By admin On Feb 1 2010, 1:00 pm
Short and Sweet
Do you find yourself skipping over portions of books? Do you tend to buy shorter 200-300 page books rather than the larger tomes? Why?
I asked myself that question a while ago when I finished a book by a well-known author. The book was over 500 pages and action packed from beginning to end. The main character(s) were constantly on the move and under time crunch to “save” something (the world/another person, it doesn’t matter). Yet I found myself skipping large portions of the book.
Why? Information dump.
I love history. I love conspiracy theories. I love tangled webs. But put them all together and add a fiction plot and more often than not I am disappointed in the book. Make the book a romance on top of that and things can get really tricky.
I feel for authors who are excited about the information, the legend, the myth, and in some cases, the history surrounding an event. It’s a tightrope walk to figure out what is important and what isn’t. I often think the author is more in love with the facts and information than with the characters of the book. The author is so eager to share his/her fascination with the details that they forget they are writing something that is for the beach or the sofa rather than the classroom. The number one thing I dislike more than anything when reading a book for pleasure is to be lectured to. Having an author lecture his/her point of view and using the characters in the story for the vehicle causes me to put that book aside. Fiction reading should be stimulating, satisfying and enjoyable.
While the information may be fascinating, I only need to read the part that connects the dots for the story – the characters and the plot they are involved in. If the plot is so complicated that it requires minute attention to detail and learning obscure fact, chances are the book should have been a series. A series would allow the information to be given to the reader in short doses not all at once.
So to keep this blog short and sweet…what books have you read that are wall-to-wall information dump? Did you like it? Are there situations where that type of book works?