Page Length


When awaiting a book's release, I will seek out any details and information I can about the book. Besides the cover and release date, another component I covet is page length. Yes, page length. I must know how long said book is going to be. I'm a book hoarder, I cherish the written words, I love staring at a huge book spine. Like ahhh.... The more pages, the more I can read!!

I know, I know. Quality over quantity but I can't help but be enthusiastic or disappointed by the mere glance at the page length number.

Reactions to page lengths:

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You - 284 Pages


Heir of Fire - 562 Pages


City of Heavenly Fire - 725 Pages


Numbers are deceiving though. Page length tricks us sometimes. It's just a number, and page length does not correlate with the content on the page. It's a completely separate entity, yet I can't help but mesh the two together. I can't help but think that books with more pages are better. It makes me more excited to read them. Does that make sense or am I being crazy and just rambling?

I have proof though! There's some data to back up my musings. I've noticed that more often than not, I am disappointed by shorter books. Books that are long 400+ pages tend to satisfy me, yet books that are short, say 300- pages seem to be subpar.

Long books: The Kiss of Deception (492), Cress (550), Grave Mercy (549) Loved all of these.
Short books: Blue Bloods (302), The Fault in Our Stars (313), We Were Liars (240) Hated all of these.

So what was the point of all this? Who knows. I've got a thing for page length, an obsession if you will. I see a connection between page length and likability, but maybe it's just me.

Do you have a certain opinion regarding page length? Do you ever react to it? 

32 comments:

  1. When I was a teen, I always chose the largest books I could get my hands on. Nowadays, I've often found some of the smaller books can be almost as satisfying- I read a book in 2013 that was only about 300 pages, but by the end of the book, I was convinced it was 500 pages. It wasn't! I even double-checked to make sure the kindle font size wasn't incredibly small. I still read 1000+ page books every year, but I'm growing to be more accepting of smaller-page-count volumes.
    Great discussion post!
    ~Litha Nelle

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  2. Interesting post. I think it depends on the book. I am reading Infinite Jest right now, which has 1079 pages. It is so very long and it is a tough book to get through. So it will take me a while. I can be satisfied by both shorter and longer books. Just depends on the writing I guess. :)

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  3. Very interesting indeed! But alas, page numbers bother me not. I love what I love and sometimes I love freakishly short books. I like them chunky, sometimes but man, not all of them are winner's unfortunately :( Lovely post, Rachel! x

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  4. I always tend to be more satisfied after reading a long book - I have a bigger sense of accomplishment. I think that feeling sways my enjoyment of a novel, and I am more likely to rate it higher. However, I do love some short books too. If they're done well, they can be very meaningful. I have to say I shared your reaction to the page length of CoHF though!

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  5. I love long books! But they must be good ones. The kind that I cannot get enough. Because long book + boring plot = DNF.
    But generally, I prefer longer books with detailed world-building and profound characters. With short books, I rarely connect with charaters...

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  6. When I was younger and I had to choose between two books, I almost always chose the thicker book since it would last me longer. One spring break (9th grade, I think) I brought a bunch of books on vacation, but I blew through them way too fast. In my frustration I picked out the biggest book I could find at the first bookstore I saw...which is how I read Anna Karenina (which I'd never heard of) at 15 years old.

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  7. Previously, I was practically obsessed with big books. Heck, I stuck to reading everything but books with less than 300 pages. But that was before, and now I don't think the page length bothers me all that much but I'll agree with the quality over quantity thing. But ok, I admit I still do fall for the big books but hey, as long as it's a good book it doesn't matter, right? ;D

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  8. I'm the opposite of you. Te first thing I look at is release date. The second thing I look at is page length but I haaaaaatee long books! So freaking much. I also don't like short books. I'm like the goldilocks of books. Anything under 320 pages is too short, anything over 400 pages is too long. About 340 to 380 pages is juuuuust right!
    But, I do read mostly contemp and rarely fantasy. I get why you would want longer books in fantasy books. Longer books in contemp books usually equals more drama, no thanks!
    The long books I have read have been audiobooks and I don't mind them. Cress was like 15 hours on audio, freaking amazing. Heir of Fire is 20 hours on audio, holy cow!

