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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

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Old 09-17-2010, 12:09 PM   #16
AlbertaCowboy
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At the risk of a "that's what she said", I don't take length into consideration. If a story can be properly told in 400 pages, right on. If it takes 2000 pages, fair enough. What I cannot do is look at a book, see 1100 pages and assume "hey that'll be great". (Robert Jordan, I'm looking at you!) Ultimately a book that is not well written will be too long at 120 pages, and a book that is well written will be too short at 2000.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:10 PM   #17
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I like good books - regardless of length. However, some genres seem to work better at different lengths than others. Mysteries work better at short lengths than great sprawling fantasies.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:20 PM   #18
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As long as the novel is well written and I enjoy reading it, length doesn't matter. Even though for really great novels, I don't want the experience to end.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:06 PM   #19
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Long for me, please. At least, if I like it
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:40 PM   #20
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A story is a story, some are long, some are short. Best of all is a series of 3 or more medium sized books with continuing character development throughout.

Heaven is reading 11 Honor Harrington Novels by Weber in order over a 2 week period.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:41 PM   #21
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Quote:
Really Short (less than 60K words)
Short about 80K is right
Medium (somewhere 'tween 80-120K) is perfect
What's a rough page guideline for those? I'm not familiar with how word count translates to pages. (Sure, pages aren't consistent, but surely there's a rough estimate. Is 60k words about 200 pages?)
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:43 PM   #22
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It's better if the author leaves you wanting more rather than overstaying his welcome.

Also an author should know more about the world he's created than he tells in the book. Tolkien did this. In LOTR there always seemed to be stories (some mentioned and some just barely suggested) that could be told but weren't, at least in his lifetime.

Last edited by BenG; 09-17-2010 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:47 PM   #23
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I'll read whatever. But I hate when I'm about 3/4 of the way through a giant novel and I realize that I'm wasting my time. It doesn't feel nearly as grim with a short novel.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:51 PM   #24
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Both. I tend to choose books that are very long, but I also like to throw in a couple of shorter books when I'm in the middle of reading something really long, just for variety.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:53 PM   #25
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The Nebula Awards use these definitions:

Novel: a work of 40,000 words or more
Novella: a work of at least 17,500 words but under 40,000 words
Novelette: a work of at least 7,500 words but under 17,500 words
Short story: a work of under 7,500 words

Most of the early SF was published only in paperback. The editors limited the size of the book to keep it at a certain price point. 50 to 75 cents was common when I was younger.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:53 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManosHandsOfFate View Post
I'll read whatever. But I hate when I'm about 3/4 of the way through a giant novel and I realize that I'm wasting my time. It doesn't feel nearly as grim with a short novel.
Me too. I can count on one hand the number of times I've stopped reading a book because I didn't like it, but I usually end up regretting it. With that being said, assuming it is a good story and well written, I prefer a longer story if for no other reason than it makes it last longer. For that reason I picked the "long" option in the poll, even though Stephen King is not my hero and I've not read one of his books in over 10 years.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:01 PM   #27
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Besides, a longer book means I don't have to find something else to read as often.
I so agree! But if a book isn't at least 450 pages, I'll usually not get it. I love a good long book (Ken Follett, anyone?). It's a challenge to me to see how long it will take me to read it. And when I put his books on my Sony e-reader, it's really a challenge!

I have read shorter ones, but didn't always feel fulfilled. Of course, there have been some long ones which could have been better if they were shorter too (David Starkey, "The Six Wives of Henry VIII"; his section on Anne Boleyn went on about 100 pages too long!).

But as a general rule, I tend to stay in the 450 and above range for a book.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by BenG View Post
It's better if the author leaves you wanting more rather than overstaying his welcome.

Also an author should know more about the world he's created than he tells in the book. Tolkien did this. In LOTR there always seemed to be stories (some mentioned and some just barely suggested) that could be told but weren't, at least in his lifetime.
Oh yes! Nothing worse than a book where nothing is untold.

Last edited by FlorenceArt; 09-17-2010 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:07 PM   #29
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Long for me, the longer the better. That's why I create so many omnibus editions here at MR.
I'm with you there, Harry. If I look at a pbook, it's got to be five or six hundred pages to get my attention. Ebooks need to be a minimum of 150K words. Tomes, please!
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:28 PM   #30
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I like a really looong booooring novel, just before going to bed.
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