5 Reasons Why Reading Long-Ass Novels Is a Really Cool Idea
How it enhances your reading experience in a positive way
Takes a deep breath.
I used to be scared of reading long books.
Exhales in relief.
There, I said it.
I’ve never been afraid of reading long novels because of their length or density. Many people find the sheer volume of A Song of Ice and Fire series threatening — not me. I couldn’t care less if I’d have to get through four hundred or four thousand pages, as long as I was having fun.
What was the problem then? I hear you ask.
The issue started when I began to set my yearly reading challenge goals.
It’s a bit embarrassing but it’s the truth — I refused to read long books simply because they took longer to read, which meant I was stressed that I wouldn’t reach my reading goal for the year. I was obsessed with reading as many books as possible, I put impossible expectations on myself and I rushed through every novel to be a ‘successful reader’, whatever that meant.
This insanity stopped last year when I finally set a healthy reading challenge for myself. Thanks to a lower goal, I had all the time in the world to delve into one-thousand-page books, and let me tell you — it was the best reading decision I had made in a really long time.
Slowly but surely, I am falling in love with long books now. There’s no coming back.
Here are the reasons why long-ass novels are great.
You Go Deeper
The longer you’re immersed in a certain world, the deeper you dive, the more you learn, the broader your horizons are.
Truly masterful writers create characters that move you to your core, and if these characters live in a really long series, you get to enjoy them for longer. There’s more space for the exploration of their psychology and for the development of their character arc, which can make the whole story much more impactful.
Personally, I was really glad that the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson had three long books because I totally fell in love with the world and its people. I couldn’t put the books down, and I spent long nights reading and bawling my eyes out over what happened in the story.
When the series ended, it had a truly deep impact on me because of how long I had spent engaging with the world Sanderson had created. It became a part of my life for a much bigger chunk of time than other books do, which made the experience special.
You Get Better at Book Analysis
As a writer, reading is the most valuable tool I have in order to understand my craft.
When I read, I try to focus on many different aspects that make the story so enjoyable, and I always learn from it, both consciously and subconsciously.
One of the main things I’ve learned from reading long novels is a sense of rhythm. I’m currently halfway through Haruki Murakami’s IQ84 that has over 1300 pages, and there’s one thing I find utterly fascinating about it — not that much happens, and yet somehow, I really enjoy the book.
Murakami has a huge talent for spacing events in a way that always makes you lust for more, even when you don’t even know what more means since the whole thing is really cryptic and kind of bonkers (okay, kind of doesn’t cut it — it gets super mega bonkers the more the story develops, and I have some thoughts about lots of the sexual stuff he puts in).
The sense of rhythm in 1Q84 is perfect. It’s slow or fast exactly where it needs to be and it keeps the reader hooked.
Long novels can be a great teacher in this sense — authors need to try much harder to keep the reader’s attention since not everyone is in the mood to get through a thousand pages. The story needs to be immersive and gripping enough, and the writer needs to pay special attention to that.
You Focus on Quality over Quantity
I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive to read as many books as you’d like, however, my unhealthy reading challenges had a bad influence on me as a reader. Often I read for quantity more than quality, and I felt rushed to mark a book as read on my Goodreads profile and move on to the next one without any further thought.
Reading long books has made me direct my focus on quality reading time, which has greatly improved my reading experience. I take my time digesting the story, I think about it, and the story stays in my life for longer than a week.
I don’t even count how many pages are left before the chapter is over. I just read and have fun.
You Don’t Miss Out on Opportunities
When I finished reading The Priory of the Orange Tree last year, I thought, “What a missed opportunity it would have been if I didn’t read this book!” Its vivid imagery, striking characters and a beautifully described world touched me and gripped me in a way very few books had in the past.
This is a common theme with long books, especially fantasy ones. They’re so much fun to read. They make me feel like I’m thirteen again, secretly reading underneath the desk during class because I simply can’t put the book down.
It would be a tragedy to pass on such amazing reading experiences just because of the length of the story. Thanks to my new mindset, I actually see the length as a nice benefit — the more pages there are, the more great storytelling, am I right?
You’ll Be Cool in a Nerdy Way
Nerds are cool in the 21st century. Intellectuals are impressive, and when you say you’ve read all of The Brothers Karamazov, people will probably hold you in high regard because, well, it’s cool, isn’t it?
Not everyone has the courage to read long-ass novels. People who do read them are brave, smart and great. At least I think they are. But I’m always moving in nerd circles, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask.
Anyway, I think you’ll be cool.
I can’t wait to dive deep into more long novels and explore what this world of books-that-are-too-heavy-to-hold-open-in one-hand has to offer.
Why not give it a try? You might be surprised at just how amazing these long works of art are.