I’m enjoying hearing all about people’s rationales behind their reading choices, especially since so many have the opposite to me. Do keep commenting. This post is to open up the question – Evie asked whether we read one book at a time, or many? This was a Booking Through Thursday question which I did on Stuck-in-a-Book, but looking at it the post was in August 2007 (can’t believe it was so long ago!) and a lot of people have started reading the blog since then, so thanks Evie, I’ll ask it again!
One book? Lots of books but from different genres? Hundreds at once?
Back in August 2007 I said I could only read one novel at a time, but I have changed my mind – usually a few on the go, as well as a volume or two of letters, a Christian book, something else to dip into… at the moment I am reading:
Straw Without Bricks: I Visit Soviet Russia – EM Delafield
Harriet Hume: A London Fantasy – Rebecca West
Love Letters: Letters of Leonard Woolf and Trekkie Ritchie Parsons
Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford
You Can Change: Tim Chester
Yes, that’s right… I finished The Book Thief last night. More on’t soon.
Now for my answer to The Long or Short of It. Like lots of us, I’ll read some long books and some short books, but I am always, always drawn to short books. Chris’ comment amused me – saying her/his books tends to fall in between short and long, at around 450 pages – I quote Julie’s comment, “anything over 400 pages makes me feel nervours” ! In fact, for me, anything over 300 pages. Thinking about it – and in some ways this is hideously superficial, but there we are – my ideal book length is about 225 pages.
Why? Partly because I like to make lists of my books, and I like them to be long… In a more literary manner, I admire authors immensely who can write something powerful in a short medium, where I remember all the characters and bring something extraordinary out of a book in a matter of 200 or so pages. Long novels weary me, unless they’re very, very good.