big books

I like owning big books. I like holding them. I like people asking me about them, or telling me I’m awesome for reading humongous and thick books.

But I don’t particularly love reading them. (I mean, I like them, but I don’t have any special love for them.)

In fact, big books intimidate me. A lot. Knowing there are hundreds of pages for me to push through, I have thoughts like:

What if I don’t understand anything I read?

What if I forget what happened in the fourth chapter as I start the fifth?

What if I end up DNFing this book because I’m too tired to keep going?

Those thoughts are scary. Very scary.

You’ll actually notice that most of the big books on my shelves (500 pages or more) remain unread years after I purchased them. YEARS. What the heck, Aimee? Yep. They mock me every night in my sleep.

If you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll know that I’ve been reading Uprooted for forever. It’s only 450-ish pages, I’m already halfway, and I can’t seem to move on. I don’t even know why–I’m loving the story, but the sheer size of it is enough to put me off.

But there are some books that are 700-800 pages that I managed to finish, so here’s the golden question: How do I manage to read these chunky books?

Option #1: I read it on my Kindle. I love how on the Kindle (or Kindle app), you can track how far in you are in the book, how much time you have left in the book… And also how you can turn off this feature. Good bye intimidation!

Option #2: On physical copies, I cover the page numbers with my fingers/bookmark/t-shirt. Is that weird? It probably is, but it works for me!

Option #3: I go on Twitter and ask if anyone else enjoyed the book I’m reading. Once people say they LOVED it, I get more pumped to read despite the size of the book! (Most of the time.)

If you have any tips for me… I am open to suggestions. Seriously.

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Do you like big books? Do have tips on how to not be intimidated by them?

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About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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98 thoughts on “I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie (Okay, I Lied)

  1. THE SAME HAPPENED WITH ME FOR OUTLANDER! I turned off the reading progress feature on my Kindle because intimidation, yo. But I found myself really, really interested in the book, so much so, that I didn’t want it to end so yay! I suppose talking to people about the book before you start reading it should help! And T-shirt covering of pages? YES YES YES ME TOO.

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    1. Ugh, Outlander is SO intimidating! D: Haha, I always turn off the reading progress feature too. I just peek every now and then because I have no self control. :) So glad to hear you ended up loving Outlander! WOO–I’m not alone! :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh YES. So. Accurate. And I think that a lot of people — who read YA, especially, as we’re used to shorter books — find big books intimidating. Usually when I read a big book, I read a small book at the same time. That way I feel like I’m making SOME progress; and at the same time, I’m chipping away at the larger book.

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  3. I don’t like big books either, they scare me and they intimidate me and I stay away from them haha. I also kind of have a short attention span so when a book is pushing 500+ pages, I tend to lose interest and then I start skimming. Although, there are some books that are close to 500 that I’ve really enjoyed, I guess it depends on how engrossed I am in the story :D

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    1. I don’t stay away from them, but I scoot away a bit… Haha! Oh yes, I have an extremely short attention span as well! I end up skimming short books a lot too.

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  4. For ginormous books, I just try not think where I’m at while reading. I also find that it helps when you stop and take breaks after the end of chapters, that way you have clean stopping points and kind of feel accomplished, haha. As much as I want to read Les Miserables, that’s an intimidating one. Infinite Jest is another I’m kind of worried about. :)

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    1. Yep, that’s basally what I do as well! I take breaks even if the book’s short, though. I just have a really short attention span… Les Mis is HUGE, and I have no plans of reading it. xD

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I think I’m the same way. Big books are intimidating! And heavy! I have a collection of Poe and I’ve only made it a little ways through so far—it’s super hard to get through. I am, in all honesty, a 300 pages kind of girl, and I like to just be done. But that is only me, and it would probably be better if I womaned up and got used to reading bigger things. I like your ideas, though, especially Kindle reading! Using a percentage instead of a page number is a lot more motivating for me!

