It is not actually the book tag that is the longest (though I feel like I've seen some serious contenders for THAT title), but the tag about longest books. Just in case you were all, "Okay Wendy, I only have so much time to spend reading book blogs and I don't know that I'm willing to commit to a super long book tag on your little blog."
1. Make a list of five of the longest books you’ve read.
2. Select two of the longest books on your TBR.
3. Discuss. 4. Tag others. (Wanna play? Consider yourself tagged!)
Yes, Goodreads will sort by page count, which is super helpful. I discarded the series that it grouped together, which leaves us with:
- Les Misérables clocks in at 1,463 pages. I actually don't remember a whole lot about it, which is kind of sad, considering there is a WHOLE LOT to remember, and I read it more recently than any other book on this list. I know the basic gist from hearing people talk about the musical. Also, my high school principal legally changed his name to Jean Valjean, which is weird, right?
- War and Peace is right behind it at 1,392 pages. I remember this one much better, even though I read it longer ago, because my college professor had us write 17 word summaries after each reading assignment. Turns out that was a great way to get us to focus on the core ideas without overburdening us with work. That Russian Lit class was one of the best and most fun courses I took in college.
- I can't swear that I've read every single one of the 1,216 pages of the catchily named A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, and Construction, but I've certainly done more than skim it. It is also the most expensive book I've ever bought, because after borrowing it from an acquaintance, I really struggled to give it back until I found a used (!) copy for $65. It is fascinating, even if it is written in tiny type on whisper-thin paper and illustrated with blurry black and white photos.
- I don't read horror, so I haven't read much Stephen King. I ended up with a copy of The Stand while I was in Peace Corps, where my "library" consisted of books my fellow volunteers passed around. I was coming down with a cold when I started it, and I decided the next morning that I was too sick to go to work. But apparently not too sick to spend the rest of the day finishing it. 1,153 pages, and I still remember the opening scene.
- I read the 1,037 pages of Gone with the Wind over a three day weekend sometime in middle school. I remember bragging to my piano teacher about this, and her shutting me down with the insinuation that I probably hadn't really understood any of it at that pace. She may have been right, but still--rude! I wouldn't recommend it, by the way, though we all must admire the way she created Scarlet as a non-lovable protagonist.
And on my TBR, we have two of my all time favorite authors:
- Bleak House. (Also Little Dorrit and David Copperfield.) I read a lot of Dickens in my younger days, but never got around to these. 1,036 pages of Victorian melodrama--what's not to love?
- The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. LeGuin is only 751 pages, but it's massive. I bought it for myself when we earned Powell's cards by selling eight boxes of old books. Haven't cracked it once. Really want to though!
I notice that there are a lot of classics in the over-a-thousand-pages category. And while I read a lot of classics in my teens and twenties, I have all but stopped reading them at this point in my life. Maybe when I'm a retired empty-nester I will have the mental space to dedicate to these books. Part of my issue is that I don't like to take more than a few days to finish a book, and I don't have the big blocks of free time needed to do that with a longer book.
As I mentioned above, if this looks like fun, you are hereby tagged to do your own!