Disclaimer: Everyone else in the book blog world LOVED this book. It has totally been the town bicycle, and brought everyone much joy. Ergo, all opinions below are probably wrong. Read on at your peril.
Oh friends. I was all set to throw buckets of endorsement on this book BEFORE I EVEN READ IT. Tiny books! About royalty! Reading!
And we all know the pros of tiny books (they are short! They fit in the hand with ease! If they are bad, you have not wasted days of your life! People can’t get mad at you for recommending them, because they have not wasted days of their lives!) but let us, for a second, address the cons.
Say, for example, one was writing a book about the Queen of England, wherein she takes up reading, book-blogger-style (that is to say, all the time, and to the general irritation of her household. Except that she’s the queen, so someone else does her damn laundry while she’s curled up with a good book. Probably they also bring her tea). The proccess from total un-reader to book-nommer, especially at the ripe old age of seventy-hrrmhrm, should be a slow and reflective one. But you’ve only got 124 pages, because this is going to be a Tiny Book.
So you throw a travelling library in about page 5 (which is actually page 3, because the book doesn’t start until page 3, making it actually only 121 pages) and lure the queen out there with her dogs, and by page 14 (really page 12) she’s snapping up books left and right. Really, there was no need to rush all this, because the remaining 110-odd pages (math is hard) are fairly repetitive: Queen reads, Queen’s various ministers are disconcerted by her reading, Queen’s husband says something generically British like What, ho!, Queen’s subjects are confused and largely illiterate, Queen continues to read in every train, coach, or horseless carriage she finds herself in.
And then you (who are the author in this hypothetical situation, you may recall) realize that you’ve sort of made a point about reading being good (something no one who ever bothered to pick this book up would ever argue with you about, and therefore kind of moot) but that your book is rather plain. So you throw in some more Britishisms, the f(uck) word once and the sh(it) word four times consecutive, and you make the Queen’s library mole gay. Hey presto!
Oh tiny book, I wanted to love you. I wanted to have a sweet summer fling with you. But you were too shallow, and couldn’t get over yourself. In the end, we just had a mildly amusing blind date, and I totally gave you a fake phone number as I got into my cab.