Treasured *Thicc* Tomes


I like me some lean SFF. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good, thick sheaf of parchment – mmmm-mmm. I liked the first three-ish (it’s been so long I can hardly remember) Song of Ice and Fire books. I gorged on the Harry Potters. Dracula wasn’t exactly a thin pile of leaf, nor were the Lord of the Rings books.

Some hurdles I just can’t seem to surmount, though. Couldn’t get into The Name of the Wind, and I’m not feeling much enticed by Sanderson’s stuff. Alas, Jordan’s epic, 20-book long, 90,000 page work never drew me in, either.

Some long books are just so bloated; working through them feels like…well, work!

the stand

Phat books are all the rage these days, and I can’t put my finger on why. Is it the perception of value for money? Is it simply because that’s what’s on the shelves?

What about you all? What are some of the larger books you like, and why? Do you dislike short fiction? If so, why? I thirst for knowledge!



  1. Oh come on, The Wheel of Time is barely 4,000,000 words!

    Some books, even very long books, read easy. I could read The Wheel of Time all day. I burned through The Stand in my spare time over the course of a week hiking in northern Arizona/southern Utah.

    I do have to say that I am leery of the commitment of a big book these days. I’m always got so many other things to read, and so much else going on that cuts into my reading time.

    • I think you’re most likely a faster reader than I, so that may be a factor.

      But yes, that’s probably my biggest beef these days – in the time it takes to read a big book, I could probably have read two or three smaller ones. Not only that, but if it’s one of those “it gets good 200 pages in!” big books, then there’s a lot more buy-in and potentially wasted time.

  2. I’m going to cop out and say that it depends on the author.

    Some authors can really bring the heat to a short novel: Jack Vance, E.C. Tubb, Zelazny, Leigh Brackett.
    Some authors can really pull you in to a big sheath of parchment: J.R.R. Tolkien, Eddison, Dumas (the unabridged version of the Count of Monte Cristo is 1000 + pages).

    I do know that I prefer authors who published before 1980: I’ve never read Sanderson, Harry Potter, Dragonlance anything. I don’t care for Stephen King, I couldn’t get past the first Game of Throne’s book and I drifted away from The Wheel of time after book 3 or 4.

    Tell me Bushi, what do you consider phat? Is it the number of pages or if the story makes you feel like you should have punched a clock before wading in?

    • Good question, John. I guess page count can vary a lot depending on the print size, and I have no idea how to estimate word count.

      Part of it is that I’ve grown really averse to stories that take several chapters to really wind up and get going. I want to be pulled in quickly. So I guess I’m more leery of sluggish pacing and bloat than size per se.

      Great example with Dumas, by the way. Reminds me I want to get back to him sometime.

  3. Wheel of Time is 13/14 books. Stop exaggerating to make your case look better 😉

    For me, the ‘why’ is pretty easy. If I enjoy how an author writes and what they are writing about, I want to spend time in that world. The more time I can spend in that world, the better.

  4. They’re a hard sale for me. I like a good 80-100k, though. Short books are a hard sale, too, because they end just as I’m really getting into them. And I hate cliffhangers. That’s a serious breech of trust.

    • Cliffhangers in books are usually lame, agreed. A lot of the time it just feels so…commercial. I mean authors have a right to make a buck, but tell me your story, man! You’re presuming an awful lot if you’re already trying to sell me your 6-book series from the get-go!

  5. I’m with Bookstooge (again). I could care less about length of the book and more about whether the first few chapters hold my attention. The way to hold my attention, most of the time anyway, is to not bore me with endless details that aren’t necessary. I appreciate writers and storytellers who have mastered ‘broad brush strokes’. I appreciate plot. Plot is equal to setting, if not slightly more important. And likable characters are just as important come to think about it. If all my requirements are met, I will want to spend time in that world with the characters and I will care what happens to them.

    If a writer has those things happening, length of the book don’t matter.

    And someday, I recommend giving Jordan a chance. He sucked me right in, and as much as I wanted to pimp slap his Messiah Character at times, I fell in love with the rest of them, even the annoying braid tugger

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