Thursday, August 31, 2017
A recent Litsy daily prompt got me thinking about what it is that makes a book a quick read. If you look at Listopia, on Goodreads, there are any number of lists under "Quick Reads," including "Short and Sweet," "Books I Read in 24 Hours," and "Books Under 250 Pages."
Does a book's length necessarily make it a quick read? Or does "quick read" just mean a book that nasty to read quickly, no matter the length? Or does it mean a book you read quickly because you just could not put it down, whether that be because it was so beautifully written or it was so suspenseful or it just spoke to you in that moment?
Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson, for example, is a short book with lots of white space. A quick read, right? But it's a book that really shouldn't be rushed. Beth Hoffman's Looking for Me is more than 350 pages long but I raced through that book in one day; it was one of those "right books at the right time" situations.
Should there be a modifier attached to the phrase "quick read?" As in, Stephen King's Under The Dome was a quick read for me...for a book of more than 1000 pages. When I finally tackle Anna Karenina, which is almost 200 pages shorter, I doubt very much that I will find that a quick read!
Do you ever find yourself scanning your bookshelves especially hunting for something that will be a quick read? My mood of late, and my long reading slump, has really had me searching my shelves for books that won't make me think too hard and won't take too long. So while I'm really wanting to pick up Game of Thrones and start that series, I'm leery. Perhaps, like Under The Dome, that big book will be quick read. But just keeping the characters straight may take more brain power than I'm able to summon.
So, for right now, I'm sticking to books that are, for the most part, under 300 pages. Because even if, like Jamie Ford's latest, Love and Other Consolation Prizes, they are beautifully written and books I want to swim in, they are still, relatively speaking, quick reads. And I'm ok with that for now.