My Personal Guidelines for Reading Big Books

I’m not a fan of big books.

I mean the really giant ones, the ones that are over 800 pages. Like the one I’m actually reading right now (The Count of Monte Cristo, 874 pages).

They’re daunting before I pick them up, they’re daunting when I’ve been reading for weeks and I update Goodreads and it says “48%”, they’re daunting if they’re kind of slow or if they’re classics or Literary Acclaimed.

Maybe I’m just easily daunted. Possibly.

Either way, you’ll never see me with one of those “I like big books and I cannot lie” bags, because in all honesty, I generally prefer books in the 300~400 pages range. Still, sometimes I like to challenge myself, and I don’t want to ignore brilliant classics just because they’re too big, you know?

So I developed a tactic, and today I’m sharing that tactic with you!

Here are my Personal Guidelines for Reading Big Books:

  • Set a minimum amount of pages per day. Be realistic! It’s fine to just read 20 or so pages if it’s a difficult book. Progress is still progress.
  • This also means: don’t expect to read it within one week! It’s fine if it takes months to finish – the goal is to enjoy the book and to hopefully finish it, not to marathon through it and then hate it!
  • Allow yourself to read a different book in between. I’m currently alternating with Monte Cristo on weekdays and a different, tiny book I can read in a day or two on the weekends. Sometimes you just need a little break.
  • Divide the book up into smaller sections. It’s so much easier if you see it as a bind-up of a trilogy rather than just one massive book. Plus, if you mark the sections it’s a good feeling if you reach one of the marks
  • Don’t be too harsh on yourself. It’s fine if you don’t like it, or if it’s taking ages, or if it’s more difficult to read than you expected. Relish in the challenge, and soldier on! Or not, if you’re really dreading picking it up again.
  • And if you find you’re putting it aside more and more for other things, just put it aside altogether. Maybe you can try again later, maybe you’ll find you’re just not interested in it. It’s all fine! There’s no required reading outside of school, no matter what all the Buzzfeed lists try to tell you. Just move on to one of the other books you actually are interested in!

And those are my personal guidelines! Let me know if they can be of any help to you guys, or if you have any other tips for handling big books!

Take care 🙂

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2 Responses to My Personal Guidelines for Reading Big Books

  1. I’ve read The Count of Monte Cristo a long time ago, and I agree that it’s a very long but for me interesting book! And you’ve written down the best way to read a book 🙂

    • kojitmal says:

      It is an interesting book! Though it does have its slower parts that I sometimes struggle to get through. Still hoping it’ll pick up more again! And thanks! =D

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