Does the size of a book matter, the thickness of its spine? the word count?
My first book, This Tumbleweed Landed, was less than 125 pages–over 10,000 words. It was collection of poetry and prose about growing up in my small ranching community of Branson, CO during the fifties and sixties. My second book, When Will Papa Get Home?, was about 150 pages and over 20,000 words. Does that mean that those books were less than, inferior? I’ve had people comment on these books and how the content touched them in a variety of ways.
My newly released book, A Time to Grow Up–A Daughter’s Grief Memoir, is 412 pages long–over 46,000 words. Does the size of this book make it better than my previous ones? This mindset baffles me.
Shakespearean scholars would have a hay day with this idea and say there’s a phallic symbol hidden in there somewhere.
I had a conversation with someone the other day about creative writing. She has not published a book yet. She said she was only going to write thick books, so that’s what encouraged this blog post.
If you judge a book by its size, you may miss out. Many small books have big messages. Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull comes to mind immediately. How about Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet? It’s a short 107 pages yet those 26 prose poetry fables are world known and celebrated.
I never judge a book by its size. I have some huge tomes that bore me to tears and small ones that have touched my life deeper than any long winded volume.
As a writer, I don’t focus on the size of the project I’m working on–my books dictate their size and message.
Yes, I know that size matters in some things, but when it comes to books, I make my decisions to buy a book on its topic, the author, the cover and much more than its size, so size does not matter.