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    1. Oh yes, extremely heavy! I’m more of the ~300~ pages kind of person too. :) I like the idea of reading bigger books, but the task is tedious, haha. I like to hide the percentage too actually.

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  6. big books scare me! i’m slowly urging myself to pick up the hero of ages (mistborn #3) but it’s HUGE. like 700+ pages, i think. the other two books were incredible, and i really want to know what happens next, but the size??? after reading your post, i think i’m going to (finally) toughen up and pick up that book ahahah

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  7. This post made me giggle! HA HA HA! I don’t think that much about page numbers… I guess reading on a kindle helps! I read through the Girl with the Dragon tattoo series and those are monsters and I just pushed through them… I don’t think about it I just try to stay in the story… If it’s a good story… you’ll remember what happened a chapter or two ago because that’s the foundation of what’s happening later.

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    1. Glad to hear that, Jessica. ;) Oh, I have no plans of reading those because a) they’re huge and b) I watched the movie already and it’s not my thing. If it’s a good story, I’ll definitely remember *most* of the important things!

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  8. I too enjoy the feeling of lugging around a 750+ pager in public. Builds my ego, you know? (No, you probably think I’m crazy LOL.) But yeah, it’s bad enough that the books are huge…so if it’s part of a series then dang that’s even more intimidating.

    I think books with the proper pacing make it easier on the reader to plow through thick reads. Sometimes you won’t even feel like it’s X no. of pages. So yeah, I don’t have any advice other than to hope for the books to be written in a way that allows you to flip the pages quicker.

    Cheers,
    Joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

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    1. No, I totally get you! When I was reading Seraphina in public I was like, “I am the Queen.” Haha! Oh, yes to even bigger series! *Side-eyes Song of Ice and Fire* Thanks, Joey!

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  9. I prefer reading big books in physical format, not ebook, because then I have tangible evidence of my progress! Nothing like the feeling of moving a bookmark along to mark off another 100 pages.

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    1. What?! The Percy Jackson books never intimidated me because well, I’m in love with that series. But Harry Potter intimidates ME, haha. Books 4-7… Er. I got through the 4th at least!

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  10. It really depends. Sometimes I read an 800 page novel effortlessly and sometimes I’m struggling for every page. You just have to force yourself to read a certain amount of pages everyday (for me it’s fifty). If the book is really terrible, skimming a little might help.

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    1. Yes, it definitely depends on the book. I try to read a hundred a day, but sometimes the writing style makes that difficult and I end up reading 20. D:

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  11. Yeah, big books certainly do have that intimadation factor. However, I’ve found that my most favorite books do tend to be of a bigger size?? Maybe because it allows for time to truly connect and develop characters/settings/conflicts/plots etc etc. Despite this, alike you it does take a shit ton of motivation for me to actually start a big book. It’s like “do I really have time to read this brick?” haha. However, once I get rolling I usually do well. As long as the book is well paced I can do well. Slow paced 500+ page books kill me slowly on the inside haha.

    Loved this post girl <33

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  12. I like reading big books because I feel so much accomplishment after I’m done. Then I can look at the book on my book shelf and think “Yes, I read that book. I read all 700 pages of that book.” It is a very nice feeling.

    I started reading the Diviners around Halloween time (And as you know that book is huge!), but after 300 pages, I just didn’t read it. It would sit on my night stand and just stare at me. Then in December, I returned the book to the library and got it on my Kindle. I think I prefer reading big books on my Kindle, but it really depends on the book.

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    1. It’s the same with me! I would stroke the book and be like, Yep, I finished this monster.
      I mostly prefer reading them on my Kindle because I can’t see how much more I have to go through!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I tend to read most big books quicker than the smaller ones xD I feel like that’s weird but it happens to me! Maybe it’s because I need to finish it now I neeeeed to know what happens next! :D but I so get where you’re coming from. Some books are soooooo huge I get intimidated too!

