Small reading

One very positive aspect of The Radleys was the short chapters, if one can call them chapters. Many were just a page, maybe two pages. It may look bitty, but it’s so easy to read. I’m not saying I can’t cope with long, but I firmly believe that I may read more and faster if a book is divided up like this. You look at the next chapter and find it’s only another two pages, so you read on. And possibly even another two pages, or more. Whereas the long worthy chapters get the chop, because you don’t have the time or the inclination to continue.

I had already been thinking small when I read Normblog yesterday. Now, Norm was primarily discussing how to pick your next book to read. And why, and so on. I disagree with Norm about reading more than one book on the same topic, one after the other. I may not decide to do it, but have often found that books featuring say, Alchemy, just happen to jump into my reading pile together. Zeitgeist? Coincidence? Don’t know, but it’s nicely weird when it happens.

It was Norm saying ‘I decided my shelf needed more thin books and so I went out with a mission to get “thin books by authors I like”,’ that caught my eye. I like the idea of a sane and intelligent man going shopping for books by size. It’s different. And of course, he had a valid reason.

I love these tiny books in the photo below. That’s another kind of small reading. I love being able to put one in my pocket, just in case I need a book. And if the commuter train is full to bursting, there will be room to unfold a tiny read without killing, or even offending other passengers.

Small books

Sara Paretsky tends to write shortish chapters, so she is another author whose books are easier to read, especially when the reader feels he or she is in a hurry. Right now I’m reading Sara’s Burn Marks, which also happens to be a tiny book. It’s a Virago edition, of the smallest kind. The drawback is that the print is small, too.

But that’s what I have reading glasses for. When I can find them.

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