Do you get bored by very long books?

(17 Posts)
Stokey Mon 17-Mar-14 16:42:17

Since the start of the year I've read the Goldfinch and The Luminaries, and found both a bit of a slog.

They were both well written but found after I'd be reading each for about a week, I was just wanted them to be over.

I read a lot and tend to read quite quickly, so do like getting stuck into something but struggled with these.

I just read Longbourn which took a couple of days and was a nice relief from the above.

Do you think it is the length of the books? Or just bad choices?

DuchessofMalfi Mon 17-Mar-14 18:10:44

Depends on the story and how much you're interested in it I think. I sped through a very long Marian Keyes novel (over 800 pages) and enjoyed every page of it, and Alison Weir's Six Wives of Henry VIII (non-fiction but fascinating page turner) but struggled with a collection of Edna O'Brien's short stories recently (just short of 600 pages).

I'm taking a break from long novels at the moment, but plan to tackle The Goldfinch, and The Luminaries later this year. Will be interesting to see how I get on with them. I've read Donna Tartt's previous two novels, and enjoyed them. I like her writing, so am looking forward to The Goldfinch.

Have also got Longbourn to read shortly smile

Noregretsatall Mon 17-Mar-14 18:33:34

Oh yes - Wolf Hall! Ultimately it was excellent but it felt more like 'homework' than reading for pleasure...took me 10 months in all, picking it up, putting it down for a whole.

Noregretsatall Mon 17-Mar-14 18:34:16

'While' not 'whole'! confused

Depends if I'm really hooked or not. I felt a bit like this with the Wheel of Time books - they dragged on and I lost interest, so with much guilt I gave up.
Game of Thrones on the other hand has hooked me completely. I'm knackered most evenings so it's slow going but I can drop back into them as if they're my own private world I can just slip into.

DuchessofMalfi Mon 17-Mar-14 19:01:08

I'd forgotten about Wolf Hall. I read that last year, and made myself read 50 pages a day to get through it. That way I did actually find myself enjoying the story.

I think the key to reading long books is to wait until you have the time to read big chunks of it each day, otherwise it becomes this huge daunting project and you end up disheartened.

The author has taken their time to tell the story slowly and with lots of detail and if you don't read it in big chunks I think it is all too easy to lose track of the story.

I had way more time when I was younger to read big books, and not feel daunted by them, but now I'm busy it's a lot harder to keep them going.

CoteDAzur Mon 17-Mar-14 19:28:50

I'm reading The Luminaries now and enjoying it immensely.

I like big tomes, though.

maillotjaune Mon 17-Mar-14 19:29:27

Depends on the book for me. I loved Wolf Hall (hadn't thought of that as being a long book, I rationed myself so it didn't end too soon) and The Luminaries (found that a slow starter though).

But although I like the story of LOTR for example, it definitely felt long long long.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Tue 18-Mar-14 14:04:36

It depends on the story and the quality of the writing, I think. I like a good long book to really get stuck into.

My favourite longish books are Anna Karenina and A House for Mr Biswas. Middlemarch I find a bit of a chore.

Stokey Tue 18-Mar-14 14:11:15

Cote let me know how you get on. I felt she could have finished about a hundred pages earlier than she did but she was doing something clever with the structure which carried it on after the core story was over.

Mailot I used to love LOTR and read it about once a year.

And also struggled with Middlemarch but I am going back about 20 years there Middleage

Actually wonder if my attention span has deteriorated since having the dc - too many episodes of Peppa Pig have turned my brain to jam.

CoteDAzur Tue 18-Mar-14 17:40:34

I'm 43% in and really enjoying it. I don't want it to finish, you see smile

bibliomania Thu 20-Mar-14 12:48:25

I've been wondering about this because I've been complaining about the length of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. It totally depends on whether every page earns its place, or whether the author has given himself/herself the leeway to ramble on and on, without being checked by an editor.

More and more I find myself appreciating books where the author is disciplined about structure and avoiding repetition. I normally have a couple of other books clamouring at the edges of my consiousness that I want to get on with too, so I almost resent a book that's trying to take up more than its fair share of my attention.

CoteDAzur Sat 22-Mar-14 12:50:10

I agree - it depends on the book.

Anathem almost killed me. It certainly gave me a headache as I tried to keep up with it.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell was very long, too but I wished it wouldn't end and felt orphaned when it finally did.

Luminaries is exquisite and I am enjoying every page, but it is dragging out the plot which is rather slim. I'm beginning to think that all this wonderful stuff that the author wants to say could have been saved for another book.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sat 22-Mar-14 19:51:58

Stokey Are your children still fairly young? My brain turned to jelly when I had to watch Tellytubbies too many times. For a while, even Dear Zoo seemed like a long book! However, my DC are teenagers now, the brain does recover, honestly. Often I'm in bed before them, snuggled up with a good long book and a hot water bottle. Bliss.

CoteDAzur Sun 23-Mar-14 15:54:54

Stokey - Having finished The Luminaries now, I have to say I disagree with you. I liked the way she solved the whodunnit mystery about a hundred pages back (as you say) and then went on (in ever-shrinking chapters) to give the background of what really went on beforehand, how characters met, and at the end, what really happened on that one night. Exquisite grin

Stokey Mon 24-Mar-14 13:21:36

Glad you liked it Cote Maybe I'll revisit when my attention span has improved!

Yes MiddleAge they're pre-school so hopefully in time I will recover

Randomkath Thu 27-Mar-14 07:51:29

The length of a book has never put me off, but I have admit just skipping through sections of books when they start to drag, especially those where it flicks between different settings/ characters eg Anna karenina.
I've just finished the goldfinch too and the last 10 pages or so were like an essay not a novel! Reading on the train to work is pretty much my only me time and I want to just get absorbed in a great story not feel like I'm doing homework.
Does anyone else get annoyed by unnecessary detail of what people have to eat? Love murakami, but he is a bad culprit of this.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now