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  14. Oh my gosh, I know what you mean. I had to stop reading Throne of Glass a few months ago because of how long it was and IT WASN’T EVEN REALLY LONG! Insane.

    I bought Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and if you’ve heard of that book, you probably know it’s around 1200 pages long. Like that’s how long my book was. ONE THOUSAND AND 200 PAGES LONG. Well, 1232, you get the point! :P So yeah…I did make it to around page sixty. XD And then the size intimidated me. :( The Kindle option of hiding the percentage is nice, though I’m always obsessed with it. Hahaha. Especially with books I really like. Anyway, I LOVE the look of big books, but I don’t necessarily LOVE to read them. I will say I have four Barnes and Noble Leather Bound editions of Alice In Wonderland (and other stories), William Shakespeare Complete Works (Plays and some poetry, I think), Hans Christian Andersen fairytales (shorter) and Grimm Brothers Fairytales (shorter)….

    So I basically want the entire Barnes and Noble Leather Bound collection…there’s like 25….

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    1. Girl, the Throne of Glass sequels are WAY bigger. Took me a while to finish Heir of Fire!
      Les Mis is A BRICK. I have zero plans of reading it AT ALL, haha.
      Yes, I get obsessed with it too! I peek at the percentage after every chapter. :P
      I Love the B&N leather bound collection! Sad that we don’t have those here.

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  15. I can relate to this on a spiritual level! There are so many books/series that I want to read and know I’m missing out on because of how much chunky books intimidate me. I also do the cover the page number thing. I find it helps tons. Thanks for sharing this, now I don’t feel so alone on this!

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  16. I get intimidated by them all the time. Like Heir Of Fire!! And when I got a review copy, I was like HOLY SHIT!! The thing was that I didn’t know it was going to be bigger than the first two books in the series. And I just got intimidated. I still haven’t read it. But I’m making plans before the fourth book comes out. And I honestly wouldn’t know how to go about not being intimidated. It’s also hard because a longer book will take more time to read and I just think that I’m reading this giant book that I could have read 2 books in that time. Or something like that lol

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    1. It was the same for me with HoF! XD I got an eARC and was like… Omg. :O It’s really good though, I flew through it faster than I expected. ;) I’m sure QoS is going to be BIG as well!

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  17. There’s an intimidation factor when it comes to big books for me, but once I actually start reading them, it gradually wears off as I enjoy the read! I think the biggest book I have ever read was Clockwork Princess and though the sheer size of it was enough to scare me, I found myself flipping through page after page. I think the enthusiasm for a particular big book is enough to help you get past the fact that it’s a BIG BOOK.

    P.S. I soooo get your situation with Uprooted. I’m also reading it and every time I check the reading time it’s like 5 hours or more minutes, which constantly gets on my nerves. :P

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    1. If the book is enjoyable, then the length sometimes becomes a small matter for me. :) I didn’t read CP (and don’t plan to since I got spoiled already) and CoHF, actually. :(
      Haha, it’s HUGE isn’t it? :) It has a great story though.

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  18. I’ve found that reading big books from authors I’ve already read and loved makes it easier! Like Katie McGarry – her new one was almost 500 pages. Pretty intimidating, but because I’ve loved four other books from her, I had no problem sitting down to binge that one!

    But for books/authors I don’t LOVE with all my heart, it’s kind of hard O_O Like the Seven Realms books – a fantastic series overall, but wow that was a trek. And this is also why Game of Thrones has been sitting on my shelves for almost two years now.

    I feel like I have not contributed. And now I realize how truly terrified I am of big books even when I say I love them as well. Excuse me while I go have an existential crisis x_x

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    1. Oh, same here! If I’m already familiar with the author’s writing style, it becomes easier for me to read the book. :)
      I’ve also had GoT since my birthday last year and I tried reading it, but no luck finishing it. :(
      No worries–I know how you feel!

