Longer or Shorter Books? Which Do You Prefer?

the image is not mine

This is actually a serious question.  I think there are different types of readers out there.  There are some who prefer quicker, shorter novels that they can read in a day or two.  And then there are other readers who like novels that are longer, that they can snuggle up with for a week or two, and read at a leisurely pace.

Make note, this post has nothing to do with how readers PACE themselves.  I genuinely want to know which kind of book you prefer: long or short.

I think we can agree that some books are TOO long…those exceeding 800 pages tend to push it for me.  If the book is part of a series, all right, maybe it’s not such a big deal (in the case of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini).  But no one likes picking up a standalone that’s 800 pages long.   If the story is 800 pages long, why not split it up into three smaller books?  Big books can be daunting.

The benefits of longer books, especially if they are a part of a series, is that those books seem to go way deeper into character development, plot development, cultural issues and formation, descriptive writing, etc.  Shorter, fast-paced books seem to avoid these; they are page turners, instead.  Don’t get me wrong, there can still be lots of descriptive writing (like in The Lord of the Flies).  But shorter novels tend to focus more on actions, without taking the time to describe the setting.


I’m currently wondering about how I should form my own book series, Elithius.  Before, when my series was called “The Golden Lands”, I had planned about 18 volumes of novella-sized stories.  No volume was going to exceed 200 pages.

But now, I’m considering compiling several of the books together.  For instance, the first four volumes of the story will now become Book One of Elithius.  

What do you think of this?  Do you prefer longer or shorter books?

Do you think it’s better to keep the volumes separate, and have a lot of books, or to make them more novel-sized (about 320 pages each), and have just a few books?

Your input really matters!!!

12 thoughts on “Longer or Shorter Books? Which Do You Prefer?”

  1. As long as the book gets me in and I am unable to put it down, I don’t mind how long it is. I love short ones also….for those times you only have a small amount of time to read….so I suppose I sit on the fence lol

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t really view that as fence-sitting. I do realize that was probably intended in humor, but it does speak to a particular mindset. There are those of us who truly don’t care about length. It’s all about the story. If a story is well paced for its length (short or long) it will be a joy to read. Another friend of mine wrote a short story that, while compelling, felt as though it should have been developed into a longer one. I’ve also read longer stories that felt the same way. I’ve read long stories that felt as though they weren’t well edited, and should have been shorter, and I’ve read short stories that felt the same way. It’s all about whether the writing fits the length.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep it was intended in humor!
        I understand what you’re saying, I guess my problem is that I have to determine whether my books are MEANT to be short, or if they are MEANT to be longer. That’s really what it comes down to.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I just got War and Peace from the library. It’s about 1300 pages long…. So I like long books, but short can be fun, too. I think what really matters is the content. Like, I’m watching Lost, and each episode is about 40 minutes long, but there’s also a show called The Office, and each episode is only about 20 minutes. And both of them are really good. I think it depends on what you’re going for. Do you want it to be like a manga? In which case, it probably should be shorter, keeping with that whole feel. If you’re leaning more towards an epic fantasy novel, I’d say longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, good point. It depends on what I want. For now, I’d say we are switching over from manga to epic fantasy…although, the characters and pacing are still closely related to manga. I think I might even use the word “volume” in each novel, and separate it into volumes, while still having it in one bigger book.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. For me, it really depends on the story. If the story is meant to be long, like Game of Thrones for example, then I’m fine with it. I don’t mind long stories if they have a point. Long just for being long is stupid, and it ruins the storytelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, I can see what you’re saying. In my series, I’m compiling my previously shorter-style books into longer books. That being said, I’m still keeping them as “books within books”. So for instance, the first book of the series is now a compilation of the first four volumes…and I’m still stating that each book is volume 1, 2, 3, etc. Does this make sense, or am I being silly?

      Liked by 1 person

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