Big Books: It’s a Love-Hate Relationship

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For some reason I always put off reading big books. You know the ones I’m talking about? The 500+ pages intimidator to the gasp worthy 1000+ pagers. They just look so daunting.

We all do it (or at least, a good portion of us do) but none of us really know why. Sure, it’ll take a bit longer (duh) but for some reason that leads me to always reach towards the 200 pagers because I know I can feel so great about eclipsing my yearly challenge by reading them so fast. Whereas, in reality, it would be much more impressive if I actually read a big book once in a while.

To my credit! I just finished reading A Game of Thrones and that was a big book. Well, it actually doesn’t look super overwhelming, but shush. It was big, okay? Good.

Today I thought I’d share with you some books on my very own bookshelf that I have put off reading (some for over 5 years . . . ) purely because of a subconscious whispering that tells me they’re just too big.

After pondering over this dilemma I’ve decided the only solution is to just man up. SO, this Christmas, if I receive such a book my plan is that will be the first book I read. HAH! Gotcha, past-self, we’re going to conquer this silly little paranoia of big books consuming my life. It’s going to happen. I will make this happen. Just you watch (refrain from throwing tomatoes if I fail, though, please).

So enjoy the top 10 books of mine that I have yet to read purely because of the page count.

Book Number One! The Royal Assassin: 648 pages

The Royal Assassin is the second book in the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. I received for Christmas in 2014. Yah, a year ago. And I’m so excited to read it (seriously). But I haven’t picked it up!

Note: This is the SECOND BOOK in a series so maybe don’t read the summary if you don’t want to know anything, although it’s not very spoiler-y.
Fitz has survived his first hazardous mission as king’s assassin, but is left little more than a cripple. Battered and bitter, he vows to abandon his oath to King Shrewd, remaining in the distant mountains. But love and events of terrible urgency draw him back to the court at Buckkeep, and into the deadly intrigues of the royal family. . . {continued}

[Goodreads summary]

The Royal Assassin, in this beautiful edition here that I own, comes in at 648 pages. Which isn’t really that bad (but it sure looks big, right?). And just to have a little squee moment, I got my first book, The Assassin’s Apprentice, SIGNED by ROBIN HOBB because SHE CAME TO FREAKING PERTH (no-one ever comes here). Excuse me whilst I faint. This is a fantastic series and I absolutely loved the first book – I can’t wait to finish it! Although, apparently I can.



Book Number Two! Tigana: 676 pages

Tigana is a standalone behemoth of a book by Guy Gavriel Kay. I also received this for Chrismas, although I don’t remember if it was last year (2014) or 2013 . . . Either way, shame on me!

Eight of the nine provinces of the Peninsula of the Palm, on a world with two moons, have fallen to the warrior sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior.
Brandin’s younger son is slain in a battle with the principality of Tigana, which the grief-stricken sorcerer then destroys. After sweeping down and destroying the remnants of their army, burning their books and destroying their architecture and statuary, he makes it so that no one not born in that province can even hear its name. . . {continued}

[Goodreads summary]

This book actually sounds amazing and I can’t wait until the day when I find the courage to pick it up. This book is slightly longer than the previous at 676 pages long *gulp*. The difference with this one is it has little font and actually looks a whole heap bigger. JUST LOOK AT IT.

The one thing I am 100% in LOVE with is the fact that Kay says the pronunciation of this book follows Italian pronunciation and I SPEAK ITALIAN *celebrations*.



Book Three! Terrier: 584 pages

Terrier by Tamora Pierce is probably the oldest book on my shelf. I don’t think it’s necessarily an exaggeration if I said it’s been there at least 7 years by now. That’s quite a long time. If you’ve been around here for a while you might know that I hated reading as a kid – I detested it. Thankfully, I came to my senses. But I received this book during that period so . . . big book + lack of inspiration to read = never reading it.

Hundreds of years before Alanna first drew her sword in Tamora Pierce’s memorable debut, Alanna: The First Adventure, Tortall had a heroine named Beka Cooper – a fierce young woman who fights crime in a world of magic. This is the beginning of her story, her legend, and her legacy…. {continued]

[Goodreads summary]

However, that doesn’t mean I will never read it, I will, I plan to. It comes in a 584 pages and is a biggish book so I think it is sort of manageable. It just looks so fat on my shelf that I never feel  inclined to pick it up, *sigh*.



Book Four! The Wise Man’s Fear: 1107 pages

The Wise Man’s Fear is the second book in The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. Now, I must admit, I am no longer afraid to pick up this book. I recently read the first one and the story is absolutely fabulous. I can’t recommend this series enough.

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”
My name is Kvothe.
I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trehon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
You may have heard of me. . . {continued}

[Goodreads summary]

You might’ve notice, however, that is is 1107 PAGES LONG. Holy cow. It is a bit shorter in other editions (you know, only 900 pages or so, pfft) but I own the mass market paperback and they’re the teenie tiny little editions of books that I sort of hate (especially for small books) but whatever, money, right? I will more than likely read this one next year, as excited as I am, I’m still a little terrified.




