18 December, 2009

Bona Fide: Size Does(n't) Matter

Dear reader you may think this is a strange title for a post on Sci-Fi/Fantasy blog. You may think it is related to starships, weapons or planets. Or your imagination leads you in a direction.......
But as we mostly write about books, the title is related to books.

This week I finally received my paperback copy of Dust of Dreams (2009, 889 p.) [US][UK], by Steven Erikson. It is the ninth tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. For fans it is a must read. I want to read the whole series in 2010. The plan is to read one book per month. That means I will read Dust of Dreams in September 2010.

What distinguishes this book from other books? Look at the title of the post and you know the answer: SEIZE

I compared Dust of Dreams with Drood (2009, 771 p.) [US] [UK] by Dan Simmons and A Shadow in Summer (2006, 356 p.) [US] [UK] by Daniel Abraham. Of course it is only a comparison of seize and not of content. I know you will toss in that Dust of Dreams has more pages than the two other books. But that is not my point. It is the sheer size of the book. You will understand what I mean when you have a look at the following pictures taken be me.
Two of the pics also show a 30 centimeter ruler. I hope that helps to imagine the size of the books. Dust of Dreams his definitely not a book to be easily read in bed. If you fall asleep it will crack your nose.
When you look at these books and someone tells you he/she has read 10 books last month then you should ask him/her about the seize. It makes a big difference whether he/she read 10 books the seize of Dust of Dreams or 10 books the size of A Shadow in Summer. So don't let blend you by numbers. If you want real figures than you need the number of words per book. I would like when publishers would add this information.
And now is picture time(click on pic to enlarge):


Valashain said...

Reading one of Erikson's monsters a month may be a bit too much. Personally I took my time reading the Malazan books. They are not only challenging is sheer size but also the scope of the story and the huge cast.

It took me 12 days to read Dust of Dreams earlier this year (I own the hard cover which is certainly heavy enough to break a politicians nose :P). I'm not a particularly fast reader though.

ediFanoB said...


I read Gardens of the Moon this year and really liked it.
Normally I read series not in a row. But I think the Malazan books are worth to do it. When everything goes well I read nearly 3,000 pages per month. If I can't cope with the scope of the story and the huge cast I will change the reading rhythm. Anyway I will post about my Malazan books reading experience in my Weekly Roundup.
I think 12 days for Dust of Dreams is quite good. Fast readers will do it in three days. BUT will they enjoy the book as much as you did?
Everybody has his own reading speed. I read because I like it and enjoy it.
And I must admit that I get peevish when I don't find time to read.

So the Dust of Dreams hard cover is the prefect gift for politicians :P).

Valashain said...

I'd be an abuse of a perfectly good book :P Not voting for them is more effective anyway.

Depending on what I read I am probably not that far behind you. Some books take me longer than others though and Erikson is not stuff I can rush.

ediFanoB said...


you're right. One should not abuse or waste books.

I think one should celebrate and relish reading the Malazan Books.

Larry Nolen said...

Well, if you're a true size queen, I have just the book that might be appealing to you. It's nearly 800 pages longer than the Erikson book.

ediFanoB said...


thanks for the link. That is more than just a book.

Anyway I know that there are books with more pages.
I get the impression that there are a lot of changes in paperback formats. It seems only mmpb stay at small size. Trade paperbacks look more and more like hardcover.

I just wanted to express my astonishement about the format of Dust of Dreams. It is so unreal when you have in one hand Dust of Dreams and in the other hand A Shadow in Summer. A a kid's book compared to Dust of Dreams.