Maybe you know the feeling, maybe you don’t. But, either way, big books are out to get you.
Oh sure, they’ll look interesting, and their first few pages will suck you in. Then, suddenly, it’s a month later and you’re looking up from the words with a crick in your neck, a slump in your spine, and a fog of either anger or confusion. That’s the problem. Big books are big commitments, but they have just as much chance as a normal sized book of falling flat on their faces. Devoting that much reading time in favor of one book over her countless siblings is already frightening, but knowing that your time could be sucked away into an experience that doesn’t even change you…well that is just too damn terrifying.
Take Anna Karenina for example. Classic book, supposed to be great, written by Tolstoy, everyone loves it. Well obviously I need to read this book. After all, it’s only like 400 pages, right? No? Oh, so what, 500? No? Huh. 600? No?!? But, that’s already two normal sized books. Alright, 700? No? Honestly, no? Fine, what is it? 737 pages? Well, it must have some giant-sized font then, right?
Holy crap. Okay. No big deal. It’ll only take me, I don’t know, forever to read that. Anna Karenina, you jerk. Staring up at me knowingly for the past year and a half. Daring me to crack you open and get involved in your story. Stop looking at me with those smoldering eyes. Stop it.
You know what, I don’t even care, Anna. Keep shooting those lasers at me. Bring it on. I’m not about to read you. Nope. You’re big and frightening and just no. I’m gonna read a 200 pager and I’m gonna love it. And you can just sit your butt down and wait for your time. As Isabel Allende said, “There is so much to read, and time is so short!” So, until that changes, have fun on the To-Be-Read pile.
Don’t worry. You’ve already waited 140 years, you can survive a little longer.