Does size matter?

Should there be a limit?

Should there be a limit?

The original Cannonball Read rules said:

No books smaller than 200 pages. Short story collections only count if they are at least 6 stories long. No graphic novels.

Since then, we’ve allowed graphic novels and audiobooks, and we’ve lowered the page limit to 100 pages. As we head into the next Read, what are your thoughts about these (few) limits?

Should we measure graphic novels in some way so there is some guideline? Is the 100 page page count still needed? Should we remove all limits?

Post in the comments below, I want to hear from you.

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15 thoughts on “Does size matter?

  1. I definitely think there should be page limits. Otherwise everybody’s just going to cheat all the time. I include myself in this generous viewing of humanity.

    Graphic novels are being defined as trade paperbacks, right? Those are usually 120+ pages.

  2. I like the original rules better, but then again, I don’t read graphic novels. What I think would be neat would be for everyone to post page numbers for each book, and tally those up at the end of the year as well.

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  3. It’s funny, I had almost decided not to participate in CBR6 as there are so many loooonnnngggg books I’ve been wanting to read, and have put off in an effort to complete even a 1/2 Cannonball each year. While participating has definitely gotten me reading more, I have basically read what looked interesting to me, not based on how many pages a book has. I think the shortest I’ve read for any Cannonball was Michael Pollan’s Food Rules which probably is just under 100 pages.

    I’ve never considered myself a competitor, but have participated each year to encourage myself to read more books. If that’s the goal for CBR, then I don’t think it matters how long or how short the books we read are, or if they are typical “books” or graphic novels or whatever. I reviewed The Fifty Year Sword and it’s really more of a companion to a performance art piece than a book.

    It’s totally cool to set a number quota for those who enjoy the challenge of reading 52 books (or more) in a year, but I would also hate to lose participants, or some really amazing reviews just because someone felt their efforts didn’t meet the criteria. A book’s a book in my book.

  4. I think the at least 100 pages limit should be kept. Which means that if you do read graphic novel trades which happens to be under a hundred pages (they do exist), you need to count at least two so that the total of your pages read exceed the page limit. It doesn’t seem like much of a reading challenge if anyone can just read 52 comic books or short stories and blog them, and say they were done.

  5. We’re all readers, and it’s not like we’re all going to “cheat” and read only 50 page novellas to be the first one to the finish line. We all read because we love to read; we don’t read to win the competition. We participate because we want to share how much we loved and/or hated the book we just read. We read everything we can get our hands on – long, short, in between, good, bad, terrible. We’re readers. It’s what we do.

  6. I’m with Mrs. Smith and Mama. I’m here to get ideas about great books to read from other people who love books and generally lean the same way I do (unlike all those Goodreads people who told me Beautiful Disaster was brilliant – LIARS!). I guess I missed the part about this being a competition so I’ve never cared if people were trying to cheat by writing reviews of novellas or whatnot. I just like reading cool/funny/interesting reviews from people whose opinions I trust. And occasionally when the mood strikes I share my own 🙂 Regardless I’ll happily abide by whatever policy you all make!

  7. I never gave it much thought, especially now that I’m reading just about everything on a Kindle. I assume the books I’m reading are the proper length. . . .

  8. I am not particularly fussed about the page limit. I do read graphic novels, and if things are short, I try to bundle them into a combined review. I read books of varying lengths, so I assume if some of my selections are a bit short they balance themselves out against the Stephenson and Banks books I read too. I know this was originally a competition, but I am not sure if that aspect really exists in CBR anymore.

  9. After reading all of your comments, I’m inclined to go with no page limit. If someone can write a review of a decent length about any type of book/novel/play/essay, then more power to them!

    Now, let’s have a discussion about review length… I’m putting a word count requirement for CBR6 – at least 250 words, people. Don’t slack off.

    • Interestingly, when I am writing I aim to hit at least 275 words. They might be crappy reviews, but they have to be at least a page long (as per my old university word count strategy). So, yes.

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