The Books Aren’t Too Long, They’re Too Short

The general public’s aversion to long books vexes me.  I find that this comes up a lot with the Game of Thrones:

Do you watch Game of Thrones?

—Yeah, it’s great!

Have you read the books?

—No, they’re like 1000 pages or something!  Ain’t nobody got time for that…

I read the Song of Ice and Fire books before the Game of Thrones HBO show started.  When I heard they were making a show I was understandably excited, and if it was on HBO, they might be able to do the books justice.  I think they’ve done a reasonably good job thus far, but as with everything, the books are better.  This is true for Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and so on.  While it is good that these shows and movies can sometimes get people to read the books, this doesn’t usually happen.  The paraphrased conversation above encapsulates the main objection; that people just don’t want to read long books.

I don’t really understand this though.  If you are interested in the detailed universe, the well-developed characters, and the engaging plot, why would you then say it’s too many pages?  That would be like saying ‘it took too many bites to eat the chocolate soufflé.’  Preposterous!

For example, I think that the Song of Ice and Fire books strike the perfect balance between the entirely too short Lord of the Rings and the  ludicrously long-winded Wheel of Time books.  1000 pages per book with many (many) years in between isn’t enough.  If you’re invested in a TV, Movie, or Book series, it can never be too long, but only too short.  (Sherlock and Luther).

So the next time someone tells me that the books are too long, after shaking my head in disapproval, I’ll explain it to them.  Longer books are a good thing (assuming they don’t just go on…and on) it allows for more of something you love, how could that ever be a bad thing?

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The Books Aren’t Too Long, They’re Too Short