I’ve had both my spouse and my friends tease me mercilessly when I pull out (or should I say ‘drag out’) one of my super thick books. For instance, the book I’m currently reading, “Rhythm of War” by Brandon Sanderson, comes in at 1,2109 pages. And that’s not the only one — there are many books on my shelves over 1,000 pages long. And it’s not that I go out of my way to specifically look for enormous books. I quite enjoy skinny novels. But because I love reading epic fantasy stories, I end up consuming these massive stonkers. For some reason, a lot of fantasy writers adore writing long books.
Now, I’ve heard many people comment that reading books of this size is intimidating and overwhelming. They’ve convinced themselves that it would take years to get through a 1,200-page book. Okay, maybe not for years. But at least several months.
But I have found a method of working my way through these massive books where I end up completing them in only about a month and a half, frequently even less. You’ve heard of the adage: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Well, I apply that motto to the reading of giant books.
Many folks are surprised when I tell them that I reserve my thickest books as my bedtime novels, which I have sitting on my bedside nightstand. Each night before going to sleep, I read 30 pages. Reading only 30 pages a night amounts to 900 pages in a month, so conceivably, I could read a 1,200-page book in about a month and a half. But, to be truthful, I often end up reading more than 30 pages. For instance, if my 30th page is in the middle of a chapter, I will finish that chapter, which might be an additional ten pages or more. The key here is that I read no less than 30 pages — that is the absolute minimum. So if I’m on my 28th page and the chapter ends, I have to read the next chapter. So in this way, I can often finish an enormous book in a little over a month.
Oh, and there’s another added benefit to this method as well. After spending so much time with the characters and the story, these long books stay in my mind long after having read them. I can recall the details from a giant book that I’ve spent over a month reading much more easily than a short book that only took me an afternoon to get through.
So if you have an enormous book on your bookshelf that you’ve been wanting to tackle, give this method a try. You’ll be flying through it in no time.