Books are Getting Longer

by Rachel Baker on July 22, 2014

This is a really interesting opinion piece on why books are getting longer. The information provided does show book length is getting longer, and after seeing it, its hard not to begin thinking about why sociologically and psychologically we want longer books.

I’ve had a theory, for a while now, that books are getting longer. It wasn’t until recently that I took some time to compile the data, and frankly, I was surprised at just how right I was.

Obviously part of this experiment meant finding average book lengths for a cross-section of time long enough to mean anything. So I went 110 years back to 1904, and did some research for every 10 years. So I Googled “Best Books of…1904…1914…1924…etc.” and Google’s wizardry helped me out quite a bit, because the search results display an immediate gallery of books. It ends up being a combination of prize winners, best sellers, and attention garners. Perfect.

So I then took those books, went to Amazon and found page numbers for the Kindle versions (just to keep things on the same playing field), and averaged them out. It’s not perfect, but it’s about as good as you’re going to get. While there are a couple outliers, the trend is clear:

Why Are Books Getting Longer?

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