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Does the length of a book or the cover ever put you off reading it?

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Showing 1-25 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Jul 2012 22:10:29 BDT
Book Addict says:
I don't enjoy short stories. A lot of the freebies look quite good to me until I notice that they are quite short (less than 200 pages) and then I don't bother taking them. I like to get properly lost in a story for hours.

Some of the covers of kindle books are also downright scary or creepy looking and that always puts me off reading the book too!

And they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover : )

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2012 22:13:31 BDT
To be honest, I have so much to read, I grumble if I see a book is MORE than 200 pages. But I know what you mean about getting lost in a long book!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2012 22:14:31 BDT
Brian says:
Big books scare me, and rubbish covers are a turn off

Posted on 24 Jul 2012 22:16:31 BDT
Booktigger says:
Yes, I'm guilty of both although at the moment as i am trying to read 100 books this year i have ignored some long ones - they are my treat if i succeed!

I am put off by covers but i like the creepy ones, i ignore if it looks more romance!

Posted on 24 Jul 2012 22:20:46 BDT
Jaydax says:
You are just not reading the right books. The series my wife and I write is up to 1,000,000 words and 8 books. Is that long enough for you?

There are some very good short stories out there though. The one that springs to mind is Lethargica by Edward Carpenter - just 23 pages long but well worth £0.77

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jul 2012 22:32:52 BDT
Denis Powell says:
Some short stories are very well written and thoroughly involving. I read one today that that had just 579 locations but it was one of the most moving stories I've ever read and had me in tears before the end.

For me the characters are the most important aspect of a book. If I like the sound of one or more of them and want to "meet" them then the story line is secondary. I don't care if it's a murder, horror, fantasy, detective, historical or romantic story, Novel, Novella or Short Story, and good things often come in small packages ;-)

Posted on 24 Jul 2012 22:44:21 BDT
Frenchie says:
Thank you for this thread. My favourite moan. I know we should not judge a book by its cover, but I often do. My main complaint is about the medieval history novels. As soon as you have the word knight in the title, you have either denuded ladies or six packs, bulging biceps Knights, or both. Thas puts me off. I would rather see a nice horse and a coat of mail. Some books are good, but the cover take all their credibility away. Also, there are some nice detective/thrillers stories that I missed because you see a knife dripping in blood on the cover or some faces full of blood etc...
There are some good short stories. I would rather read a good short story than a lengthy boring book. But I do prefer long books, as long as I get into them.

Posted on 24 Jul 2012 23:32:46 BDT
Jaydax says:
As an author I know just how important the cover is. If the cover doesn't catch the eye, the book will never sell. I do my own and spend hours on them. I think I'm getting better. There are some awful covers on good books and good covers on awful books though so the old saying is still true.

I agree some covers are a complete turn-off. For me a Sci-Fi book with a sword wielding hero on the cover is a complete turn-off.

Posted on 24 Jul 2012 23:44:15 BDT
few words says:
Yes def turned of by covers . I have a few short story collections Sci-Fi but I dont normally buy short stories in other genres and even avoid the freebie short stories.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 06:27:25 BDT
mr c says:
On another thread there were recommendations for £1 Phil Rickman books, I liked the sample but couldn't face 600+ pages, even for a £1.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 09:15:51 BDT
K. A. Newton says:
I don't like short stories but I will praise some authors who manage to get a really interesting yarn started and finished with good stuff between.

A grotty cover really puts me off also plain covers. Just recently I have been downloading some with plain covers which would sell more with a picture, hidden gems.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 09:28:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jul 2012 09:29:50 BDT
w-w says:
I have always paid much more attention to books with a good cover - its quite a natural thing really to be drawn to something you find attractive. Its like anything that has a good design, it appeals to your senses and makes you think there is something interesting inside. Like someone has put some care into it. I often wonder what is happening to modern design with the advent of the very blank looking tablet, i get the feeling it has killed off one aspect of the experience for the future - as they are a very fixed thing, one that can't change much.
Short stories are a great way to clear your head between novels i find.


Posted on 25 Jul 2012 11:23:28 BDT
Kat says:
When I could only buy tree books, given that I read quite quickly, I used only to buy big books - if I'm going to spend the best part of a tenner, I want the book to last me more than a day. Now I have the Kindle, with so many inexpensive books out there, I spend less notice of the length, and sometimes I shorter read is what I want.