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  19. I don’t really have any tips because this is one of the only bookworm problems I don’t understand (I’m usually like, No, don’t stop, keep going!!). But I’ll be your cheerleader of Uprooted if you need one, it’s my favorite book of 2015 so far! YOU CAN DO IT!! :D

    I also read it on my Kindle, and it’s actually only the 2nd book I’ve ever read on an e-reader. I really love the percent finished feature and the time left in the chapter feature (mainly so I can decide if I can read another chapter before I go to bed… the answer is always yes haha). I think Uprooted was a bit much for my Kindle to handle though because the latter feature broke while I was reading it XD

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    1. Woot–thanks, Lina! I read your review and I know how much you loved it. :)
      I do the same with the time left in chapter feature! :) Whoa–that’s extreme. xD

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  20. Did you just reference the song, “Baby Got Back”? ;P I’m the complete opposite. I LOVE BIG BOOKS. The thicker it is, the happier I am. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I want a longer story. Whenever I read a short book that I could finish in a day or two, I feel a little empty and I ask myself, “Is that it?!” Maybe it’s the thought that the story is long and developed that makes me want to pick up thick books! But I really understand you. It really is intimidating :( I also get intimidated sometimes, but not all the time! Great post! <3

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    1. Maybe… or maybe not. ;)
      Good for you, Jillian! I like long books, if it’s part of a series I already love. :) Because I want moaaar. But if it’s by a new-to-me author, I’d prefer it short. :)

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  21. Ahh, I know exactly how you feel! I remember holding the Goblet of Fire and telling myself it was 400 pages. Most intimidating thing ever, hence the fact that the longest books I read was 300 pages. Now 400 page books aren’t too bad. I think I would truly get intimated by a book at about 500 pages haha.

    I like reading long books on my Kindle, only because it’s easier to see how many pages in I am and how many I have yet to read! :D

    ~Kaitlin

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    1. I am so surprised that I finished Goblet of Fire–it’s HUGE.
      400 pages are long and still intimidating, but 500 pages = mental crying! xD
      Same with me on my Kindle!

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  22. I actually like big books! Back in 2010, when I first started reading novel, one of the first novel that I own is Harry Potter 7. Even though it took me almost 2 months to finish it (yes, that long), I still read many big books after that xD I guess I just like a really long adventure.

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  23. I don’t typically have trouble reading big books — in fact I love reading long, complex narratives! But the other day I read Code Name Verity, which was fairly slim, but it still confused me for much of the book until the end. For really really complicated books, like A Song of Ice and Fire, I find that Internet forums and such (okay, I actually mean TV Tropes) are good for reminding myself of key facts so long as I can block spoilers.

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    1. That’s awesome, Alyssa! =) Some short books can be confusing too–it really depends on the writing style and how engrossed you are in it. Internet forums are awesome!

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  24. If I were to read thick books, I’d rather read it in digital format because the size is intimating and it’s quite a workout to carry. Actually, I’m not big fan of big print books; they eat a lot of space which is a luxury in my house so, no. But I don’t have a problem if it’s within my interest why not? ^^

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    1. Yes! Digital books are my saviors when it comes to big books. :) Although I like owning big physical books just because. :) If the book’s good, I’d LOVE for it to be 800 pages!

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  25. Oh I hear ya Aimee, big books can be intimidating! Just looking at big, thick books look like a big task, even though I absolutely love to read. I also find it a lot easier to read long book on my kindle. The information at the bottom’s like my personal cheerleader, egging me to finish the chapter and the book. And if it’s under 10%, I just turn it off haha. I also go the audiobook route sometimes, it’s a lot less intimidating to listen than read, I find. I’ve yet to listen to Way of Kings though…which is about 48 hours lond O.o The achievement of finishing a big book though…it’s pretty damn priceless ;)

    PS. I love your title, I was singing it in my head like the song :P

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    1. It’s the same with me, Amir! Once I get past 50% I’m okay with turning the progress bar on again, haha. =) I tried reading Way of Kings and failed miserably! 48 hours of listening will kill me. ._.
      SO WAS I! ;)

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  26. I know what you mean. I don’t read a lot of really LONG books these days, but that’s mostly due to time. I try and read as much as I can, when I can, and if I’m reading a really really long book it will take more time and it just gets frustrating after awhile. It’s not always the case. If I’m really excited, then it can go quicker.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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  27. I do a combining of reading the physical to kindle then try to find the audible for it. It’s whatever that keeps me interested enough to keep going with the storyline.

