So here’s the problem. Long books are too long and short stories collections rarely hold my attention.
I’m just venting this more than anything. I was inspired to write about my aversion to books that run over 500 pages by Simon Savidge. It’s been a problem for me for some time now. In my early twenties I would read no end of epic tomes, particularly in the Sci-fi space opera area. I actually really enjoy long books and the way an author creates a deep world with a vast story and cast of characters. But, I can never help but think that while I work through 900+ pages, I could be reading two or three shorter books. This is of course very apparent when publishers send through a selection of wonderful books… how will I get to them all if I dive in to a long series, for example?
I feel as if I’m missing out on great books especially as my attention is diverting to more genre fiction rather than small literary chunks. I suppose it’s also because I’m competitive with myself over the number of books I read per year. It’s ridiculous to set targets as reading should flow and revolve around what you want to sit down with. However, if I say I want to read 100 books this year, then I’ll never hit that target reading massive novels.
Then there’s the fact that I’m actually quite a slow reader. Unless the writing is simple and fast paced it will take me about two minutes to read one side of a page. Usually I can finish a 300+ page book in a few days, but with longer titles I’m bound to be sat there for over a week.
The thing is, I’m not really sure why that’s a problem. What does it matter if I don’t read that many titles in a year and should I be concerned about missing smaller titles when I can be consumed by an enormous tale?
The second issue I elude to in the first paragraph is my struggles with short story collections. Again, I’m missing terrific writing by my focus on novels. Last month, as part of my ongoing Atwood project, I was meant to read Dancing Girls – her first short story book. It’s now September and I’ve only read two of the stories. For some reason I’m not as drawn to these as full novels despite short stories being able to carry as much plot or emotional device as their longer counterparts.
Does anybody else suffer with these literary ailments? I plan to try and tackle these problems in this half of the year, otherwise much of my TBR pile will become a Never To Be Read pile.