I’m a fan of short chapters- are you?

Short chapters- some people dislike them- but I’m a fan. Let me explain:

First, a chapter that just goes on and on gets to be a bit tedious- even if the writing is good. And my mind begins to wander. Which is not a good thing- because that means the author has lost my attention.

Second: I read. A lot. I like to read while I’m eating breakfast. I like to read a quick chapter at lunch. And before I got to bed- I love reading before I go to bed. Long chapters make this hard. Because I don’t want to quit in the middle of the chapter, I want to finish the chapter.

Third: While I get that sometimes the first chapter needs to be on the longer side- especially if you, the author, are establishing certain “key points”- and so I deal with it. But, do consider making the rest of the chapters shorter!

So new authors, as you begin the journey to get published and become a NYT Best-Seller- while contemplating your cover choices and dreaming about ย swimming around in your newly aquired wealth like Scrooge McDuck (right? Isn’t that what all NYT Best-Sellers do?) Give the length of chapters for the book a thought as well!

18 thoughts on “I’m a fan of short chapters- are you?

  1. I totally agree. Huge small chapter fan. Currently reading a book with my sister… and I know that if one of us reads ahead.. the other can catch up quick.. I too read while cooking.. or in the bath.
    Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • Like Mary Higgins Clark? I was at first put off by her 2-3 pages per chapter, but I have grown to like them more. But it’s just a bit too short. I like a chapter to be about 10-12 pages. 20 is ok- but 30 and more- and it’s getting too much!

      • Gotcha. I’ve only read a handful of James Patterson and mostly his early Alex Cross stuff- which I do like. MHC’s later books are not as good as the earlier ones imo- but I’m still enjoying her books. I checked her latest, Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting, from the library. Will let you know if I like or not!

  2. Elisabeth says:

    I am definitely NOT a fan of long chapters!!! I LIKE short chapters. Even if I like the book, I still find it more of a drag to read if the chapters are long. For example, The Beautiful Ruins is supposed to be a great book based on the blog reviews I read, but the long chapters are making it a book I can easily put down and not want to pick up again. I am reading it for Book Club, so need to get it read! Not sure why everyone likes it so much, hopefully it will get better!

    • Another fan of short chapters! Yay! I have not read Beautiful Ruins yet (but have it on my TBR list) and I’m hating to hear about the long chapters! Hopefully it will improve and you’ll find yourself enjoying it more.

      I’m going to suggest for your next read for book club- The Art Forger by B.A Shapiro- I found it to be a great book- and I don’t remember it having long chapters.

      • Elisabeth says:

        Thanks for suggesting The Art Forger! I have read it along with my Book Group and we loved it!

      • Elisabeth Fox says:

        Thanks for the suggestions! I have not read those! I have heard of the Morton and Kibler books. I need to get a copy of the Kibler book as a character in the book has the same name as my daughter! Dorrie. I have not heard of Lighthouse Bay and will have to look it up. Needless to say, I trust your judgement and will put them on my TBR!

        Here are some books I have read and really enjoyed! The Snow Child by Ivey, The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom and The Light Between Oceans by Stedman.


        Sent from my iPad

      • I think you will enjoy the books I mentioned- Lighthouse Bay just came out last Tues!

        That is so kind of you to say that you trust my judgement ๐Ÿ™‚ I just love to read!

        I’ve been hearing good things about The Snow Child- it was on our shortlist for an “unofficial booktopia meeting” with some ladies I know- but it didn’t make final cut. I do plan to read it eventually, though! I have The Kitchen House- it’s in my evergrowing pile of books to read ๐Ÿ™‚ and I know I’ve heard of The Light Between the Oceans- but I have not read that either- will have to see if it needs to be added to the TBR pile!

        I lead an online discussion at shereads.org for their monthly book club pick- for April the book is AND THEN I FOUND YOU by Patti Callahan Henry. If you decide to read, please stop by the discussion forum! Always nice to see new faces and hear different thoughts!

  3. I like short or medium chapters. Some of the literary fiction books need longer chapters so that they don’t feel choppy, versus a book like Fault in Our Stars, which can get away with short chapters. But the really long ones are difficult for me for the same reasons you mentioned. I can’t just read one at lunch and one before bed.

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