This week’s Top Ten Tuesday by That Artsy Reader Girl was an easy one for us—we have a tendency to put ourselves through extremely long and dense tomes, and we love them. So not only are these the longest books we’ve ever read, but in most cases, they’re also some of our favorites!
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Coming in at 587,287 words, this tome took me a while to get through. I think it took a little less than a year. But I was glad to have read it.
At 783,137 words, this one took me years to get through. Plus, it’s one that requires a different sort of attention than any other.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Such a great adventure story. At 389,180 words, it’s more than worth the read.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Coming in close to Tolstoy’s tome, this one is 543, 709 words, many of them footnotes.
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
At 454,440 words this one is definitely up there on my list. Pete and I were so excited when it came out that I think we actually limited ourselves to reading 50 pages a day (which we didn’t always abide by).
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – 389,180 words words
At one point, I read the abridged version, but a few years ago Indiana and I decided to take on the original text, translated by Robin Buss. It took months, but it’s still one of my favorite epic stories of all time.
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss – 397,179 words
So technically Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson is longer, but I’m including a Sanderson book next so we’ll give Rothfuss a slot here. This book is heft and had its slow (and weird) parts, but it was still a fun ride and was more enjoyable than The Name of the Wind.
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson – 454,440 words
This book didn’t feel long for a moment. I limited myself to 50 pages a day so I wouldn’t finish it too quickly… and I definitely broke that rule a few times. It helps that the sheer number of unique plots and character POVs makes this feel more like eight novels intertwined than one big one.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace – 543,709 words
Indiana really had to convince me to join her on this reading journey, but I stuck with it—though it did take us six months! It wasn’t a mind-blowing book, but we both enjoyed it. If you read this one, definitely find a friend to read it with or check out reading guides online. It’s a lot to take in.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – 645,000 words
I was slightly surprised to realize that this is the longest book I’ve ever read. It’s been a while since I finished this one, but I remember enjoying the writing and plot but despising the characters and ideas. I can’t begin to understand Rand’s perspective or ideologies for a minute—and over half a million words of proselytizing is quite the journey.