Much like last week’s discussion, this is a thought that has always been lurking in the back of my mind.
I’ve been reading books ever since I COULD read books. And when being around something that long, it’s hard not to notice when things change.
Not that it changed quickly. But still, I’m sure it’s there. Unless I’m imagining things again.
So have books gradually gotten bigger over the years?
As mentioned before, I’ve read all my life. Besides the obvious changes in size and difficulty as I grew older, the change seems to be creeping up more and more. I remember for years – probably until I was around 15/16 years old – I remember thinking to myself that a 3oo page book was around average size for the things I liked to read. When the pages crept up to 400-500, I’d class it as a “long read“.
But over the past couple of years, that average has definitely gone up. Now, books with 400/500 pages would easily be considered my average size read, and anything less would make me think “Oh! I should get through this quickly.”
And it’s not that my reading tastes have changed much. My favourite genres are still the same as they’ve always been. If anything, I’ve delved into more genres over the past year, only to find that they too have a 400 page average.
Buuuuut…I’m pretty sure there may be ways of explaining this leap into larger territory.
It’s no secret that the books I read tend to be the newer ones with all the hype. If you scroll through my list of reviews, you’ll probably recognise the majority of the titles even if you haven’t read them yourself.
…so is it just a fact that newer books lately tend to be around 400 pages long? Is it just a case of authors writing longer stories? Is it just me, always reaching for the newer books?
Though my reading tastes in genre haven’t changed much – other than my exploring more genres in general – I feel like my tastes HAVE grown within the genre. Let me explain.
Fantasy is my favourite genre. And I’m pretty sure it’s common for fantasy books to be larger than other genres anyway, thanks to the added world building that you might not need in contemporary books (for example). Over the years, it’s this world building I’ve grown most fond of. It’s the thing I love most about fantasy books, imagining this whole new world *cue rendition of Aladdin*. So maybe, just maybe, I’ve subconsciously been reaching for the larger books from the genre, hoping for that new epic fantasy world I long for so much.
Because here’s the thing: I’m not that intimidated by big books anymore.
I’ve read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series. I’ve read the first two Outlander books. I’ve read Winter. The Name of the Wind. My point being – all of these books are between the 800-1000 page mark. So compared to those, 400 pages is a doddle!
That, combined with my love for complicated story lines, great world building and lovable characters…well it’d be hard not to have longer books over the years.
So now it’s your turn!
Do you think the average book size has increased over the years?
Does it put you off at all?
Do you prefer longer books or shorter books?
Do you think there’s any particular reason books might’ve gotten longer over the years?
Join the discussion in the comments!
Until next time…
Come and visit me!
Bookish Snapchat : “frolic_fiction”