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Blog // Thoughts
October 3, 2007

Thick Book Month

I’ve been noticing lately that the non-Fiction shelves of mainstream bookstores seem, at the moment, to be weighed down by some very dense books and a odd quirk of my reading programme has highlighted this. The last four books I read (three of which come from Christian publishers), I get these page counts, Fascism, Richard […]

I’ve been noticing lately that the non-Fiction shelves of mainstream bookstores seem, at the moment, to be weighed down by some very dense books and a odd quirk of my reading programme has highlighted this. The last four books I read (three of which come from Christian publishers), I get these page counts,

Fascism, Richard Griffiths (Continuum) – 165 pages
Living On The Borders, Mark Griffin and Theron Walker (Brazos) – 207 pages
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg, Telford Work (Eerdmans) – 252 pages
The Luminous Dusk, Dale C. Allison Jr (Eerdmans) – 178 pages

The last of these, the very stimulating Luminous Dusk (review coming soon), I just finished this evening. That left me turning to the reading table where I looked at the next four books, which I plan to read during the course of this month,

A History Of Modern Britain, Andrew Marr (MacMillan) – 629 pages
Cultural Amnesia, Clive James (Picador) – 876 pages
India After Ghandi, Ramachandra Guha (MacMillan) – 900 pages
The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein (Penguin) – 558 pages

What is interesting about these weighty tomes is that each of them (picked straight from the shelves of my local Dymocks here in HK) are not esoteric or obscurely academic texts, but quite mainstream releases that have been reviewed and commented upon in the popular (broadsheet) press. In fact at least two of them, The Shock Doctrine and to a lesser extent India After Ghandi, will probably continue to generate serious press well into next year.

This got me wondering, because with only a few category exceptions, it seems to me that Christian booksellers rarely stock much that exceeds three hundred pages. Of course, the length of a book is no guarantee of quality – many important works did not register more than a hundred pages. However, this month’s reading does highlight the fact that amongst popular non-fiction readers there is clearly a market for thick books and deep, extended reflection upon important subjects.

[tags] Publishing [/tags]

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