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  9. Kasie West is my exception, her books are usually short but oh so good!

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  10. I feel like I'm the opposite of you. Sure, a long book that is enjoyable from beginning to end is great to read, but sometimes they drag on and I just want to get to the end. They also intimidate me. I love being able to finish a book in a day when it really gripped me, it makes me feel so accomplished at the end.
    Karin @ schakarin

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  11. Yes yes the more pages the happier I tend to think I'll feel but it's not always the case :D

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  12. I had a time when I needed the longer the book the better, because otherwise I read them too fast, but now I don't mind the small books anymore because sometimes I need them, I don't have as much time some days to read, so finishing something shorter is what I need sometimes!

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  13. Wow, I find myself really interested in your opinion because mine kind of varies a little. I actually don't care about length. I've read 500+ paged books where I wish things would just be OVER! Like some authors think it's necessary to drag things out. I don't believe that quantity is better than quality.

    What I tend to see in long books are great plots midway and then the ending is rushed. I don't know why, it still puzzles me bu that might be why I have a thing against really long books.

    City of Heavenly Fire was actually great. I didn't care about it's length because the story itself is long to explain which is fine. But I can't take a book like [title here] where there's just words and no real meaning.

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  14. Very interesting idea, Rachel! <3

    If I'm waiting for an author to release a sequel in a series, then I'm always excited to know that it's more pages. I mean, if I love the story and/or the characters, I always want more :P In my heart of hearts I know this isn't tied to how satisfying the content will be, but I feel better knowing there'll be more Celaena Sardothien or Magnus Bane or whoever, you know?

    However, if it's any other book, I don't tend to care too much about page length. I might glance at the number, but unless it's surprising (under 150 or over 750 ish) I wouldn't remember. I'll make sure to take note of it, though, maybe there is some subconscious correlation ;)

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  15. Hmm...I never thought about that Rachel! :D I think the correlation between page number and how much you like the book is definitely there. The more pages, the more time the author has to develop the setting, the characters and the plot, so that relationship definitely makes sense. Of course, like with everything, there's always exceptions - some short books are actually some of my favorites (The Giver and Flipped come to mind almost instantly); but for the most part I agree with you. Thanks for sharing and, as always, brilliant discussion! <3

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  16. I am definitely the complete opposite! When I see a really long book, I (unintentionally) put it off, because I just feel so daunted. But when I see a shorter book, I am more likely to want to read it. That said, I don't think page length matters to me a ton in the end. Unless it is REALLY short or long, I tend not to notice. I have read 450 page books that feel like 200 pages, and 200 page books that feel like... a million or so ;) I think the only time I really like the idea of a super long book is if it is the final book in a series I LOVE, because that way I get to stay in the world longer. Great discussion idea, I love it!

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  17. As for my part, I don't really care about the page length. Although if I'm reading a series and the first book somehow didn't get my 5-star-rating, I tend to expect the second book to have a page length more than the first. Hoping that there will be tons of information I'll get to understand the conflict or the setting. But I can't deny it, big books are glorious! :D

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  18. Interesting post! I don't really like books that are too long because they tend to just draaaag. I think I'm like the opposite of you, the shorter, the more inclined I am to liking it hah.

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  19. I never pay that much attention to how big/thin a book is. Sometimes I feel a story is better told in less pages, sometimes it feels like the story could use some more. It's vital that the author finds the perfect balance in this, but I guess I tend to like the somewhat bigger books more too :)

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  20. I completely adore this post. I'm a weird girl. I like what I like and sometimes and I need a book to be 600 pages long and sometimes I feel the book needs to only have 300 pages. I feel like I don't really care much about page numbers as much as I do storylines. If that makes sense? LOL

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  21. I don't really care about the page length UNLESS it is a sequel to a book I really really liked. The other day I was disappointed that the sequel I was reading was only 200 pages! As I loved the previous book, I wanted a big sequel! I wanted more pages to enjoy and savor, and I didn't want it to end so quickly.

