What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? It may be more obvious than you think; the longest book I’ve ever read is A Dance with Dragons, one of the Game of Thrones novels and it stands at 1,056 pages. Another contender is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at a whopping 766 pages. Four out of the seven Harry Potter books are over 600 pages, so you’ve probably come across one of them. And 600 pages (and over) is no small feat. If you read 1 page/minute, it’s going to take you around 25 hours to plow through a 600-page book. Fast readers may plow through quicker, but you’re still looking at a hefty few hours.
Long books are not exactly a rarity, and for some, it’s nothing more than a challenge. A MentalFloss article of “The 10 Longest Novels Ever,” touts ten titles ranging in length from 7,312 pages to just shy of 1,800 pages. The Blah Story by Nigel Tomm (pub. 2007) is the behemoth that comes in at that legendary 7,312 page length. It’s over 3 million words. If you take that 1 page/minute rate and factor that against the length of The Blah Story, it’ll take you almost 122 hours to read it in its entirety.
Now, in that list are a lot of crazy-long books. But who’s heard of Marienbad My Love or Sironia, Texas or Poor Fellow My Country? I certainly haven’t. When I first started thinking about long books, the ones that came to mind were some of the Harry Potter and Game of Thrones titles as well as the classic Les Misérables and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. And, after remembering a classmate’s emphatic and ardent love of David Foster Wallace*, Infinite Jest.
So, putting millions of words to the side, let’s look at these titles, which I find to be infinitely more digestible. We’ll go ahead and apply that 1 page/minute factor to each of these books too.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 732 pages, 13 hours
- The Goldfinch – 784 pages, 13 hours
- A Dance with Dragons – 1,056 pages, 18 hours
- Infinite Jest – 1,100 pages, 18 hours
- Les Misérables – 1,400 pages, 24 hours
Of course, these figures don’t take into account the possibility of MM paperback versions which could have longer page lengths. Such is the case with my copy** of The Goldfinch, which hits a hefty 962 pages.
And it may seem like few people these days are writing long novels. A lot of these books were published a couple of years to decades ago—but, worry not! Samantha Shannon heard your cries for a fantasy epic, and she has provided.
The Priory of the Orange Tree hits an impressive 948 pages in its hardcover form. All things considered, it’ll probably take about 16 hours to tear through this book. Published in late February of this year, Shannon thumps the book onto the table with an impressive BAM and drops the mic. Author of The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon promises an incredible feminist fantasy and is just begging to be devoured. This book is high on my reading list, and I cannot wait to sink my teeth (and eyes) into it. I’ll see you all in sixteen hours!
* Thanks, Claire!
**It’s actually Hannah’s copy that she’s letting me borrow (Thank you, Hannah!)