12.7.05

By the page or the pound

What is it with YA fantasy books? They're growing... one or two are even thicker than a Manhattan phone book and outweigh a bag of cat litter! As an adult, I don't enjoy the strain on my wrists, the ache in my back and the time commitment demanded by these Giant Tomes.

Here are a few examples:
  • Inkspell (Funke's sequel to Inkheart): 672 pages
  • Wizards at War (the latest in Duane's Young Wizards series): 560 pages
  • Magyk (Annie Sage): 576 pages
  • Amulet of Samarkand (second in Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy): 462 pages
  • The Will of the Empress (Pierce's Four Mages reunited): 320 pages
  • Peter and the Starcatchers (Barry & Pearson): 442 pages
This weekend, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is being released. Order of the Phoenix came in at 870 pages, a 150-page increase from the previous book. Since Rowling seems to expand, not contract, with each book, I'm thinking of hiring someone else to hold the new one for me.

How do kids manage? Are they really going to enjoy a 1,000-page, 5lb epic simply because there's hype? I'd love to believe that we're growing a nation of readers, but I fear we're scaring them off with ever bigger, heavier books that take forever to read.

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