The Importance of Long Books

There it is. You found a great book that you are really excited to read. You do some research and it is everything you could have ever hoped for in a book. Without a second thought, you immediately purchase the book and prepare for a wonderful weekend of comfortable reading. But then the book arrives…

The package seems large, too large in fact. You assume the seller packaged it with extra bubble wrap, how kind. As you open the package, your darkest fear is realized, and your hope for a pleasant reading experience just turned into AP English all over again. The book you ordered is over 800 pages long and the forward alone won a Pulitzer.

Now you have a serious decision to make. Do you buckle down and read the dang thing, or do you put it on your bookshelf, only to admire it from a distance? It is a tough choice because reading a mammoth book requires a serious amount of time. Time that could be used reading other, shorter, books.

It cannot be the case that we, as readers, are deterred from reading a book we want to read simply because it is too long. Reading is something we enjoy doing, what does it matter how long the book is? Chances are we’ll read something else anyway. You didn’t mind reading all 4,224 pages of the Harry Potter series: What’s to stop you from reading a measly 800?

Dedicating yourself to reading a long book is more important than simply adding an epic tale to your bookshelf. It is about increasing your attention span, developing discipline, and deepening your imagination. We cannot forget what brings us to reading in the first place. To expand our minds, and to challenge our imaginations.


A long book doesn’t have to be seen as a chore. Instead, try to see it as a deep dive into a whimsical world of imagination and fun. The longer it is, the longer you can be a spectator in whatever radical reality you are reading about. And finally, you can take gratification in the fact that you are actually doing something good for your brain.



Featured image courtesy of