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  28. Don’t really have tips because I LOVE big books. I get so excited to see I still have a lot the book left to read.

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  29. My suggestion is you lend all those books to me. I WILL LOVE THEM. Big books for me are around 700 pages and above. 500 isn’t big in my book. I can’t give any tips for you, though, because I have no idea if there are even any tips for this sort of thing.

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  30. I’m the same way! Big books intimidate the crap out of me! I don’t like starting them because I worry I’m gonna get restless… usually that means anything over 350 pages haha. So I try to space them out well. I’m better at longer fantasy reads than contemporary ones, but there better be a good romance involved, otherwise I know I’ll be bored.

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    1. Haha! I feel like ~400~ is also pretty long too! ;) Long fantasies are alright, but I feel like contemporaries CAN be shorter, so I prefer them that way. And I completely agree about the romance!

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  31. I totally agree with this! I love how big books look and feel but they really scare me haha! I think that’s why I still haven’t read City of Heavenly Fire – the size scares me. Fantastic post!

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  32. If a book is long just for the hell’s sake of being long I don’t want to read it anyway. You know those authors who think that they are such a literary genius and everyone else will believe it too if the book is just long enough? With that being said, there are many a chunkster read worth visiting. When I say chunkster, I refer to not only lengthy books, but books with unusual wording that take awhile to adjust to (ie: pride and prejudice). A good way for me to approach them is to make a reading schedule and read the book in a month or two. I keep reading my other books as usual as long as I keep up with the schedule that will keep me on target to finish the chunkster in time. There have been a lot of read alongs listed on the web, so if you aren’t feeling like charting out the time table you will most likely find it out there already done. Another great way to get through heavy books is to join in a read along, create your own, or do a buddy read. I have personally read through several chunksters by keeping to the reading schedule alongside someone else who I can discuss the book with, keep me motivated, and help me see what I may have missed. There are a lot of options. I hope that you find the one that is right for you.

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    1. Starting a reading schedule sounds awesome, Suzi! Thanks so much for the suggestion. I also do like reading smaller books alongside reading the chunkier ones, and I find that it’s actually really helpful and makes the bigger books less intimidating. :)

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  33. Such a good topic, I too am intimidated by big books! Mostly though I find I’m intimidated more than anything when it’s the last book to a series/trilogy and it’s a 100+ pages longer than all the others(like City Of Heavenly Fire, and Dreams Of Gods and Monsters), I start to think that they’re going to be too long and boring and I’m going to hate them. One thing I worry about with all super long books is that they’re going to be boring and I’m not going to want to finish them. I don’t have any tips! I basically do what you do, read on my Kindle or cover the page numbers! More than that though, I just keep putting off reading the book…it works pretty well. ;)

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    1. I AGREE! Let’s take Winter for example… It’s going to be more than double the size of Cinder, and while I’m excited to read it, I’m also incredibly intimidated at the same time! D:

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  34. I read a blog post discussing achievement in book sizes not long ago and it’s actually really nice to be back in the discussion, here! I really like books, not really bothered on the length, if they captivate me. I’m not someone who is all that bothered about finishing a book for the sake of it, or because I “should” because there are just too many other things I want to do to think like that, but I do feel intimidation. I’m doing my third reread of Inkheart at the moment and that is 580 pages, I think, and I adore it. Utterly love it in so many ways, but I’ve stalled at almost halfway because of the size and the fact I felt all held up, and that’s just not a fun feeling. So I guess I just have to take my time and try not to worry about it. When I feel like going back and reading for an hour or two on it, I can, and when I do finish it I’ll feel great for it, but I don’t think it’s something I can rush. xxx

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  35. How do I get through big books?
    I look them in the (metaphorical) eye and say “Challenge Accepted”.

