Davenport Public Library’s longest book

Librarians never know what kind of questions they’ll get when working the reference desk. Recently, a young patron asked a question that seems like it should have an easy answer but needed quite a deep dive.

The question was, “What’s the longest book in the library?”

It turns out, we don’t have a way to search our catalog by number of pages or word count. Instead, we did an internet search for longest books and then manually cross referenced that with items available at our library.

Among fiction, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy came out as our longest book. Our copy is 1,388 pages. The word count is estimated at over 587,000 words. (Editions of “War and Peace” at other libraries may use a different font size and come out to a different number of pages.)

Runner’s up are:

  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo at 1,330 pages and about 546,000 words.
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace at 1,079 pages and almost 484,000 words.
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell at 1,037 pages and about 418,000 words.