Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thick VS Thin

People have a lot of different reading styles.  One of the different aspects of the different styles is whether or not a person likes to read thick books or thin books.  What is the difference?  Why do people choose one over the other?  I've been thinking about this a lot lately because quite a few thick books have come in from the library for me lately (or I'm about to get them in), and it dawned on me that a lot of people would look at those books and grimace in mental pain.  But not me!  I surge through them, happy for the chance to lose myself in complicated worlds and deep characters.  I just wish they didn't take me so long...

Thin Books

I'd say a thin book ranges from 125-250 pages.  Examples of this would be Keeping the Moon, The Water Wars, and Magic Under Glass.  While I like some thin books, like Keeping the Moon or Aurelia (pictured above), others drive me crazy.  I can't stand it when a book is so short that it loses its developing charm right within the first 100 pages.  Some books seem so short and underdeveloped that it's hard to connect with the characters or be interested in the story.  I felt this way about Magic Under Glass, which seemed like it was running on an empty tank to me.  This is not the first time I've felt this way about a book that size.  So, for me,you have to really wow me with when it comes to thin novels.

However, there are others who feel quite differently about thin books.  One of my favorite book reviewers and book soulmates, Small Review, really enjoys a lot of thin books, even some that I have found quite dull in their shortness.

Medium Books

So these aren't a major part of this post, because it's thick VS thin, but I don't think it would be fair if I skip over this size of book because it is the most popular and pretty much everyone can handle a  medium sized book.  Page count would range from 250-450, I'd say.  Like the above book, Airman.

Thick Books

As you've probably already guessed, I tend to lean toward the thick spectrum of things.  I don't go for the above pictured type of big all the time, but when I do, it's glorious.  The richness of the story is something I find I only get when reading something long and drawn out.  Page count would be higher than 450 pages.

Thick books are usually the type of books you read when you get into a long, drawn out fantasy series - or even just a trilogy.  And while I could sit with a good, long, thick series for weeks, there are some thick books I did not enjoy.  Wildwood, which was a good book in some aspects, was just too long and too descriptive for me to really enjoy.  It could have been cut down to 450 pages and it would have been beautiful.  However, the description was too much, and I found myself longing for simplicity.

Now, many would say that about the above featured book, The Count of Monte Cristo, one of my all time favorite books.  I'll admit myself that it has quite a few random details that probably could have been left out.  But for some reason, I loved them.  I sucked in every detail and didn't care one bit if it affected the story or not.  (The details usually did affect the story...just maybe not until later, and not how you'd expect.)  It was all interesting to me.  But others tell me, "If only an editor would come through and get rid of all that stuff and make it smaller, but not take away from the story."

(Oh, and if you're one of those people who's afraid to pick up the unabridged copy of The Count of Monte Cristo, then I recommend the Barnes and Noble copy.  It waters it down just enough for you to not have to deal with so much extra stuff if you don't want to, but it's still the full story, in old English, and beautifully translated.  I own both copies, just in case I want a lighter read of the story, that's still thick and is still amazing.  But in my eyes, the original will always be most amazing. EVER.)

The Verdict

My personal choice - thick.  In rain or shine, thick books keep me most company and I feel I can appreciate them more for their depth and character and story and general amazingness.
It's all a matter of opinion - thick or thin - and then after that it all boils down to what you have time for, what you're in the mood for, and what interests you.  You could be in the mood for a thick book because it's summer and you have time, you're in the mood for something sad, and you like paranormal.  If this is the case, I suggest Before I Fall.  ;)

Leave me your thoughts!
I want to know how you all feel about thick and/or thin books and what you prefer!!

Can I get an applause for amazing, beautiful models -

They worked so hard and did everything right - you should all go support them today because they're just that amazing.

Monte Cristo


  1. I usually choose books based on covers (yes, I do judge a book by its cover ;)), but I generally end up with medium books. But then again, thin AND thick books are both represented on my TBR list. I definitely have to be in the right mindset to pick up a big book (unless it's one I'm just dying to read), usually meaning during breaks from grad school or long weekends. I do think that thin books can lose a lot of the development that longer works have, but sometimes that's nice for when I want an easy, light read ("beach read") that I don't really have to think too much about. Great post! :)

  2. Mackenzie @ YA InfatuationDecember 7, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    Love the post! More often then not, I'm like you and tend to go for the medium/thick books. I completely agree that they go more in depth and I feel as if I really get to know the characters. The plot is usually better developed also. One of the thickest books I read that I loved (besides HP) was Mistborn. Its a whopping 657 pages (in paperback) but its amazing!! 

  3. Great thoughts! I prefer medium to thick books because thin books make me feel like I'm wimping out. And I like the room for development that loads of pages provide. 

  4. I would like thick books a lot more if it weren't for my huge TBR. The thing is, thick books put me off from picking them up, but once I do (if they're good) I fly through them and wish there was more! I am also very impressed with authors who can write a complex short book, though this is rare.

  5. Interesting thoughts - thanks for the comment and participating! :D  I agree - sometimes you can't just pick up a big book and speed along through it.  You have to be ready for it.

  6. Thanks for the comment! :D  Yes, I agree with you 100%.  I haven't read Mistborn but I'm interested...I'll have to check it out, thanks for your recommendation!

  7. Yes - I can totally see what you're saying.  Sometimes I feel like  it's not enough to just have 200 pages....that I should be braving something quite a bit larger.  Thank you for your thoughts and comment! :D

  8. Thanks for the comment, Small!  yes, I totally agree - a complex short book totally can blow my mind.  I just wish there were more of them.  And yes, it is hard sometimes to see passed the giant TBR monster that looms ever in front of us!  hahaha