Register Guidelines E-Books Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Go Back   MobileRead Forums > E-Book General > General Discussions

Notices

View Poll Results: Do you like long or short novels?
Really Short (less than 60K words) 3 2.19%
Short about 80K is right 7 5.11%
Medium (somewhere 'tween 80-120K) is perfect 16 11.68%
Long (give it to me baby. Stephen King is my idol) 62 45.26%
Don't care 49 35.77%
Voters: 137. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-17-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
simonroyle
Addict
simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
simonroyle's Avatar
 
Posts: 310
Karma: 500370
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bangkok
Device: kindle
Do you like Long or Short?

One of the things I have been pondering on is whether the idea of the "ideal" length of a novel has been determined by our culture or the "risk" cost of paper.

I like a "good" thick, door-stopper, something that really grips for ages. Of course the story is what matters, but I think there's enough evidence to say the business of publishing books has established "risk standards" that have led to an overall shortening of the length of the average novel.

What do you think?
simonroyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 10:02 AM   #2
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,213
Karma: 41305389
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Long for me, the longer the better. That's why I create so many omnibus editions here at MR.
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Enthusiast
Old 09-17-2010, 10:04 AM   #3
poohbear_nc
Non-Edible Chicken
poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.poohbear_nc ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
poohbear_nc's Avatar
 
Posts: 28,787
Karma: 47549725
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Durham, NC
Device: Every Kindle Ever Made & To Be Made + Kobo Aura + Nexus7.2!
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Long for me, the longer the better. That's why I create so many omnibus editions here at MR.
Ditto to both statements. Love the omnibus editions!

I'd have been quite happy reading the 19th century "triple decker" editions.
poohbear_nc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 10:07 AM   #4
simonroyle
Addict
simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
simonroyle's Avatar
 
Posts: 310
Karma: 500370
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bangkok
Device: kindle
You both forgot to vote. Now come on, I know it's Friday, but there's protocol involved here :-)
simonroyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 10:22 AM   #5
mrscoach
Guru
mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.mrscoach ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
mrscoach's Avatar
 
Posts: 659
Karma: 1969999
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Western Texas
Device: Samsung Galaxy S3
Ha, voted before posting. I love long books, because it lets the author develop the story so much more. I've read books before where I felt things had been edited out for length.

Besides, a longer book means I don't have to find something else to read as often.

I noticed long ago that most paperbacks were the same length, give or take a small amount. Come on, surely all stories and all authers aren't the same and don't require the same length.

I've read books where it was obvious that 'padding' was added to make the publisher's minimum length. It's like reading a student's paper when it has to be a minimum length and they run out of things to say on the subject.

Last edited by mrscoach; 09-17-2010 at 10:26 AM.
mrscoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 10:57 AM   #6
HarryT
eBook Enthusiast
HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.HarryT ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
HarryT's Avatar
 
Posts: 63,213
Karma: 41305389
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: UK
Device: PW2, iPad Retina Mini, iPhone 4, MS Surface Pro, Onyx T68, N7,
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscoach View Post
I noticed long ago that most paperbacks were the same length, give or take a small amount.
Hardly. If, eg you look at the novels of my favourite author, Charles Dickens, "David Copperfield" is 4x the length of "Hard Times".
HarryT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
ardeegee
New Musicians of Bremen
ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
ardeegee's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,289
Karma: 1162698
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-350
As long as it needs to be to tell the story-- no longer, no shorter.
ardeegee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 11:05 AM   #8
jgaiser
Omnivorous
jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.jgaiser ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
jgaiser's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,975
Karma: 20846667
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Rural NW Oregon
Device: Kindle Fire HD, Kindle GDX, Kindle 3, KPW, Nook HD+
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardeegee View Post
As long as it needs to be to tell the story-- no longer, no shorter.
What he said... Size really makes no difference to me. It's the story that counts.
jgaiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 11:06 AM   #9
Pookeysgirl
Wizard
Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Pookeysgirl ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Posts: 1,705
Karma: 12696746
Join Date: May 2010
Device: K3, Kobo Mini
The longer the better, but it's what's inside that counts.
Pookeysgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 11:07 AM   #10
FlorenceArt
High Priestess
FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.FlorenceArt ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
FlorenceArt's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,523
Karma: 2290913
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montreuil sous bois, France
Device: iPad Air, iPhone 4S
I don't think I care, really. A long book is good for a long journey, a short one may be easier to sneak in between others, or when I take a break from a longer, heavier one. Both are good, maybe in a slightly different way.

