Otaku theme: Light novels

I came up with a new theme that I wanted that we do during this week. Well as you all now, otaku consist of video game and anime otakus. Mostly people here are anime otakus, so we shall concentrate more on that.
Even saying anime, we not only mean on anime in terms of episodes and real time animations, but also mangas, light and visual novels as well. Not even near as popular as in Japan, I still would like that we talk about them as well.

For today let’s start about light novels, since we don’t really know much about them so that will go fast. :3 I will speak only what I know now without reading more or researching and if you want to add some other interesting fact, just write in the comment section.

Well as most of you may know, light novels present novel adaptations of actual animes or mangas. Being that, it doesn’t actually mean that it must be based on, but also the other way around. That means that some animes are actually based on certain light novels.
As far as I know, they are basically pretty much like normal novels consisting of nothing that pure texts. Now we come to the interesting part and that is, are there some pictures or additional notes inside a light novel? I mean covers of a light novel are animemanga based mostly or in some similar fashion, usually more artistic. But inside, it might actually contain some pictures. I myself have ordered one light novel and will be buying it’s parts. It’s called Spice and Wolf. Very recommendable, watched the anime, loved it!
Saying that I don’t know for sure, but I will let you guys know later, though I think that there is more than just pure text.

Apart from that, can anyone guess why it is called “light novels” instead of just “novels”? Well it goes, I think, that they are much lighter and easier to carry than actual novels. So first thing that might come to some mind is that they are not that long. I thought that myself. I mean, I thought that each volume might be about 100 or such pages long. Wrong!! It is more than that, judging by the description when I was ordering. It is more than 250 pages and there can be even more than ten volumes per series. Now that’s much, but look at it this way.. Do they come out in Japan like that?
Maybe they are something like mangas, where they release each one by some newspaper and such and then later publish a volume when they get enough chapters?

And another interesting fact is that these light novels are actually very popular among students and business man as well in Japan, because they can read them quickly in their pauses.

Now here is the cover of the Western release and original Japanese release. Note how Western ones are actually using non-anime covers wanting to promote more sales, cause it seems that they are going with the saying "good cover good book". The Japanese ones usually try to keep with the original art and that's what I like about them.
Still we can't actually complain too much, though I think that some later volumes have taken anime art here, but I am not too sure. And we can always just learn Japanese and buy original ones from there. XD

EDIT: I actually have just received volume two and three of the Spice and Wolf light novel and yup, they had different covers. BUT, when I removed the sleeves of the book, there was actually the original Japanese cover there. So actually they have both ones, which I am glad actually.^^ And oh both of them have some pictures inside of it after certain number of pages and usually each one per chapter, so that's neat and the font is scattered nicely so it is not just too focused like by normal novels and yes, they have about 200 pages, which is why they are called "light novels" I guess.

Western release
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Japanese release
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