& Fridays: So You Like Big Books?

Witty tote from Cafe Press

Witty tote from Cafe Press

Have you seen this tote?

I bet you’ve at least seen one like it. It’s all over Pinterest, Facebook ads, any other time wasting website of your choice….

It’s witty, it’s convenient, it’s fun, but is it true?

What’s your page number preference when it comes to books? Sitting pretty at 300-350? Short and sweet, around 200? Or full on tomes, thousands of pages and many hours of reading, a marathon in itself?

Is bigger better? I can attest that’s not the case with Crime and Punishment. I didn’t hate  a lot of books I was required to read in school, but when my AP class in high school brought around that one…oof. It was an ordeal for me. I just looked it up: Crime and Punishment is around 550-670 pages, depending on the edition. Why did I think it was thousands of pages long? My mind must have extended it because it really felt that arduous. Just…really slogging through.

Now, I told you at the beginning of this blog that I was a bad reader of the classics. If I was not required to read it for school, I probably haven’t read it. I’m a terrible English Literature major.

Brace yourselves…I have never read Les Miserables. I do own a paperback copy of “the brick” (as some fans of the classics have told me it’s called), and buying it is a pretty cool story. I was hanging out with friends and we went to a bookstore. I picked up Les Miserables because I was on one of those “I should read more classics” kicks. I wasn’t sure if I should start with this classic though, but as I opened the thick mass market paperback (with tiny print!), a photograph slipped out. A photographer cleverly slipped his/her photograph into this copy of Les Miserables as a marketing tool. The picture was of a weathered backyard fence, gray with age, with the words “I MISS U” powerwashed into the boards. On the back, the photographer had written “This is for you! Keep it!” and his/her website. I so loved the idea of the hidden object, of something discovered, that I bought the book.

…But it’s still on my to-read shelf. Guilty!

So…thoughts on big books? What “big” books have you loved? Loathed? Which ones are still weighing down your shelves? Have your favorite books been lengthy tomes? Or slim, portable paperbacks?


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