Why are readers scared of long novels?
“Like the holy books, long novels are more often maligned than read. Critics complain that they are exasperating, or impossible, or not worth the time. But in the history of my reading life, I’ve encountered nothing like the caveat lectors surrounding Margurite Young’s Miss MacIntosh, My Darling. They felt less like user warnings or cautionary tales than being forced to gaze upon the skeletons of those who had previously made the attempt. When it was published in 1965, the critic Peter Prescott gave up after two days, even though his editor offered him four times the normal rate (everyone else had refused).”
We often say we’re unhappy when an enjoyable book ends. Well, it would take longer to end if it had more pages.
I’ve never understood the difference, in terms of time and effort, between having ten 100-page books on the nightstand and having one 1,000-page book on the nightstand.
But, I guess I’m in the minority. I read and re-read lengthy books all the time and think, on my best days, that I’m probably still sane.