I've been feeling a little restless about my reading choices of late. I realize that I've been reading mostly shorter books recently (almost all under 350 pages), and I think they're contributing to my restlessness. I like becoming completely immersed in a novel, and it's much more difficult to become so in a novel that you can read in a few hours, a few sittings. Every once in a while, I need something that'll keep me present in its fictional world and caring about its fictional characters for a longer amount of time than a few sittings. A book that'll really allow me to understand the intricacies of the world and its characters. Ideally a book that's over 500 pages.
I suppose I should clarify here that my thoughts are directly related to speculative fiction novels, primarily fantasy. I do not expect general fiction novels to be lengthy, and I don't necessarily believe that they should be. Authors have more time for character development in lengthier books, of course, but for general fiction novels they do not need to worry about introducing their readers to as many new, created concepts and worlds.
I am also aware that many speculative fiction authors do write series, but that's not quite what I mean here. Series do not always necessitate longer individual books, and many are still in the process of being written. I want to start a book knowing that I can be immersed with characters in their fantastical worlds for a longer span of time, that there is a longer and more intricate story arc.
Here are a few lengthier speculative fiction books (and series) that I've enjoyed reading:
|Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore||Cold Magic by Kate Elliot||Eon by Alison Goodman||Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers||A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin|
While I am not intending to criticize short works at all, I do think that shorter books (around 350 pages or less) are definitely the norm. This makes sense for authors who need to make a living off of the sale of their books, thus their desire to move on to writing another book. It also makes sense that not all readers want to get fully immersed in super lengthy novels. As a book blogger, I can understand the appeal of being able to get through quite a few shorter novels in the time it would take to complete a longer novel. And of course length does not necessarily determine the level of intricacy and overall success of the novel. None of these reasons lessen the appeal of lengthy novels for me, however.
I hope to fix my restless feelings by reading a few meatier books in the upcoming months.
And here are a few lengthier speculative fiction books (and series) that I intend to start reading in the near future:
|The Diviners by Libba Bray||Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke||Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta||Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor||The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss|
Have you read any of these? Do you have additional suggestions for lengthier books I should read (I mean over 500 pages at least)?
And please let me know if I'm not the only one out there who gets excited at the prospect of reading a lengthier book and being able to devote more time and thought on it.