How long is the average novel

This is a great article from the publishers weekly (click here for the original article). I was wondering how many words are in the average novel. This is the answer, based on Amazon’s stats.

According to Amazon’s great Text Stats feature, the median length for all books is about 64,000 words. The figure was found through looking at a number of books’ text stats, until Brave New World‘s 64,531 word count landed in the exact center of all books–50% of books have fewer words and 50% of books have more words.

PWxyz isn’t sure how useful this information is, but because we secretly like math, we’re all for injecting objective truths into subjective fields like literature. (Which is why things like this happen.) But it is nice to know, when you pick up a book and feel its weight, where it stands in relation to all others.

Anyway, here’s a sampling of classics and where their word counts land them on the spectrum.

Animal Farm

29,966 words (75% of books have more words)

Ethan Frome

30,191 words (75% of books have more words)

The Crying of Lot 49

46,573 words (64% of books have more words)

Slaughterhouse-Five

47,192 words (64% of books have more words)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

53,510 words (58% of books have more words)

Lord of the Flies

62,481 words (51% of books have more words)

Brave New World

64,531 words (50% of books have more words)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

70,570 words (45% of books have more words)

Portnoy’s Complaint

78,535 words (41% of books have more words)

Lolita

112,473 words (21% of books have more words)

Madame Bovary

117,963 words (18% of books have more words)

Mansfield Park

159, 344 words (9% of books have more words)

Moby-Dick

209,117 words (4% of books have more words)

East of Eden

226,741 words (3% of books have more words)

Ulysses

262,869 words (2% of books have more words)

Middlemarch

310,593 words (2% of books have more words)

War and Peace

544,406 words (0% of books have more words)

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