By December 1, 2009 4 Comments Read More →

Would your group read loooong books?

I just finished Stephen King’s latest, Under the Dome.  It made me wonder, in regards to book groups, would a group ever be willing to read something THIS long?  It clocks in at 1074 pages, and weighs so much that it cut off circulation in my hands at one point. It didn’t take me more than a few days (and late nights), but I’m a fast reader and it was gripping.  But I would guess most readers would take one look at something that long that they were expected to read for book group and decide to pass that month, or, raise a big protest.

Groups that I’ve led have been willing to tackle longer books over a break -such as those who take the summer off and resume in September.  My most recent group skips December and January, so we generally chose longer or more challenging books to discuss in February.  But I’ve never even thought of proposing something quite this long.

What do you think?  Would your group be willing to read something over, say, 500 pages?  Not necessarily King (I’d like to pose that question in an upcoming post, though), but how about a classic, or a work of nonfiction?  Would  you take a vote first?

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About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

4 Comments on "Would your group read loooong books?"

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  1. djleenieman@yahoo.com' Dan Nieman says:

    Our group has taken on some 500+ pages. We usually split books in half if they are over 400 pages. The split often encourages people to continue to read. Some will be down with a book on the first half of the book, but get re-energized after the first discussion.

  2. bobrien@woodridgelibrary.org' Brenda O'Brien says:

    One of the book groups at my library is reading Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth for their mid-January discussion. They were interested in reading or re-reading it, but only in January because we’re having a social gathering rather than a discussion in January. Several people took the book home in mid-November.

  3. bmead@readinggroupchoices.com' Barbara says:

    I picked Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears for my group over the summer months when the book first came out (1998?). I loved it but most members didn’t finish it. Their loss — it was a wonderful and intriguing read! I have since moved and I know that my new group won’t even enetertain the idea of reading 500 pages.

  4. nkipping@fanwoodlibrary.org' Nancy says:

    This is so ironic because this is the first compliant I get about the books I choose–it’s soooo long!I never thought of it before but now it comes in to play when I choose a book. And I had to substitute books for this year due to the number of pages. I think a main reason is that they are reading other books in the month, and if too long doesn’t leave time for them. So I guess what info I need in choosing a book: name, author, pages, and maybe not in that order.

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