The biggest book that you have ever read

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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby ceid donn » 2016-05-28, 15:53

Hard to say what was the biggest, longest book I've ever read, but I can say the longest book I've ever read within 24 hours was Ulysses by James Joyce, which I did as a birthday dare (my b-day is very near Bloomsday). Took me a little over 17 hours to read from start to finish, minus breaks for food, quick naps and looking up critical notes for the book on the internet when I got confused about what the hell was going on, because trying to read Ulysses in a single day in not something anyone should ever do. :lol:

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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby Luís » 2017-08-15, 14:34

Well, I've read all the books in A Song of Ice and Fire, that's over 5,000 pages in total.

Other than that, probably 2666 by Roberto Bolaño (1032 pages in the Portuguese edition).
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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby Milly19 » 2017-09-19, 7:31

was Shantaram for me. great and memoreble book. about 1000 p.

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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby Osias » 2017-09-19, 18:05

I can't say, maybe "operação cavalo de tróia", the first 4 books of the series. Each one was more than 500 pages, I think. Despite the name, it's a time travel to Jesus' times.
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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby Iván » 2017-11-28, 7:49

The Pillars of the Earth.
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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-06-29, 12:55

Yasna wrote:Has anyone read The Mahabharata, unabridged?

Actually, now I'm curious, since I don't recall ever hearing anyone mention anything from it before: Does anyone besides me (and presumably some of the Indian users who show up every now and then) even know any stories from it?

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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby voron » 2019-06-29, 13:13

vijayjohn wrote:Actually, now I'm curious, since I don't recall ever hearing anyone mention anything from it before: Does anyone besides me (and presumably some of the Indian users who show up every now and then) even know any stories from it?

We learnt about it at school, but I don't remember off the top of my head what it is about or any stories from it.

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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-06-29, 16:09

voron wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Actually, now I'm curious, since I don't recall ever hearing anyone mention anything from it before: Does anyone besides me (and presumably some of the Indian users who show up every now and then) even know any stories from it?

We learnt about it at school, but I don't remember off the top of my head what it is about or any stories from it.

It's mostly about five princes who are brothers and their rivalry since childhood against their one hundred first cousins.

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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby Johanna » 2019-07-01, 21:02

if by "book" you mean "the longest continuous story," I've read The Wheel of Time up until the 10th installment, which equals just under 3 million words. If I ever get around to finishing the whole thing, it will be just over 4.4 million.

As a comparison, your average literary novel in this day and age is somewhere around 85,000 words, and your average fantasy novel around 95,000. Then again, fantasy often comes in series, so multiply that by three or five for a complete story in a lot of cases. Also, for fantasy, I'm pretty sure that the YA section drives down the word count quite a bit, and for more adult stuff, we end up at a mean of 110,000 or so.

I should also say that I only count series that tell one story, not those where you first get one book or trilogy or whatever with a conclusion, and then another with the same characters going on another adventure or facing a new problem.
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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-01, 21:14

I never really thought about going by word count. According to what I've found on the web, that would make The Lord of the Rings (481,100) longer than Genji Monogatari (395,850). But both are dwarfed by Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國演義), which clocks in at over 800,000. I've read it twice.
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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby Johanna » 2019-07-01, 21:30

Yeah, I've talked a little bit to people in the Swedish publishing industry, plus a couple of pretty known American authors within the fantasy genre (our interactions have mostly been about animal care and protection, but following someone makes you see all their stuff), and they always talk about word count.

And to be honest, it's a much better indication of how much time and energy it will take to read something than page count ever will. The number of pages depends on what font is used, its size, and the space between lines and paragraphs, while the word count always stays the same.
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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby linguoboy » 2019-07-01, 21:33

Johanna wrote:And to be honest, it's a much better indication of how much time and energy it will take to read something than page count ever will. The number of pages depends on what font is used, its size, and the space between lines and paragraphs, while the word count always stays the same.

But it does make crosslinguistic comparisons more difficult because the definition of a "word" varies so much between languages. You couldn't even find "word counts" for the original versions of Chinese and Japanese works, only character counts.
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Re: The biggest book that you have ever read

Postby Johanna » 2019-07-01, 21:49

linguoboy wrote:
Johanna wrote:And to be honest, it's a much better indication of how much time and energy it will take to read something than page count ever will. The number of pages depends on what font is used, its size, and the space between lines and paragraphs, while the word count always stays the same.

But it does make crosslinguistic comparisons more difficult because the definition of a "word" varies so much between languages. You couldn't even find "word counts" for the original versions of Chinese and Japanese works, only character counts.

That's true.

Even within the Latin script, Greenlandic easily uses the same number of syllables as English but a lot less words... And considering the orthography, if you go by the number of pages with everything else being equal, the Greenlandic text may be longer.

Downsides to everything, I guess.
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