“Good things, when short, are twice as good.” -Baltasar Gracian
Before starting, I’d like to thank Helen Ginger of the Straight From Hel blog for granting me the Friendship Blog Award. It’s an honor to be included in that list of outstanding blogs. In case you don’t know, Helen writes an excellent blog offering writing advice, publishing news, and book reviews.
Now for today’s subject – long books. I recently read that Stephen King’s new book Under the Dome, to be released in November, will be 1,200 pages. Using the average of 250 words per page, that’s the equivalent of approximately 300,000 words. The average novel usually runs between 80,000 to 150,000 words.
This led me to wonder about the longest books ever written. Much to my surprise, other people have wondered the same thing and answered this question for me. I first read A List of Longest Novels on the Writing Pages which referenced a Wikipedia article.
According to Wikipedia, a couple of self-published books are way out in front. Marienbad My Love by Mark Leach weighs in at 17-million words and The Blah Story by Nigel Tomm is13-million. Hmmm, I think I may know why they are self-published.
At Listverse.com, only traditionally published books written in English are listed. Out of the ten mentioned, the top three were L. Ron Hubbard’s, The Invaders Plan, at 1,200,000 words; Sironia, Texas by Madison Cooper at 1,100,000 words; Clarissa by Samuel Richardson at a mere 969,000 words. For the top 10, visit the site, which also shows the cover of each book and gives a nice synopsis.
In comparison to these books, The Dome, will look like a novella.
In the past, length was never a factor in whether or not I read a particular book. However, I’m growing older at an alarming rate and there are still so many books I want to read with new ones being added everyday. Now I’m beginning to ask myself if I should be more discriminating. Do I want to invest the time needed to make it through one really long book or read several shorter books?
When the author is Stephen King, I feel certain I will read the book regardless of the word count. In the end, I guess it all boils down to quality over quantity.
Would the length of book ever kept you from purchasing or reading it?
Thanks for stopping by.
Tags: Gracian, Stephen King, L. Ron Hubbard, Madison Cooper, Samuel Richardson,