How to Read Incredibly Long Books


Large books are scary. Daunting. Tremendous. And today I will tell you how to read them.



I've been thinking about the best way to read large books because I'm perusing the classic novel Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I tried reading it a few years ago, but didn't finish it. And that was the abridged version. Now I'm attempting the full version. And even though the complete book has a lot more material and background than the abridged version, it's more coherent. I feel like I understand more about the story.

This photo isn't really necessary, but I got a bit carried away with photography today.

Reading a huge book is a challenge, but to make it easier, here are my favorite tips for finishing long books!


1. Don't judge a book by its size. Yes, tremendous tomes are scary. But many of them have hearts of gold. There are some epic and wonderful stories in those 1500+ page books. They just require some patience to discover.

2. Don't expect to read them all at once. Long books must be read one page at a time. It will take a while. (That reminds me of a saying about eating an elephant; apparently it must be done one bite at a time. I wouldn't recommend eating elephants, though.) However, if you're reading a good book, it's worth the time and effort!

3. Set a reading goal. It's very helpful to read part of a large book every single day. With Les Miserables, I've decided to read 30 pages every day. At this rate I should be finished with the book when I reach midlife sometime in June.

4. Be consistent. It's tempting to set a large book aside for a few weeks or even months. I've done this, but when I come back to it I'm terribly confused. I can't remember who is doing what, why everybody is behaving this way - and who on earth is that character? I forget a lot of details.


And that's it. Happy reading!




What are your tips for reading long books? What do think about abridged novels – yea or nay?

Comments

  1. Hahaha! I've never given much thought to what it takes to make it through a big book, but this advice was certainly helpful. Great post!

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  2. Thank you so much for this post! Just the push I needed to get onto some of the huge books on my TBR. One of them is Les Mis :)

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  3. These are incredibly good tips aaand YAY. I'm actually doing this! So I'm on the right track. XD I'm reading a really epically huge book atm, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and it's HUGE. *gulps* And I'm really struggling with it because it's kind of written in an intense style and if I read too much I find my mind wanders and I miss important details. SO. I can only read like a few pages a ta time. My goals is 50-pages per day at the least. But I missed the weekend and now I'm having trouble getting back in. *sigh* It's only 650-pages though. I can't imagine tackling over a thousand!!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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    1. Exactly! Fantasy books have a lot of important details, and it's easy to miss them. I haven't read Mistborn, but it sounds pretty involved!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Love it! Les Miserables is SUCH a great book! I agree about big books... I'm always tempted to try them in one sitting. D : Usually with poor results.

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    1. Thanks! I've heard a lot of good things about Les Mis, and it's great so far! :)

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  5. Great advice! I've been avoiding (ahem, wanting to read) Les Mis for years, so that was an especially good example to use for me! Maybe I'll tackle it sometime soon...

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    1. Thanks! :) Yes, Les Mis is quite a challenge; but it's been worth it so far!

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