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Old 05-06-2011, 01:18 AM   #1
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Do you ever choose a book to read based on its length?

I used to sort my ebooks books by source, which in hindsight was kind of dumb (who ever says 'I feel like reading a book from Kobo today?) and then moved to a genre system. Today, I was suddenly struck by a fit of overwhelm at how many unread books I have, so I was struck by the sudden inspiration to go through and pull out all the books I could read in one sitting. My rationale was as follows:

- If the book was a freebie and turned out to be terrible and/or unreadable due to format issues, a binge read of the short ones would allow me to clear out a large amount of unread books very shortly

- If I separate out the shorter ones, it will reduce the size of some of my groaning genre collections, meaning that I will have less choice paralysis when I dip into those truly intending to read a certain genre

- I can reduce the number of collections on my Kindle since this will largely amalgamate the YA/Poetry/Fanfic/Insert Other Generally Short Genre Here books into one collection

I found a fringe benefit that I had not anticipated once I started sorting through the choices. If in the past I felt like a short, quick read then there were certain genres I favoured (mystery, for instance; I usually read a mystery novel in one or two sittings). I would avoid something like 'literary fiction' (even though I do enjoy those) because I had a perception that all of these books were long, involved sagas. Knowing that I have some choices from those genres which will not take a whole week to read makes me more likely to choose them.

Once I reduce my TBR pile, I am more than happy to get into the long sagas. I just feel like I want to clear out my TBR list a little and found this was a good way to do it. I now have a collection on the Kindle of about 100 books that I can read in one sitting. About a quarter of them will be freebies I deign not to finish. So, in about a month, I can reduce my TBR pile by a tenth in one fell swoop.

Does anyone else ever choose a book to read based on its length?
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:08 AM   #2
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Yes - quite often.
I normally read a book from start to finish in one sitting and so I choose what I'm going to read based on how much time I have.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:23 AM   #3
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I like reading books in one sitting too, it feels good. I don't really look at length of a book before reading though, but if the book is dragging along, then I press menu to check where I'm at, and how much is left in the book. Then I decide whether or not to read the rest of the book.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:23 AM   #4
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Sure, sometimes I want a quick buzz. Sometimes I want a series I can wallow in for a couple of weeks!
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:27 AM   #5
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I often choose books in a given genre (at sites like SmashWords) not only by the cost in $ but also based on length. I like longer stuff that will take me a sitting or two to read through rather than a few 1000 words short piece. One reason being that there is more story development in a longer piece than can be done in a short one. Things aren't so rushed so to speak.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:41 AM   #6
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Absolutely! I have a special collection with short books or quick reads I can pick up when I don't feel like I have the time or the concentration for anything else.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:46 AM   #7
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I prefer long sagas and series. The story won't end that fast that way...

And reading a complete book in one sitting???? There are times where I can hardly read a few pages a day...
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:18 AM   #8
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Sometimes, I have periods where I want to read something quick and light, in those instances I check for length but as long as the book is interesting I don't mind if it's long.
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Old 05-06-2011, 06:41 AM   #9
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I include as part of my criteria for deciding whether to purchase a novel the novel's length. I do not like short stories, and prefer what I consider to be full-length novels. (This criterion of length only applies to fiction; I do not use it for nonfiction.)

Once I have purchased a book, I do not use a length criterion as part of my decision whether to read the book now or later. I don't require that I be able to finish a book within a certain time frame -- it takes as long as it takes (or as short as it takes).

OTOH, I do look at whether a book is the first in a series, for example, book 1 of a trilogy. (A book can be the first book in a series such as Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels, but that doesn't matter in my calculation. Each book in that series is really a standalone novel. It just means that the location and characters are constant, not that one book must follow a previous book.) Sometimes I do not want to start a series, I just want a standalone novel. In such instance, whether it is part of a series is considered.
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Old 05-06-2011, 10:40 AM   #10
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I agree somewhat with rhadin, except that if I know a multiple book series is a continuation of a single story I then definitely want to start at the beginning. But most of the Mystery/Detective types of stories are pretty much stand alone, with the same characters and a change in story line.
Book length does determine what I read in fiction based on my schedule.
The length of non fiction is of course what it is. If it's a subject I need to read I'm limited.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:24 AM   #11
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one of the criteria I use when I pick audio books is the length. I want to get my entertainment money's worth. If I want a quick read, I choose an anthology of short stories of which there are hundreds of good ones. A good novel, I want to read, re-read, underline passages, look up the big word in the dictionary... too much to do in one sitting.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:24 AM   #12
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I don't, but this thread has given me some food for thought. There are times when I get so busy that reading even a short story takes more than one sitting, and I tend to read whatever strikes my fancy regardless of the length. I don't know which needs more organization: my books or my life! LOL
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:42 AM   #13
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Not really. Subject matter and writing style are paramount for me. Other factors like price and length are secondary. Though if a shorter work is higher priced I'll probably take that into consideration.
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:51 AM   #14
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I don't think about length so much when I buy but do when I sit down to read. Sometimes I'm in the mood to take a slow read that may take a couple of days so I pick a book that is 600 pages +. But if I want to read in a day I pick something less than 400 pages.

Some nights before bed I like to read short stories so I always have a few anthologies on hand.
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Old 05-06-2011, 01:41 PM   #15
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I prefer to read novels, so usually download those rather than short stories. But I will download short stories from favorite authors.

If my time is short to read a longer novel, I usually just use my tablet to check out my customized news on Google Reader. But usually I have no problem picking up where I left off in a full length story.
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