstore while the world rabidly destroys itself and only exit for snacks. I’ll actually get on top of my TBR! But you better believe I want to be reading a hardcover of Game of Thrones during the apocalypse and not a Spiderman comic.
- THEY OFTEN SKIMP ON WORLD BUILDING. Which is actually an important thing?!?! Please stop snatching away the world building, dear sir, I NEED IT. And I find YA fantasy suffers from this immensely because they choose kissing > world building and I am not onboard. UGHGHHGH. Don’t make me resort to adult fantasy. I will need to find a childish cleanse to heal myself of any lingering adultness afterwards.
- THEY OFTEN JUST SKIMP, LET’S BE REAL HERE. Like on character development…because 300pgs isn’t a lot to create worlds, characters, make me care, have a satisfying plot, and humour and interesting dialogue, and also develop a romance or create a magic system. I hate finishing a book and thinking “ya man but where was the rest of the story???”
- THEY’RE NOT CHEAPER. Look, I’m just saying when I go to buy a book I can’t help but think of getting the most value for my money. And when it’s the same to buy 500 page tome as it is to be a 250page?? Like I’m thrifty ok.
- IF YOU PUT IT DOWN, YOU MIGHT LOSE IT. The amount of times my bed has devoured a book while I’ve flung things to the seven seas trying to find it again — sheesh. Skinny little underfed books. Come back oooooout.
- THEY’RE ANNOYING TO TAKE PLACES. Like if you want to go out and take a book there is a 87% chance you might finish that small book you’ve brought along. So you have to bring 2. Or maybe even 9. This is getting ridiculous. You might as well go away for a holiday in the Galapagos now that you’ve bought 9 books along.
- THEY’RE NOT SATISFYING TO SLAM SHUT. Which I realise is not a criteria for a “good book” to everyone but…it should be. C’mon. You’ve slammed a book shut, admit it. It’s therapeutic.
It’s pretty obvious from my unbiased commentary that smol books are better than tol books.
However there are some large books I wouldn’t want a page less of. For instance, A Conjuring Of Light by VE Schwab or Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Barudgo. In fact: please give me more.
But generally I’ll pick a book between 300 – 400 pages. That is my page count of excellence. If it’s above 500 pages, there’s a big chance I’ll be quietly whispering it should’ve been pruned more (like Winter by Marissa Meyer…or City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare…I like them but SERIOUSLY?!?? TOO LONG) and like I have an AXE and I like CHOPPING UP STUFF so feel free to hire me. *
* Don’t be alarmed.
Now I’ve made this quiz ALL MYSELF so it’s obviously infallible and if you get a result and think “that’s not me at all” then just trust that I know you better than you know you. Obviously. #Legit
In other words I have no idea what I’m doing BUT HAVE FUN WITH THIS.