I still can’t get over how long Kingdom of Ash was, so I thought it might be fun in recognition of my finally wrapping up the Throne of Glass series to put together a blog post about some of the longest books I’ve read. Spoiler alert: At 992 pages, Kingdom of Ash takes fourth place!
I actually don’t read too many super long books these days, so starting Kingdom of Ash definitely felt like a bit of a chore even though I was really looking forward to it. It’s just so big!! But it was neat looking back at my Goodreads because I used to pick up a lot more longer books like this. Interestingly enough, I think I read most of them on my kindle, so I’m not sure I knew how massive they were going in.
Also, please note that I pulled these page counts from Goodreads, but I adjusted the page counts for the biographies to take out the bibliography at the end, which added a good hundred pages onto most of them.
1. A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (1,177)
I actually had no idea this book was quite this long when I read it as I read it on my kindle. Incidentally, it’s also the book that convinced me I was better off reading the extensive Wikipedia summaries of the Game of Thrones series that slogging through two more beasts like this one. I just thought there were too many plot lines that weren’t connected and I hated how everyone kept dying. As it turns out, five years after DNFing this series, I have no regrets!
2. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1,168)
This book gets a lot of hate that I don’t quite understand—I guess there’s some context I’m missing? Anyways, I read it at my dad’s recommendation, and again, I read it on my kindle and didn’t quite realize how long it was. It was definitely a slog to get through sometimes, and I honestly don’t think I could finish it now if I tried to pick it up again. But for some reason I did manage to push through and generally thought it was a decent read when I was done, though I was definitely in no rush to recommend anyone else pick up such a massive book!
3. Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey (1,015)
You might be noticing a theme here because again, I read this on my kindle and had no idea how long it was going in. I’d heard it recommended to fans of fantasy and romance, and while I did like the story, it wasn’t quite for me. I liked it enough to read the second book in the trilogy, but I just wasn’t invested enough to get through the last book, instead turning to summaries on the internet to give me some resolution so I could move on from these books.
4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (992)
Ah, the book of honor that inspired this post! I HATE spending money on both physical and digital copies of books, but this came out right before I went on vacation to Spain, and I was already hooked on reading this and really wanted to finish it but couldn’t justify lugging it across the Atlantic (that book is so heavy!). So I caved and bought the kindle copy in addition to my physical copy so I could read it on my trip. While it still kills me a little that I bought this book twice, reading it in digital format was definitely the right call as this book is massive! And frankly, it didn’t need to be. Check out my spoilery ramble here if you haven’t already.
5. Grant by Ron Chernow (960)
This is by far the longest biography I have ever read, and it took me ages to get through. And unlike the books preceding Grant on this list, I read it in its full physical glory. For the record, the hardback clocks in at 1,074 pages, so even though I “only” read 960 pages, I was holding more than a thousand as I read it. And it was nice paper, so that book was heavy! It took me forever to get through Grant, but it was so worth it. Chernow is really an impressive biographer, and Grant is a fascinating person. I think this might be the best biography I’ve read, and I highly recommend it to history buffs.
6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (870)
Ah, to be young. I feel like now I’m hard pressed to be convinced a book really needs to be longer than 400 pages or so, but when the Order of the Phoenix came out (I believe I was 11 at the time), I was thrilled we were getting such a massive installment in the series. It meant there would be even more to obsess over once I was finished reading it! Funnily enough, I reread it earlier this year (at age 26) and commented in my review that “it was waaaaaay too long.” How times have changed!
7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (850)
And now we’re back to the books I didn’t realize were so massive when I read them! I think I read this in anticipation of the Starz show coming out, and while I liked it, I really wanted Clare and Jamie to get their happily ever after and was disappointed when I realized Gabaldon tortured them for seven more books! I was totally happy leaving their relationship where it wrapped up in Outlander, especially since there were a lot of things that kind of rubbed me the wrong way about this book, and I have no regrets with my decision not to continue the series.
8. Winter by Marissa Meyer (827)
I’m just going to say this now so I stop repeating myself: I read the remainder of these books on my kindle and had no idea how long they were until I started putting together this list. Seriously, Winter was more than 800 pages long?! That seems like overkill, though I guess Meyer was bringing a lot of storylines together into this last book. I actually enjoyed the Lunar Chronicles well enough to read through them fairly quickly, but it was once I finished Winter that I kind of felt like investing all of that time into those books was a waste. I’m not sure why, but I got to the end of the series and determined it just just ok and that I should have DNFed it after Cinder. Realizing how long Winter is only reinforces that notion.
9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (848)
See entry number one.
10. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (784)
Shoutout to a few other longer books I’ve read: Harry Potter takes both 11th and 12th places with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (759) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (734), respectively. Hamilton by Ron Chernow is also up there, clocking in at 732 pages, followed by A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (699), Titan by Ron Chernow (676), John Adams by David McCullough (652), and FDR by Jean Edward Smith (636).
Those aren’t all of the longest books I’ve read, but they’re definitely some of the most notable ones. And I’m actually really surprised I’ve only read 13 books longer than 700 pages. For some reason I thought it would be more than that, though I’m in no rush to increase that figure.
What are some of the longest books you’ve ever read? Let me know in the comments!