Mar 6, 2017

Discussion Challenge: Book Formatting

Since I had some time on my hands and after a bout of being lazy and watching a movie I've had since Black Friday 2015, I decided to do some blogging and what better way to blog than work on my most challenging challenge, the Discussion Post Challenge! While trying to figure out what to talk about this time, I was looking at my book collection--as I am wont to do at any old time!--when I focused on my TBR books and how there was one or two that I was dreading reading, not because I didn't want to, but because I knew it would take a loooong time to finish. And the reason why? Formatting! And so the idea topic came in:

Book Formatting and How it Effects Your Reading

All books are formatted differently. There are so many factors, age range, publisher, font, text size, and these all effect the page count. And in a roundabout way they effect your reading speed, mostly on how long it will take you to read this one book. Here are some pictures I took of random books:

Here is Jeaniene Frost's Into the Fire, I tried to just take pictures of the acknowledgement pages to avoid spoilers, but even so, just try to focus on how the page looks. Here we have a pretty average look to an adult novel. Sort of average font, size, and spacing. No big deal right? 

But take a look at this other adult novel:

Here is Diana Rowland's Legacy of the Demon, this is actually the one that has me dragging my feet because of its format. Super tiny text, super small line spacing, and it's really super long. I feel like it takes my twice my usual reading pace per page to read one page. And since it's been wayyy too long since I read this series, there's going to be a big added factor of confusion going on for me. I really do like this series, it was one of my faves when it first came out because it was so interesting and different. Dealing with police procedures, demon summonings, demon's cool. But this format drives me batty! I know I could easily download the kindle book and up the font size but one thing I hate about the kindle is never really knowing how pages are left in the chapter? How many are left in the book? I can't see them. I can't feel them. This will obviously turn into a topic for another time!

Then you even need to factor in the differences from paperback to hardcover! Here are two more examples:

On the left you have The Dirt on the Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones and on the right, The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes. It seems with hardcovers the line spacing is greatly increased and text size will depend on whether it's adult or YA. It seems most YA books have a larger font size (though I am sure I can easily find examples that disprove that) and adult books stick to the smaller size, but the line spacing is much more noticeable. With these I feel like my reading pace is just right. It doesn't take long at all to finish a page.

I'm guessing when you factor in page size (basically if we're dealing with hardcovers or paperbacks) that's where the text size and line spacing gets factored in to fit whatever amount is necessary. I never really understand how all that works. Are we striving to get the book to reach a certain page length? I know I could've taken lots more photos that will totally keep my mind frazzled. But I tried to keep this post somewhat short.

Basically I feel like with paperbacks and that super tiny text size with practically no line spacing, that run on for 500+ pages it takes me longer to read than it would, say a 500+ page hardcover. And if it's taking me longer to read a book just based on those factors I feel like I am failing--in some way--as a reader. I feel like my average length of time to read a book (with work factored in) runs 2-3 days. Usually like 2.5 or something. Of course depending on work load and what not this could always effect the length in a good or bad way.

But what about you guys? Do you feel like formatting effects your reading pace?


  1. It takes me a bit of time to adjust to different formatting; really small and close together text drives me insane though!

  2. Formatting is definitely important to me, and I much prefer bigger text. It hurts my eyes and gives me a headache if the pages are filled with tiny text, and are cramped *shudders*

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  3. Formatting definitely affects me too. I hate that super tiny text. I'll read the books if I really want to read them but it does take me longer and as you said that feeling like i'm failing as a reader. Really long books do that too..where they take longer to read I feel like I should be reading shorter books to get that number up.
    Super tiny cramped text also gives me a headache, which also slows down the reading.

  4. I'm sure it impacts my reading speed - but I hadn't given much thought to it really. Now that I think of about it though, I definitely prefer to pick up books with medium text and spacing. Not too big (or all be turning the page constantly) but not too small either. Interesting topic!

  5. I mostly read ebooks, so I don't have to worry about formatting because I get to choose the font and text size and spacing and all that, haha. I've honestly never actually thought about formatting in books though. So I suppose it might affect my reading, but I just haven't noticed! But I think I prefer spacing that's not too cramped and text that's not too tiny.

  6. This is so interesting because I almost never even notice formatting, but you show obvious differences here. The only time I might notice is with a trade paperback or something, but most of the time I don't think about it at all. You're right, though, that the formatting makes a huge difference for how quick a book "feels." Now I feel like I should pay more attention to this. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  7. This plays a HUGE role for me when I read books. I have some serious dry-eye problems, so staring at a book for a long time can really start to bug me, and certain formatting is just SO much less strenuous than others. The wider spacing is probably the biggest factor for me, followed by font type/size. I LOVE ebooks for this reason, because I can format it however I want and read for hours instead of just short bursts on bad days :)

    ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits

  8. I've noticed this more with eBooks, but that is probably because in the app I use I can mess with the font size and line spacing to get it just right. And all of this, based on my experience with this one app, does affect your reading speed!

    I still prefer physical books though over eBooks. I just find them easier to read although big honking physical books are difficult to cart around. :)

    Terri from Second Run Reviews (some reason it is showing me logged on as an Unknown Google user)


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