Either of those ways of phrasing things is fine. In particular, your use of "took up" there is entirely correct.
One side-note I would make: When using phrases like "a few dozen", if it's made plural (with an "s" on the end), it can only be used as a noun. When grouped-quantities like this are used as an adjective, you need to use a non-plural phrasing. So this would be ok, because you're using "of":
there were several dozens of eggs
But this needs to leave off the "s" in order to act as an adjective (and directly modify the noun):
there were a few dozen pages
Also, idiomatically, people will pretty much always say "a few dozen (somethings)", rather than "a few dozens of (something)", but that's something that I think is kinda specific to the phrase "a few dozen" in particular.