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Word Count

posted Feb 6, 2015, 1:10 PM by Ben Kreucher   [ updated Mar 13, 2015, 5:39 AM ]
A lot of emphasis is placed on word count.  After all, it is the deciding marker of the territory.  How else do you determine what is or isn't a novel, novella, or short story.  And, of course, magazines, newspapers, and other publications need to limit word count to what they can fit in the space allotted.

Page count only helps slightly.  I mean, margins, font, and typeface all determine how many pages a book has.

So, let's take a look at the word count of a few popular novels.

  • HARRY POTTER Series
    Philosopher’s Stone…77,325
    Chamber of Secrets…84,799
    Prisoner of Azkaban…106,821
    Goblet of Fire...190,858
    Order of the Phoenix...257,154
    Half Blood Prince…169,441
    Deathly Hallows…198,227
  • Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe…36,363
  • Anna Karenina…349,736
  • War and Peace…587,287
  • Gone with the Wind…418,053
  • The English Patient…82,370
  • Crime and Punishment…211,591
  • Sense and Sensibility…119,394
  • Great Expectations…183,349
  • Ender’s Game…100,609
  • Moby Dick…206,052
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…30,644
  • The Golden Compass…112,815
  • The Fellowship of the Ring…177,227
  • The Two Towers…143,436
  • The Return of the King…134,462
  • The Lord of the Rings…455,125
  • A Tale of Two Cities…135,420
  • Atonement…123,378
  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle…22,416
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn…109,571
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer…69,066
  • Memoirs of a Geisha…186,418
  • Snow Falling on Cedars…138,098
  • Cold Mountain…161,511
[A partial list taken from: worddreams.wordpress.com]

  • The Eye of the World...305,000
  • A Game of Thrones...298,000
  • The Gunslinger...55,000
  • Kushiel's Dart...276,706
  • Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief...87,223
  • The Hunger Games...99,750
  • Artemis Fowl...56,684
  • Eragon...157,220
  • Graceling...115,109
  • Heart of Darkness...38,206
  • Frankenstein...75,142
  • The Way of Kings...387,000
[You can also check out: http://griffinpauljackson.com/2013/07/25/book-word-counts/ for a more organized (by word count) and rounded off (as in 75,000 not 75,201) list]
While researching, I noticed a trend toward longer works.  I guess readers like to immerse themselves deeper into the stories, characters, and settings.  Perhaps gone is the time when people only took a few minutes a day to read.  And here, I thought our society marched toward shorter attention spans.
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