BTT this week asks: What’s the largest, thickest, heaviest book you ever read? Was it because you had to? For pleasure? For school?
Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall have to be serious contenders for this title: Amazon tells me they are 448 and 432 pages respectively in the Wordsworth Classics edition. I can't think of anything else I've read recently that outstrips those on page number and brain power (the Clive Cussler adventures I've been reading have been in the 550-650 page region but the pages are smaller and the print bigger, and I fly through them at 120 pages an hour because they are so "light" and fun, rather than the Brontë works, which require considerably more concentration of brainpower.
I read both of them because I was on a classic literature diet, but absolutely loved them both. I insist that everyone read both of them.
The heaviest book I had to read for school would have been (ironically) The Unbearable Lightness of Being – I say heaviest because it was the longest prescribed book at school (314 pages) and also for the morose torpor in which it caused me to pass the English lessons of half a term when I was 16. I LOATHED it. Loathed in capital letters. I found it dull, irrelevant, self-indulgent and crass. I might no longer feel the same way but I'm not going to risk good reading time on trying it again!