When browsing potential books to buy or add to my wish list, I ask myself a few questions: Does this book help me reach my personal or professional goals? Is this a book I would actually read?
I like short books and this short article will tell you why.*
1. Many longer books add fluff anyways.
Many 200-page books could realistically share their core message in thirty pages, but that wouldn’t make the publisher as much money as a larger book. Former publisher Michael Hyatt confesses this and writes that in many cases, “The authors would have done better to boil down the content and make it a magazine article.”
For this reason, I don’t guilt myself into finishing every book I start. Sometimes I get all I need to from a book in the first few chapters. Less fluff = more reading.
2. Shorter books are faster to read.
(I hope this doesn’t need an explanation.)
3. Shorter books cater better to my curiosity.
As more of a generalist reader in a few categories (Bible & Theology, Christian Living, Culture, Technology), shorter books allow me to read with more widely. (I’m fully aware referring to my habits as “curiosity” might just be a positive spin on book ADD. Please don’t judge me.)
4. Short books are easier to give away.
FACT: Your friend is more likely to read a 120-page book you give him than a 780-page doorstop.
5. Short books are easier to read with others.
Shorter books by nature are more accessible to the common man, and thus easier to read with others for fun and to grow in Christ. Go, be like Mark Dever and read books with others.
6. Writing short books is easier than writing longer.
My temptation is to try and write the comprehensive book on XYZ topic, but realistically that’s not a good match for my gifting or time limitations. As of today, tackling a shorter project is more in my wheelhouse. Pray for me!
7. Short books can help expose you to more great authors.
Related to #3, if you’re like me and want to read many great authors, short books allow you do that without quitting your job to read more. Plus, some great authors have fairly short books: C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, and G.K. Chesterton.
8. Short books better for busy lives.
We’re all crazy busy these days and can’t read everything we want. Shorter books help the common man learn ideas and track arguments in an accessible way. Plus, it feels great when you finish a book. It can be discouraging getting stuck in dry parts of a longer book.
Hooray for short books!
- 15 Resolutions for Christian Readers
- 5 Reasons Why I Read Multiple Books at the Same Time
- 100+ Recommended Christian Books (by Category)
*Liking short books doesn’t equate disliking long books. But shorter ones do have advantages!
(Book nerds, be sure to add me on GoodReads.)