Today I was talking about the size of the ‘Dune’ novel, and other such treats, when the conversation turned to chapter size. It seems that my friends are very similar to me in thinking that chapter length is more important than book length. Books are organised into chapters for a reason and being able to read one chapter at a time is very handy. So the question I keep asking is – ‘What is your take on short vs long chapters?’
Do you like a long book?
After some discussion, we realised that if chapters are relatively short we don’t mind reading a slightly longer book than usual. Although we lean towards books that are 250 pages long, we will happily read anything up to about 400 pages so long as the chapters aren’t too overwhelming. One thing that came out amongst my friends was that short chapters are way more popular than long.
My book choices
I have started to really enjoy YA books and am indeed writing one myself. These books are usually less than 250 pages long. They also traditionally comprise of short chapters (usually 3 to 10 pages). Books with short chapters, like these, are easier to follow and pick up and put down.
There are plenty of novels that are around 400 pages that I have read recently too. I am a big fan of Joanne Harris and she often produces dramas that are around that length but I get totally engrossed, reading a chapter at a time.
Liane Moriarty also writes novels with mainly short chapters although hers vary. As I am reading her book, ‘Three Wishes’, I am finding that most of her chapters are about six pages long. The reason I like this so much is because they are each written about a different character. Also, I am able to read each chapter in short amounts of time, sometimes squeezing them in before appointments.
So what are your thoughts on all of this? Please comment below and consider following my blog for more similar content in future. For a previous post about reading, click here.