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Too Long or Too Short?

Are books getting too long or is my attention span getting too short? I can think of several generally excellent volumes I have read recently which, by the time I got to the end of them, I found myself thinking could have done with a few less pages.

Fiction has less of a problem as there is a plot to carry things through, although I have read some that seem to unravel rather fast as the final page approaches. My complaint manifests itself more often in discursive tomes from the non-fiction section: I am thinking of titles such as The Trouble with Islam by Irshad Manji (read last November) or Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller (finished yesterday).

Both of those are excellent books with a wealth of thought-provoking material but, from my perspective, seemed increasingly thinly spread over the last few chapters. On reflection, that is probably not entirely fair. It would be more accurate to confess that I had reached saturation point before the end. They were easy, enticing reading; I gluttonously devoured them and then suffered the resulting mental indigestion.

However, I would still like books to come in smaller portions, satisfying the appetite and stimulating the mind rather drowning and overloading.

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