Thursday, February 9

Fat Book Phobia

We all know that it is bad to judge a book by its cover. Meaning, you shouldn’t allow what a person looks like to influence your opinion of them. Just because they have skin like leather or are covered in tattoos or are overweight or have purple hair, does not mean that they are not made of awesome.

I have a confession. I judge actual books by their covers. Well, at least, covers help me to notice certain books over others. I’ve discussed it before and it is what it is. What I admit to you now is that I am prejudiced of fat books. They intimidate me and I edge away from them.

The thing is, I’ve read fat books and they’ve been amazing. The fourth and fifth Harry Potter books are obese. In fact, I know a few people who were too intimidated to read on in the series because of their size, despite how much I convinced them that it was good reading. Even so, I’m still intimidated by big books.


The reason is that every new book is a risk. When I discover a book and start to read it, I am either extremely optimistic or pessimistic about it. Not a great place to start, on either end. The thing is, if I am not sure if I will like a book, I don’t want to venture into one that is so large.

Why not just stop reading if it doesn’t turn out to be as captivating as you would like?

Curse you and your rational questions. Well, I have another problem that I am slowly getting through. I know I am not alone in this. I have an illogical need to finish books once I start them, even if they suck. It doesn’t help that I understand that you can learn from reading bad books, so I torture myself through to the end.

What about all those books that didn’t suck that you still only half-read?

Shut up, voice in my head. You’re getting off topic.

Anyway, I know that this is a stupid peeve to have. After all, I have read some of the worst books that were mega short and it felt like they would never end. Still, when someone tells me, “Wow, this is the best book ever, read it!” only to put the book in my hand and have me fall over from the weight of it, I’m reluctant.

I have a family friend who bought me a book for my birthday last year. He told me it was meant to be really good. It was huge. I still haven’t read it.

He asked me at one stage if I had read the book yet. Awk-ward. The gist of my response – at least in my head – was, ‘That is the fattest book I have ever seen…and it’s in paperback!’

Fat books – I fear them. Does anyone else have this issue? Come on, raise your hands. I won’t judge. Okay, maybe a little.


Katie said...

soo right. I started a short story, It turned out to be a prequel so I started Number 1.. turns out we are up to NO 13 in the series now, enormous tomes, and I have to check out the fan club notes to remind me who is who, and now the author has died, before No 14 in the series, and the final book, is finished. So will I ever get to know the end? All that investment in time, multiplied across the fan base... whew. Big books are certainly to be eschewed if you have any sense (except Harry Potter as you so rightly point out).

Anneliese said...

It depends on your definition of big books. I've read some very average sized books that other people think are huge. However, big books do intimidate me (though Harry Potter I was never intimidated by, I didn't care how big it was, I just NEEDED to read it), because I start to wonder how much of it is plot and how much of it is description (and books with long winded descriptions of everything bore me to sleep). But if it sounds good, I'll read it, regardless of size.
I have the same problem where I have to finish reading a book. There have been the occasions when I haven't, but most of the time I must finish the book or the series.