I have read some comments suggesting that some people may be intimidated or discouraged in advance by a thick looking book. For my part, it's not something I consider either before or after reading it. I don't really know how long the e-books I read are. Paper books give you an idea, but there are other factors that may make a book appear longer or shorter (big type, thick paper...).

If I feel a book is too long, it's because the book bores me, not because of the number of words in it.
FlorenceArt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 11:15 AM   #11
ardeegee
New Musicians of Bremen
ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.ardeegee ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
ardeegee's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,289
Karma: 1162698
Join Date: Sep 2009
Device: PRS-350
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrscoach View Post
I noticed long ago that most paperbacks were the same length, give or take a small amount. Come on, surely all stories and all authers aren't the same and don't require the same length.
There's an interesting comment by Charles Stross in the afterword of his new collection Wireless:

“Palimpsest” wanted to be a novel. It really, really wanted to be a novel. Maybe it will be, someday. And maybe I could have gotten away with making it a short novel, just to round out this collection with an example of every format of fiction, if it wasn’t for the imaginary voice of my editor nagging at the back of my head (“Do you know how much it costs to print a hardcover once it goes over five hundred pages?”). Part of the reason novels are the length they are is the cost of printing and binding. Binding a fat book is disproportionately more expensive than binding two thinner ones, and there is a downward pressure on the price of hardbacks, which makes it difficult for publishers to show a profit on a fat volume. No surprise, then, that many recent big fat fantasy novels have shown up split into two or more thinner volumes.
Perhaps once publishing moves wholesale onto the Internet, fashions in fiction length and the disappearance of printing and binding costs will lead to more and longer novels: but in the here and now, this short-story collection is pushing the limits of what I can get away with, without any need to add another hundred thousand words!"


I didn't know that one 1,000 page book cost more to print than two 500 page ones. I do know the awkwardness of 1,000+ page MMP copy of a book, though.
ardeegee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 11:43 AM   #12
hgwlackey
Zealot
hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.hgwlackey knows what is on the back of the AURYN.
 
hgwlackey's Avatar
 
Posts: 123
Karma: 9550
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tennessee, USA
Device: Kindle Touch, HTC Thunderbolt
I like to mix it up. I'd rather read a short novel then a long novel than two short or two long novels in a row.
hgwlackey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 11:48 AM   #13
simonroyle
Addict
simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.simonroyle ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
simonroyle's Avatar
 
Posts: 310
Karma: 500370
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bangkok
Device: kindle
Quote:
Originally Posted by hgwlackey View Post
I like to mix it up. I'd rather read a short novel then a long novel than two short or two long novels in a row.
Ah ... a Morse reader
simonroyle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 11:52 AM   #14
Quake1028
Guru
Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.Quake1028 ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
Quake1028's Avatar
 
Posts: 870
Karma: 9155462
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Device: See signature
400-550 pages is perfect length for me, personally. I do love all ends of the spectrum though, but that midrange is ideal.
Quake1028 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2010, 12:06 PM   #15
BenG
Wizard
BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.BenG ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
BenG's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,635
Karma: 57730000
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Alpha Ralpha Boulevard
Device: Paperwhite
A book should be as long as it needs to be and no longer.
BenG is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NASTY, BRUTISH & SHORT SHORT - by David Michael - $0.99 (or FREE) (Horror) DavidRM Self-Promotions by Authors and Publishers 5 05-18-2011 05:00 PM
Hugo Read-A-Long: Short Stories Hatgirl Reading Recommendations 1 06-09-2010 02:44 AM
Spinning (short short story) kennyc Writers' Corner 9 09-13-2009 09:14 PM
Why are SMS short text messages so darned short? Bob Russell Lounge 12 07-27-2007 09:21 AM
Long, long time... Chaos Introduce Yourself 6 04-26-2007 11:34 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:16 PM.


MobileRead.com is a privately owned, operated and funded community.