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  22. I actually prefer smaller books because I can read more of them in less time. But that's just me! -Jessica

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  23. I used to not care about page length, but now I gravitate toward shorter books. I feel like anyone can tell a story if they have 600 pages to do it in... but if you can get the point across in 200 pages? That's impressive.

    Some of my favourite reads in the last few years have been relatively short. I can only think of a couple long books that I really enjoyed (both in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series). I lost interest in Harry Potter when the books got long (I'll take book #1 over book #7 any day)! I think part of my problem with long books is that I'm super picky and I don't generally love a lot of books... so if I have to read a long book that's just okay (or that I hate), it's not much fun.

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  24. I love this post because I'm the same way! If a book is under 300 pages, the summary has to be *really* good for me to to consider it. I just want something to really get submerged in, so the longer the better!

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  25. Haha I love this post. I get so worried when a book in a series is short. I get so nervous and wonder "how da beep are they going to fix everything is such a short book!!! Yeah it drives me crazy lol
    PS the gif for City of Heavenly Fire is PREFECT!!! That's exactly how I like my endings heehee xoxo

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  26. Well I am the opposite of you in this matter.I like my books shorter.It's not like I don't read books if they are really long,because come on,who doesn't love a big,thick book you can cuddle with?:)
    But still I like short books as well,mostly because then I can read more.I am also distracted easily and it's harder for me to keep up with long books when I read a lot of books at the same time.
    Great post,Rachel!

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  27. I like this discussion, girl! So I might be the opposite from you - whenever I see a book that's over 400/450 pages I freak out a little. It makes me nervous. Unless it's a series and the previous books' lengths have been perfect (like Cress). But if I'm reading New Adult or and adult romance, I don't like it when they're more than 320 pages. Waaaaay too much angst.

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  28. I LOVE small books. That's not to say that I dislike larger books, but they do take me much longer to get to. I see a book that is 500+ pages and think 'but I could probably read two shorter books in the same amount of time...' I do the same thing with long series - they take me forever to finally read!

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  29. I actually love shorter books, around 250-350 pages is great in my opinion. Maybe because I only read an hour a day and long books seem to take me forever to read. When I see book with a page lenght of 400 or higher I am more reluctant to start them. Sure if it a good book or part of a series I will still read it and when it's a book by my favourite author I am probably happy for those extra pages, but in general I am perfectly fine with short books and even novella lenght books.

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  30. It actually depends more on what I've read before. Most of the books I read are at least 400 pages, and a lot of the big fantasies are around 700. So if I've read quite a few extra long books recently, then I look forward to a much shorter one :)

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  31. I think longer books delve deeper into the characters' motivations, and there is more time for story developement. Plus, longer books usually have detailed setting descriptions; which I love. There have been a few books I have read that threw in a lot of what I call "filler fluff", to make the book longer, but there haven't been too many of those. I was having a discussion with my sister about those people on GR that say they read 2-3 books a day, and how in my opinion, this is impossible if they go to school or work. She informed me there are Romance series out there whose books have only around 50 pages. Who knew? I sure didn't. That is why I think the Goodreads Challenge should be number of pages read, and not number of books. I agree the bigger the better when it comes to number of pages. :)

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  32. I love a long book, BUT it has to be a phenomenal book! I can't slog through 500, 600, 700 pages unless the story is absolutely blowing me away. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, here's looking at you. But say, Moby Dick, with almost 2,000 pages, was just impossible. If it had been a phenomenal story, then I would have savored every page. I would absolutely rather an author put their heart into a book, make it fantastic and it end up at 300 pages, than write a book just to make a higher page count, and the content be spread thin and watery...

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