On the other hand, possibly because old habits die hard, I'm still not a fan of short stories.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 11:30:50 BDT
Nurrie says:
Covers are what draws me to a book. If a novel has comic sans font and has fluorescent green writing, I'd be trying to escape the sight as quickly as possible. Length, well, my preference is longer novels, I really don't pay much attention to short stories unless they're in a compilation book.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 12:43:12 BDT
oldcelt says:
Really agree with frenchbookworm about historical covers. Also if the costume depicted is wrong for the time setting of the book it makes me feel the publisher doesn't care. I know authors sometimes have huge battle over this having read various writers' blogs - C S Harris for example.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 13:57:48 BDT
MS says:
I've read a few long books and found most of it is padding. If there is a long proper story then it is published in parts (Harry Potter, Hunger games etc). I now prefer books at 300-400 pages. Only covers that put me off are those tacky half naked chic lit ones.

Posted on 25 Jul 2012 14:54:26 BDT
bellowsmain says:
Matterhorn OK. New here and picked up on this thread. Large or long books can be good value if a good read. The one I marked is a tome,heavy to hold but a fantastic story. A world away from the sort of book I would normally read as I have fairly immature tastes reading humour fantasy by choice. Anyroadupwards just some input.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jul 2012 16:10:53 BDT
w-w says:
I look forward to reading your review of it...


Posted on 25 Jul 2012 16:19:59 BDT
LewoAF says:
In answer to the length, Yes. I often find myself reading the description of the book and thinking that it sounds very good and upon looking at the number of pages thinking it is not worth it. I often feel that short stories seemed rushed where as with longer novels draw me in and if i'm enjoying the book, I do like knowing that i have a long way to go till the end. I do read some short books but not many.

Regarding cover, that doesn't usually stop me buying a book. I have seen many a book that are my favourites and then seen the original covers, so i know not to be swayed by the covers. I judge books more on their genre than their covers.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jul 2012 15:33:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Jul 2012 15:35:39 BDT
bellowsmain says:
As I am an idiot on this I am unsure if you asked for a review willie wit. If so I will attempt a belated one as I read Matterhorn a year or so ago before the Kindle lightened the reading burden.
Like many Vietnam war stories it is a little gun ho but remembering the very real feeling of fear, heat, sweat and leaches which get into places only a urinary infection should be familiar with and the impromptu field operation to relieve the blistering pain of an engorged bladder with the aid of a bayonet it left me at times with a feeling of scrotal retraction.
Many of the characters are well written including the lieutenant who only a kid himself is charged with saving as many of his men as he can against a backdrop of Vietcong, Tiger attacks which leave one soldier with the top half of his face and head chewed off. Add to that the graphic explosions, shootings and stabbings. injuries that leave a body to rot whilst still breathing eaten by maggots and flies, incessant rain,fog,foot rot, lack of supplies vomiting and foliage plus the ineptitude and egos of the senior officers this book will take you to a place where war looks totally unacceptable and a million miles from glorious. A fantastic read. Heavy book great for the Kindle.

Posted on 26 Jul 2012 22:24:10 BDT
One of the first things I look at is number of pages as I like long books but am put off a book if the cover doesn't grab me. Genre is also very important to me.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jul 2012 22:39:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Jul 2012 22:41:36 BDT
Zol. says:
Before Kindle, I used to look at the title, then the cover (front) & read the blurb on the back, then flick through to a random chapter/page - if what I read is in a style that isn't over complicated by unnecessary words & I find pleasing then I would buy the book.

Kindle on the other hand only allows you to read the 1st chapter - the cover gives an impression if the book has gone for a good quality artist, which is a good impression as to whether the book is a well established author or not (big authors tend to have good art, not tacky photoshop) - Also, the book description/author info is a necessity when choosing IMO, I like to know some background on the author and their works.

So, Cover makes some difference, being able to read a non-1st chapter page/chapter would be nice, and the description and author info is a must.

Oh I should say, book length used to be an issue, but generally between 200 & 400 pages is fine (real paperbacks)

hope that helps, even if it is my own way of choosing a book :)

Posted on 26 Jul 2012 22:44:11 BDT
I'm very loyal to authors so don't really care about the cover or length of a book by a favourite. With new authors, before the advent of the kindle the blurb on the back and a map in the front was more important to me. I always preferred a weighty tome to a short book though

Posted on 27 Jul 2012 07:05:06 BDT
Beathag says:
If you're looking for a great, shortish book I can highly recommend Homecoming Blues (Dalton's Blues) by Andrew Scorah. It's worth every penny (which has been reduced since I bought it too) He's also writing 2 more to conclude it. Brilliant.

Posted on 27 Jul 2012 08:00:28 BDT
Kulana says:
The longer the story the better for me. I love reading series, in order, which can make for very long books :-]
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Discussion in:  kindle discussion forum
Participants:  26
Total posts:  30
Initial post:  24 Jul 2012
Latest post:  28 Feb 2014

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