From The Millions, an essay called The Stockholm Syndrome Theory of Long Novels. Here is the introduction:
I used to be the kind of reader who gives short shrift to long novels. I used to take a wan pleasure in telling friends who had returned from a tour of duty with War and Peace or The Man Without Qualities with that I’ve-seen-some-things look in their eyes—the thousand-page stare—that they had been wasting their time. In the months it had taken them to plough through one book by some logorrheic modernist or world-encircling Russian, I had read a good eight to ten volumes of svelter dimensions. While they were bench-pressing, say, Infinite Jest for four months solid, I had squared away most of the major Nouveau Romanciers, a fistful of Thomas Bernhards, every goddamned novel Albert Camus ever wrote, and still had time to read some stuff I actually enjoyed.
I tend to prefer shorter books, but then I’m on a quest to read and evaluate different writing styles. One doesn’t need to read a 600-1000 page book to ascertain that. But every once in a while I’ll tackle a big novel as a challenge, hoping that I’ll find it engaging.