The first 100 pages

Why does it always take me at least as long to read the first 100 pages of a book — regardless of the book’s overall length, be it 250 pages or 500 pages — as it does to read the rest of the book?

Does this happen to anyone else? Or maybe you just haven’t noticed?

In addition to this phenomenon being oblivious to the book’s length, this … thing … is also indifferent to whether the book in question is fast-paced, plot-driven, character-driven, literary or genre fiction, YA or intended for adults.

Perhaps this experience is not true of nonfiction, though. I’ll have to think about that more.

So, anyone? Did I jog any memories out there? Please tell me I’m not alone.

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7 responses to “The first 100 pages

  1. I wouldn’t go that far, but I’d guess that the first 100 pages does tend to go slower than any subsequent 100 pages. I think it is because after the first 100 pages you really get into the book, which tends to make you read faster.

  2. I think the hardest part of any fiction book is simply getting into it, so I’d mostly agree. It’ll often take me several days to get to the point where I am getting sucked into a book, primarily because I’m only reading in short stints of time. I think if I devoted an hour to the beginning of any book I’d read them much quicker.

  3. Totally the same for me. During the first part, the author is setting up the history and characters and places, and it’s kind of like doing homework or something! After you’ve got all that done, the story can proceed and it goes so much more smoothly! I have to push and push to get through the first 75-100 pages.

  4. Hey, hooray! I’m not totally alone on this! The reasons you give are sound, as well. Thank you!

  5. I know that many people feel this way. When you read reviews you always see the words “The first 100 pages were a little slow…” or something like that. You are not alone!!!

  6. It depends on the book. Some books suck me right in, and I’ll race through the whole thing. Other books are slower to start, and yes, it does take me awhile to get through those first 100 pages.

  7. I find the opening pages of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter a bit hard going, as McCullers takes her time introducing her characters, depicting them in details down to their daily habit. It takes a while to be engaged in the story. In general, I “dread” starting a new book, knowing I still miss the memories of the previous book so raw. 🙂

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