In addition to being a book dork, I'm also a huge statistics and numbers geek — probably stemming from my love for baseball and its heavy reliance on numbers. This obsession doesn't exactly jibe with my career as a magazine editor — you know, because mathletes and wordsmiths are usually situated at completely opposite ends of the nerd spectrum. But whatever...Anyway, so when there's a chance to combine books and statistics, my God, I'm in seventh heaven.
Have you ever checked out the Text Stats part of amazon's "Inside This Book" section? For example, if you look at the text stats for David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, you'll discover that the late writer's 1,079-page magnum opus clocks in at a staggering 484,001 words! War and Peace (which, you'll gather from the photo to the right, I've never read) is 568,880. By way of comparison, the average 300-plus page novel is about 80,000 words. Here are the top 5 longest books I have read:
1. The Count of Monte Cristo — 484,030
2. Infinite Jest — 484,001
3. The Stand — 462,138
4. War and Remembrance — 442,038
5. The Pillars of the Earth — 401,316
Sadly, the statistics for Stephen King's 1,088-page Under the Dome, which I dug into this weekend, aren't yet available. But if they were, there's a good chance it'd take its place in the top 5.
What are the longest books you've read, by word count? Be careful — you could easily lose an afternoon checking the statistics on books you've read. But it's fun!