Discussion » Short Books? Long Books? Medium Books?


Let’s talk about the length of books. We all know, books come in different lengths, I mean – duh! Some stories have more to tell than others. But what do you prefer? Personally, I prefer medium books. Usually medium books get me excited to read the book because I know it has a fair amount of content, but not “drag it out” too long, because then it gets boring.

I consider a short book anything less than 300 pages. A long book to me is considered 450 pages or more. There are some exceptions where I WANT the longer book. Like any of Sarah J Maas’ books, well, she could write a book as long as she wanted and I would read it no matter what. Like I said before, there are some advantages and disadvantages to long books. One of them being the plot lags more often than not, and sometimes, long books can be seen as a chore. I actually avoid long books because my TBR is so long and I need to get through it and reading a long book takes a long time. Which leads to…never ever finishing my TBR.

Now short books, I like short books. But on the terms of money…I don’t like them. I mean look at it this way: $20 for a short hardback, or $20 for a long hardback. I will probably lean towards the longer book.

On Twitter I created a poll and as you can see, 76% of people prefer medium books. There isn’t much love for short books or long books.

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Why Do Authors Write Books a Certain Length?

Moving the question of why do authors write books a certain length. Sometimes I think it is honestly just by chance. An author runs out of story and there is nothing left to write. But other times I suspect there are other reasons why a story is long or short. Sometimes I think authors try too hard and feel like they need their book to be a set number of pages. I think it can be a combination of that and the fact that editors perhaps expect things out of authors. Authors get a lot of pressure.

What type of books do you prefer? Long, Short or Medium? Why? And why do you think that authors write their books a certain length? Thanks for reading!




18 thoughts on “Discussion » Short Books? Long Books? Medium Books?

  1. Publishing conventions have some influence on book length. I’ve read comments by multiple authors suggesting that after the success of HP, publishers realized children/teens would actually read books that long, so they let other authors write longer books. Before the expectations were that the books needed to shorter, and things would have to be cut to make them so.

    I generally like medium books. Long books are fine, as long as the story’s interesting. Sometimes I think they would have been better with some scenes being cut. Short ones can be good, too, but I agree it can feel painful paying the same amount of money for a 150 page book and a 500 page book.


      1. I think Tamora Pierce has commented that she was eventually “allowed” to write longer books, and I’ve seen other authors and publishing employees mention it, as well.


  2. Great topic! I prefer medium books as well. Anything longer than 450 pages is intimidating. I need to have heard GREAT things about a long book before I want to read it. I prefer books to be about 350 pages. I like to get through books quickly, and I can’t stand when the plot drags.


    1. i’m never really intimidated by a book. Actually I take it back, I have the 5th Outlander book on my shelf with 1500 pages! I like anything between 350-400, but prefer 400! Plot drags are so annoying but sometimes they can be essential to the climax of the story in my opinion!


  3. I like medium books too, for the same reason. Their plots are usually well placed for that length and anything line throws off my reading schedule.
    Short books are very frustrating for me because I always want more from the story. Everything, everything was too short for me; I felt that a longer book would have let the story develop more.


    1. I have the problem too with short books, it’s like at the end I’m just like: MOOOORE. GIVE ME MORE. I just finished Everything, Everything and I thought that if it was any longer it would be too much. i found it to be perfect, but that’s just me!


  4. I prefer to read medium books, too. I feel like shorter books would leave me with plot holes or an open ending (or maybe make me feel like there’s still something missing even though I’ve already finished the book).

    As for long books, well, if you’re talking about duologies, trilogies, or the like, then I’m definitely in! Unless they simply just drag on and make no sense anymore… well, that I don’t like. But if you’re talking about “thick” books, I usually get intimidated by them so I tend to need some kind of (convincing) persuasion before I actually read them. xD (Like the HP series or Cassandra Clare’s books, which are really thick.)

    Great post!


  5. I think the length of the book can be influenced by publishing, like Briana said. They want to be in the “in” and sell a book that is most attractive to the audience. If that means cutting up a couple hundred pages or adding a bit, then so be it.
    I really don’t care how long a book is, as long as it has a nicely-paced plot and decent characterization. Sometimes I revel in long ones and want to draw them out, and other times I’m like “gtg gtg gtg.” Like you said, it depends on a lot of things!
    Great post!


    1. Never really thought of this but I see what you mean. Sometimes I just want long books to end because they are soooo long! Usually that has to do with my mood. Thank you for reading Aila!


  6. I think this depends on the genre too. I’ve read some long YA novels (Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas comes to mind, along with Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire) but I’ve also read some long non-YA fiction like “Outlander.” For me, as long as the content is engaging, I don’t mind the length. Sometimes there are times when I read info that I didn’t think was essential but it just makes me think that perhaps the editor of the book found something vital in really long passages.

    Does that even make sense? LOL

    Short ones are fun to get through because…well, they are short and help with the reading goal! 😉


  7. For me, all that really matters is that the author uses enough pages to thoroughly explain the story but doesn’t leave any unnecessary scenes or information.

    I think that’s why I’m not a huge fan of long books – I feel long books can get so long and the majority of the scenes in those long books don’t even contribute anything to the plot or the story and end up feeling pointless. That’s where I’d draw the line.

    Thanks for sharing Claire and, as always, fabulous discussion! ❤


  8. I don’t like long books (500-600+) all that much. I think it’s just the numbers that scare me… I do like short books sometimes when I’m stressed or tired. They’re friendlier. But mostly I get about 250-450 page books…


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