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Is it me, or are books getting shorter?

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I have, in recent times become a convert to the ebook thing, and as a result of this I have been having questions about the length of books.  Just that some ebooks I have read don't seem to be that long.  When you have a physical book in your hand you know what you're getting, you know if its going to be a quick read or something which is going to take days or even weeks to finish.  Now I don't expect every book to be War & Peace length  but I have recently read the All Souls Trilogy and to me they are a decent length book, Weirdo by Cathy Unsworth is another, a nice chunky book which keeps you entertained for a period of time.

 

Now, I have been reading some books, which seem to be over before I've finished my cup of tea, ok, so that might be a slight exaggeration but when I set time aside to read a book I don't intend to actually finish the book in one sitting and yet on many occasions recently that has happened, I have been reading and suddenly I glance at the percentage at the bottom and I'm in the 80/90% area and the book is nearly done and I feel a bit shortchanged.  A prime example of this was Girl from the Sea  I started it mid afternoon one day and it was complete by about 8pm that night.

 

Has anyone else noticed this or am I just being picky and reading quicker than I previously did?

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I wonder if we read ebooks more quickly than physical books. When I'm reading a physical book I am (obviously) aware of how far I have read and how much I have left.  With an ebook it is a concious decision to check progress.  So, I may pause with a physical book, take a break, whatever.  This is especially the case at the end of chapters and sections. But with an ebook I just keep going, just keep turning the virtual pages.  And before I know it I've been reading without a break for a couple of hours.

 

Girl from the Sea is 306 pages in paperback. So not that short.

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Tag - I think ebooks go quicker, just tap to turn a page, the device is easily held, and is small enough to hold comfortably and you don't have to keep smoothing the pages flat if the binding is tight on a paper book.

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21 hours ago, tagesmann said:

I wonder if we read ebooks more quickly than physical books. When I'm reading a physical book I am (obviously) aware of how far I have read and how much I have left.  With an ebook it is a concious decision to check progress.  So, I may pause with a physical book, take a break, whatever.  This is especially the case at the end of chapters and sections. But with an ebook I just keep going, just keep turning the virtual pages.  And before I know it I've been reading without a break for a couple of hours.

 

Girl from the Sea is 306 pages in paperback. So not that short.

 

That is actually a good point, I do tend to get engrossed when I start reading and shut myself off and I have been known to get a bit obsessive when it is something which has captured my attention and I am reluctant to put it down, but with a physical book I'll look and think, come on stop being obsessive your're nearly half way through it time for a break, but there is no physical marker of your progress with an ebook apart from the little percentage number at the bottom (which you can ignore) and you do just keep going.  Plus ebooks are easier to read, as with a print book you are stuck with whatever print size the publisher chose and in some instances that can be quite small and takes some effort to read if your eyesight is a bit dodgy (like mine) whereas an ebook you can change the font size, and make the book easier to read.

 

 

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I have read books in a day, usually a short translated novel under 150 pages

 

I looked at statistics for the length of my average reads

 

2012 - 337 pages

2013 - 325 pages

2014 - 354 pages (???)

2015 - 315 pages

2016 - 302 pages

2017 - 262 pages

2018 - 252 pages

 

So based on books I am reading, certainly they have got shorter :)

 

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3 hours ago, iff said:

I have read books in a day, usually a short translated novel under 150 pages

 

I looked at statistics for the length of my average reads

 

2012 - 337 pages

2013 - 325 pages

2014 - 354 pages (???)

2015 - 315 pages

2016 - 302 pages

2017 - 262 pages

2018 - 252 pages

 

So based on books I am reading, certainly they have got shorter :)

 

 

I might go and research some of my average reads see if my hunch was correct or the fact I am reading more on kindle and therefore reading quicker is the reason - or it could be a combination of both!

 

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51 minutes ago, lunababymoonchild said:

I think that it depends on the book.  For example, I finished the A B C Murders in two days (I simply cannot stay awake all night no matter how engrossed in a book I am) and it was 272 pages long.  The All Souls trilogy took me less time than usual for the length of the book - all three were 656 pages long.  Then again, I wasn't feeling very well at the time and had plenty of time to read because I wasn't doing anything else, so maybe it has to do with opportunity too. 

 

I like to vary my reading too,  so I deliberately choose short novellas of just 100 odd pages and long novels, some of which are so information packed that it takes me longer to read than I'd planned.  I don't usually read e-books, although I do have them, and I can see how you'd read one faster than a paper book.

 

Interesting topic.

 

Ok... so now I am more confused than ever, I just looked up the All Souls Trilogy on Amazon and it said

 

The Discovery of Witches was 610 pages long, you have just said it was 656 pages long I have picked up my book book copy and the story ends on page 688???

 

So that led me to look at the other two

 

Shadow of Night - Amazon says it is 592 pages long, you say its 656, my book book copy the story ends on page 630

The Book of Life - Amazon says it is 594 pages long, you say 656, my book book copy the story ends on page 637

 

Now having taken all that into consideration here is something else quite interesting...

 

We have established that Amazon says Discovery of Witches is 610 pages long - but that is for the kindle version they say the paperback version is 704 pages long

Shadow of Night Amazon kindle version 592 yet they say paperback version is 656 pages long

Book of Life Amazon kindle version 594 pages long yet they say paperback version is 656 pages long

 

So I picked a few books at random which I have read:

 

Amazon says Weirdo - 417 pages long my book book the story ends on page 404

Amazon says The Good Liar is 277 pages long my book book the story ends on page 360

Amazon says American Gods is 674 pages long by book book copy the story ends on page 635

 

BUT

 

Deliver Me kindle version Amazon says it is 400 pages long in kindle version  I have kindle version and it is indeed 400 pages long

The Girl from the sea Amazon says it is 306 pages long in kindle version I have the kindle version and it is indeed 306 pages long

Into the Darkest corner Amazon says 417 pages long in kindle version I have the kindle version and ... yep it is indeed 417 pages long

 

So not sure what to think, I am obviously missing something here as there really can't be this much variation?

 

(Also apologies for sounding a bit anal about it all)


 

Edited by Apple

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I looked at the Amazon counts.  If you check the original Discovery of Witches it's listed as 704 pages but if you check the TV tie-in (on Amazon) it's listed as 690.  I'll look at my paper copies later. 

 

ETA

My paper copy of A Discovery of Witches is 690 pages long.

My paper copy of Shadow of the Night is 641pages long. 

My paper copy of The Book of Life is 647 Pages long.

 

There is acknowledgements and bonus material in all of those books so it depends on whether you count those in (or get them in e-book, or that they are somewhere else in e-book) or not.

 

I've often found that the same book published by different companies can be different lengths and just put it down to print size.

 

I used to think that I was getting short-changed when the book was very short but have changed my mind on that.  700 pages of rubbish isn't going to interest me at all.

 

 

Edited by lunababymoonchild

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