    My biggest problem with bigger books is the whole “But, while I’m reading this, I can’t read other books…” which is my issue with pretty much every book ever…

    Yeah, I’m weird.

    But usually, my method for dealing with them is just picking them up and reading them. “The sooner I start reading it, the sooner I’ll finish it”.

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  36. Totally agree! Big books scare me SO MUCH! I usually prefer to read them on my Kindle too, because the heft of the physical ones automatically turns me off. Ugh, the struggle is real! Especially since I almost never DNF. Which is silly of me, really!

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  37. I actually have love and hate relationship with big books. I love it because it means longer story for just a single book but I don’t like that it’s a bit pricey and definitely heavy. Well, I can opt to reading it in Kindle but it’s more satisfying to read books in paperback or hardcover. I bought Game of Thrones last year, the paperback format. It’s kinda huge compared to regular paperbacks so it’s difficult to bring it around.

    How do I manage to read these chunky books? Well, I don’t have tips about it because it actually depends on the story that I’m reading. If the story is oh-so-good, the size of the book doesn’t matter anymore (ie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

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    1. I definitely agree. I can deal with a longer story if I really love the book, but sometimes the time you invest in it’s just not worth it. :( I have GoT as a mass market PB, but it’s still pretty thick!

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      1. GoT: That’s why I bought the big paperback format. I can tolerate big books but not small & thick one like the mass market. I don’t know why.

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  38. Love the title of this post! I didn’t know you could turn off tracking! I’d have it on some and not on others. Like, the only thing that inspired me to finish Little Girls which I recently reviewed was the fact that the percentage counter went up so fast. As a reader, I don’t care how long a book is so long as I’m loving it, but as a blogger I NEED TO BE DONE WITH IT NOW BECAUSE I HAVEN’T POSTED A REVIEW IN LIKE A WEEK. It’s quite a lot of pressure.

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    1. Thanks, lovely! You can just click on the location/time left and it disappears. :) It has to stay on for PDFs, though.
      I agree! As a reader, I just go with the flow as long as I love the story, but the blogger in me is nagging at the back of my mind!

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      1. Haha! It’s so funny how completely different they are, since the only difference is that one read and the other reads and then tells other people that they read.

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  39. Some of the best books are huuuuuge :D Your tactics seem pretty good!

    I actually kind of prefer to read longer books as physical copies, despite the ease of reading them on Kindle. I have much less patience/concentration with my Kindle than a physical copy, so it takes me a lot longer to read a thick book that way. It took me AAAAAGES to read Outlander (around 800 pages) because it was on Kindle.

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    1. I totally agree–some of my favorite books are humongous!
      I read twice as fast when I read on my Kindle for some reason. Maybe it’s because I can adjust the fonts to what’s comfortable for me. :)

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  40. I have no tips unfortunately but I loved your tips! I honestly get so intimidated but big books as well. I just feel like it takes me way to long to finish the book and then I end up in a reading slump. I love the idea of reading an e-book though! That would probably work really well for me. Lovely post Aimee!

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  41. I am someone who likes big books and if I am honest, I like reading them in paperback more than anything! Because afterwards I can put it on my shelf and I remind myself that I have conquered it! But yes, sometimes they can be intimidating. Oh, and I also read them in the summer where I have plenty of time. I don’t mind them being 400 and something pages, but font really matters. It could be 400 pages of tiny print, and then it is more intimidating to me!

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    1. Yes! I guess that’s why I love reading on my Kindle–you can change the fonts to fit your style. :) Oh, and I love displaying big books on my shelves! *stares at Dark Reflections and Seraphina*

      Like

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