Today’s discussion post is brought to you by bringing home Lonesome Dove from the library and THEN realizing it was written in 1986! YIKES! 600* pages of 20th century American writing? Good luck to me…
*Did I say 600? It’s closer to 900.
So I notice a lot on social media, especially Bookstagram, that a lot of people talk about how intimidated they are by long books. This is often cited as the reason for purchasing but not reading The Priory of the Orange Tree and Jane Eyre in particular. And I get it, those books are long. I know a lot of people set massive reading goals for themselves, and it can be hard to read 20 books a month if one of them is 800 pages long. Even if that isn’t you, long books can be scary. What if you don’t like it? What if it’s long AND slow? What if it takes you forever and you have to give it back to the library before you’re done? What if you lose interest halfway through?
Personally, it’s never been much of a deterrent for me. Maybe it’s because I read The Lord of the Rings in 7th grade and therefore became immune, lol. Also, people don’t have any problem reading a series that goes on for 6+ books, and that’s a lot more to read. I just see my long books as a whole trilogy wrapped up in one convenient package! Also, it doesn’t get worse the longer it goes on, so double plus!
But, on the other hand, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m terrified of the idea of Lonesome Dove. I usually love long classics, but I’m not a huge fan of 20th century literature. And I’ve never read a Western. So I’m not sure if I’m going to like it, and it’s a really long book to slug through if I don’t…
If you’re intimidated by long books, my advice to you would be to worry less about that reading goal, and worry more about how happy a book makes you. If you think The Priory of the Orange Tree is going to blow your mind, stop focusing some arbitrary number you made up for yourself to read every year or month. If you’ve got a deadline looming for a review, try to read both at the same time. Maybe one in the morning one at night! Try break it into small, manageable chunks. I want to read this 800 page book in two weeks, so I need to read about 60 pages a day. EASY!
Also, just for fun, here is a list of some of my favorite long books:
- The Lord of the Rings (obviously)
- The Priory of the Orange Tree
- Jane Eyre
- The Mirror and the Light
- The Name of the Wind
- Harry Potter #4-7
- The Count of Monte Cristo
Are you intimidated by long books? What are some of your favorite massive novels? Let me know in the comments!