Book Five! The Liveship Traders Trilogy: lots of pages

That’s right. I’m afraid of the entire series. I actually bought these second hand this year, so I don’t feel too guilty . . . yet. This is the page number breakdown:

This is series is SO BIG. Urgh. But I loved Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice book so much that I basically went on a Hobb-book-buying rampage. Yup. I will probably get around to these . . . within the next 2 years.

Sidenote: I may or may not have photographed these out of order. Shhh, I’m not re-doing it, okay?

I do think these sound like they’ll be a lot of fun to read however. So maybe I’ll pick one up sooner. There’s just something so delicious about fantasy books.


Book Six! David Copperfield: 974 pages

My dad ever so kindly gifted this book to me and I really, really love the cover. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens is such a big book – but one of the highly praised classics (obviously seeing as it’s Dickens), so I feel somewhat obliged to read it. You might know that I’m on a mission to collect the slightly weird but ever so lovely Penguin paper back editions of classics: so if you want to look at some book pork check out THIS website, *drools*. But, say, if I were to just go crazy and collect several editions of my favourite classics, this edition would certainly be on the list . . .

David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy & impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr Murdstone; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora; & the magnificently impecunious Micawber, one of literature’s great comic creations. . . {continued}

[Goodreads summary]

It comes in at a scary 974 pages – and ever since battling through Pride & Prejudice I’ve become reasonably scared to read classics. So I really don’t know when I’ll get around to this one. I would say ‘soon’, but let’s face it, it’s not going to be. Nonetheless, that cover.



Book Seven! Vanity Fair: 867 pages

Speaking of classics, Vanity Fair is another on my list (why are they always so big?). I was given this one at pretty much the same time as David Copperfield – so I’ve had both for about a year now. Both still make me nervous.

Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero is a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, first published in 1847–48, satirizing society in early 19th-century Britain. The book’s title comes from John Bunyan’s allegorical story The Pilgrim’s Progress, first published in 1678 and still widely read at the time of Thackeray’s novel. Vanity fair refers to a stop along the pilgrim’s progress: a never-ending fair held in a town called Vanity, which is meant to represent man’s sinful attachment to worldly things.

[Goodreads summary]

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray is 867 pages but I think it’ll actually be fun to read (she says). I’ve read the first chapter, or whatever it was, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Why did I do that, you ask, because who doesn’t stand in front of their bookcase and randomly pick up books to read the first page of? That’s normal, right?

This is another cover I love, I’m pretty sure it’s a matching set to my David Copperfield as well, so that’s nice. FUN FACT: did you know Charlotte Bronte dedicated Jane Eyre to Thackeray? Because she did! I feel like I’m in on some huge secret whenever I read that dedication at the start of my edition of Jane Eyre. Don’t believe me? Google it!



Book Eight! Anna Karenina: 848 pages

Anna Karenina was another present – from Christmas two years ago I believe. Leo Tolstoy clearly had issues with writing shorter novels – and the edition I have is one of those super cheap versions that you go yeah! for and then you see the size of the font, *reaches for magnifying glass*.

A famous legend surrounding the creation of Anna Karenina tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up by falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a reader of the book who doesn’t experience the same kind of emotional upheaval: Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer. 

[Goodreads summary]

I am actually planning on re-buying this is a nicer edition when I get around to finishing/starting it. I was somewhat inspired to read it, and then the movie came out which was just weird, so it’s been milling at the back of my mind since. And those 848 pages  of tiny font make me question if my book stamina is good enough to make it through this novel. Because yes, book stamina is totally a thing.



 Book Nine! The Final Empire: 647 pages

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is the only Sanderson book that I own. I’ve never read any of his books but I always hear fabulous things about them. So I really should get onto reading this.

In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with colour once more?
In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage – Allomancy, a magic of the metals.

[Goodreads summary]

It’s the first book in the Mistborn series which, I must say, just sounds absolutely fabulous. It’s 647 pages long, so one of the shorter ones on this list, it just looks so intimidating on my shelf – it always looks very pretty with it’s white and blueness. Soon, this will happen soon.



Book Ten! Lamplighter: 702 pages

Lamplighter by D. M. Cornish is a book that’s been stuck on my shelf for quite some time. I read the first one . . . but I’ve also completely forgotten what happened. Damn. And the first book isn’t particularly small either.

Orphan Rossamund Bookchild has been sworn into the Emperor’s service his duty is to light the lamps along the Emperor’s highways and protect travelers from the ferocious bogles that live in the wild. But he’s found it no easier to fit in with the lamplighters than he did with the foundlings always too small and too meek and his loneliness continues no matter how hard he tries to succeed.

[Goodreads summary]

This is the second book to the Monster Blood Tattoo series. I do plan on reading it, but as time goes on I’m beginning to doubt if I ever will, *sigh*. It’s a struggle. I’ve also never seen this mentioned anywhere else  . . . it’s not particularly encouraging . . . Though, that being said, I do recall loving the first book.



 Well that’s all from me for now!

What big book are you intimidated by? Have you read any of the ones I listed? Let me know your thoughts below!

Want to chat more books with me? Find me on Twitter or Tumblr – I love to chat!

Arrivederci tutti and happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~

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