Thursday, June 25, 2015

L: Longest Books

She whom I follow in posting these alphabet-related topics had some difficulty in determining the lengths of various books and was forced to surmise in some instances. Allow me to suggest the very helpful LibraryThing site. Also useful for many other bookish things.

So, adding page counts to my catalogue listings and sorting on that field... Next we ignore reference books (sorry, Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide) and books I haven't read (don't hold your breath, Les Miserables), and we arrive at Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace at 1,472 pages. There are actually more books that I've read over the 1,000 page mark than I realized.

The top of the list is my Thompson Chain-reference NIV Bible. Granted, while I've read through the Bible, I haven't read straight through all the index and helps material that comprises roughly the last third of this volume. But even if we cut down the total by 700 pages, that only takes us down from 1,933 to 1,233. Still well over our cut-off.

Next is the aforementioned War and Peace, but then is The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. This is questionable since it is mostly pictures and it is a slip-cased three volumes. So, despite it having 1,440 pages, it probably shouldn't go on the list. Great reading though.

Skipping over The Unabridged William Shakespeare (1,440 - which I haven't read all the way through, but I surely ought to) and Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1,406 - sixteenth edition) which is really a reference though I'm working through it off and on, we come to Raymond Chandler: Collected Stories (1,336) which I've read about 3 or 4 times. Despite being an anthology of short stories I'm counting it.

Then we come to The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Volume 2, Reader's Guide (1,280). Which is quite the title. It's a must for any amateur Tolkien scholar. Appropriately, immediately following is my copy of The Lord of the Rings Collector's Edition (1,216). You know the one; in the faux red leather? Right.

Another set of comics, this time comic books, Usagi Yojimbo: The Special Edition (1,200). As before, it's mostly pictures and though only two volumes slip-cased.

Then my copy of The Lord of the Rings: 50th Anniversary Edition (1,184). It's a bit surprising that it's 32 pages shorter than the one above, but I suppose the type is probably just fractionally smaller.

A book I re-read every year and have read cover-to-cover at least a dozen times, The Count of Monte Cristo (1,136). Marvellous book, I never get tired of it. But I am getting tired of this list. So, without commentary, here are the rest to round out the over 1,000 club.

War and Peace is certainly the longest book I've read, and I liked it. But I didn't love it. I'd probably pick The Lord of the Rings for that honour among the books above, but The Count of Monte Cristo is close too.