Is War And Peace The Longest Book?

What is the longest novel ever written? It is a common question. Most individuals immediately recall the largest books they had encountered as children. That is not how you determine a book’s size, though. The book may have a larger depth yet a smaller height. Due to this misconception, a lot of people consider War and Peace to be the longest book.

Although War and Peace is a fairly lengthy book, it is not considered to be the longest. It is undoubtedly a competitor with 1,225 pages and 587,287 words, but Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, with 1.5 million words, is known as the longest book.

This article will go into greater detail about book length and how to determine it.

Why Is A Book’s Length Important?

The typical reader may not have a thorough understanding of the publishing process, but they nonetheless develop expectations for the books they wish to read. Readers have preconceived notions about how many pages a book in a particular genre should contain for each genre.

If authors do not mostly adhere to these rules, their intended audience may flatly reject the book. In addition, having a duration restriction will make it much simpler for you to plan the narrative. 

Typically, a book’s length is expressed in words. It is generally agreed that a page contains roughly 250 words, depending on the font size and spacing. Without further ado, let’s discuss the industry-wide guidelines for book lengths in each category.

The Perfect Length Of A Book

There is no such thing as the perfect book-length, according to devoted readers. In all honesty, though, the majority of people do have a particular length in mind.

Professional readers, or those who read for pleasure on a regular basis, enjoy fiction works that are between 300 and 350 pages in length. This range is commonly cited, as seen by numerous conversations with both voracious readers and those who are less inclined to read.

It is worthwhile to investigate where this obsession with book-length came from, especially with regard to long books, as well as whether there is such a thing as the perfect length for a book.

Finding The Optimal Range

Initial research suggests that the latter question has an affirmative answer. The most common results from a Google search for the perfect book-length suggest a maximum of 100,000 words, with minimums ranging from 60,000 to 90,000. Depending on the font and font size, these numbers correspond to the commonly mentioned length of 300 to 350 pages.

The typical length for adult books, according to Mushens Entertainment literary agency Juliet Mushens, is between 80,000 and 100,000 words. Many authors, in her opinion, can achieve their goals within this word limit.

The fact that word count falls into a perceived sweet spot is one of the reasons readers frequently become fixated on it. It permits adequate world-building while ensuring that the pace is consistently exciting, according to Mushen.

For instance, all the twists, tension, and red herrings in a crime book can be included in about 90,000 words. On the other hand, a length of 150,000 words frequently results in an excess of subplots and situations where specific aspects, such as red herrings, are forgotten because of their sparse inclusion in the lengthy story.

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The Background Of Reading Preferences

The topic of book-length has been the subject of thought and discussion for a while now. There were notable examples of hefty volumes, such as collections of sermons, even in the early days of printing, according to Helen Smith, a professor at the University of York. 

Novels were more and more popular among the middle class as the 18th century went on. Our reactions to lengthy books now, according to Dr.Alexandra Kingstonn-Reese, a colleague of Smiths, may be due to the fact that we may not have the same leisurely opportunity to completely absorb them as our forebears from the 18th century did.

Dr. Alexandra Kingston-Reese claims that the lengthy novels under consideration have a distinctive nature distinguished by complexity and literary depth. These words don’t just rely on plot-driven storylines; they also devote a lot of time to reflection and elaborate descriptions.

As a result, readers must pay special attention to these works. However, it might be difficult to devote prolonged periods of focused concentration to such literature in today’s fast-paced society, where time is frequently a scarce resource. Larger novels could take more time to read, but if the pacing is perfect, all books read quickly.

Epics Of Narrative Scope

Grandiose storylines, however, are not just found in commercial or literary fiction; the genres of fantasy and science fiction also include a large number of books that are longer than 500 pages. It’s interesting to note that many readers, like the one in question, freely admit they would be more forgiving of a 900-page fantasy work than of a literary version of the same length.

When it comes to particular genres, it’s not just the expectation of world-building but also the manner we refer to them that gets us ready for a bigger book.

Types Of Books And Their Lengths

Fictional Books

Typically, general novels must be between 50,000 and 110000 words (200-440 pages) in length. This guarantees that the story has enough world-building and moves along at a good clip without feeling dragged out or rushed.

Kids Books

Depending on the kind of book you are creating, children’s book lengths might vary substantially. For instance, a picture book might only have 300 to 800 words, while a first reader might have 200 to 500.


The typical length of non-fictional books will be between 280 and 320 pages or 70,000 and 80,000 words.

Memoirs/biographies tend to be lengthier, while self-help titles are typically shorter. Business, politics, and science are subjects covered by common non-fictional tiles.


It is more difficult to establish broad criteria for textbooks because the length of the book will be greatly influenced by the level at which it will be utilized and the subject matter. As a result, textbook guidelines are not easily accessible online.

The normal matric textbooks are 200 to 500 pages and cover a variety of subjects, including accounting, life sciences, and mathematics. Same -topic university textbooks might be 400-900 pages long. Textbooks are typically longer than other genres since they include much more information than any other type of book.


However, there seems to be a sweet spot for books that consumers prefer, often between 300 and 350 pages, or roughly 80,000 to 100,000 words. This scope enables compelling world-building, storytelling, and pacing that keep readers interested.

However, the historical backdrop of reading habits shows that long novels have been appreciated throughout history, especially those with intricate plots and literary depth. Despite the difficulties presented by our fast-paced culture, epic storylines continue to be valued in both commercial and literary literature, as well as in subgenres like fantasy and science fiction.

Ultimately, a well-paced story may attract readers regardless of the size of the book, even though book-length may require a larger time commitment.

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