I love lists and am always intrigued by “must read” book lists. Have I read “the right” books? Have I read “the necessary” books? So this morning as I was writing my morning pages, I started to wonder how many words are in a novel. I did a quick search and found an interesting article in the Huffington Post: Average Book Length: Guess How Many Words are in a Novel.
They included a great list! What I like so much about this list is that it was created to show one thing, but also shows another. It was created to give us an idea of how many words are in various novels, but while doing so has picked out famous novels that we’ll recognize. So, it is, at least to me, a “to read” book list as well.
- Animal Farm: 29,966 words
- Ethan Frome: 30,191 words
- The Crying of Lot 49: 46,573 words
- Slaughterhouse-Five 5: 47,192 words
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle: 53, 510 words
- Lord of the Flies: 62, 481 words
- Brave New World: 64,531 words
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: 70,570 words
- Portnoy’s Complaint: 78,535 words
- Lolita: 112,473 words
- Madame Bovary: 117,963 words
- Mansfield Park: 159,344 words
- Moby Dick: 209,117 words
- East of Eden: 226,741 words
- Ulysses: 262,869 words
- Middlemarch: 310,593 words
- War and Peace: 544,406 words
I think the average comes out to around 64,000 words. I think I enjoy novels that are more on the short side. Although I loved Anna Karenina, so I guess if you use a lot of words, they better mean something.
My challenge to myself starting today is to write 2,000 words a day for the next 32 days. I’ll worry about editing later. Join me if you want and let me know how it goes. It can be any style. It can even be several styles. Completely disjointed is what I’m trying for. The bar is low. The only requirement is to show up.