What’s the longest novel you’ve ever read?


I’m thinking a lot about Leefdale at the moment which is 303800 words long. That’s 853 Kindle pages or 540 single spaced A4 pages. This, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a substantial piece of work! But not the longest novel I’ve ever read.

When I was younger I loved Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and had a well-read paperback copy that included all three books in one volume. I read it several times over the years and eventually it fell to bits.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is 455125 words long.

That’s slightly longer than another favourite: Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind – 418053 words

Anthony Powell’s A Dance To The Music of Time is the longest novel I’ve ever read with slightly less than one million words. But it’s published as 12 separate books even though they’re all connected. Does that count as one novel? I didn’t think of it as one whole novel when I was reading the 12 volumes but it must be as it’s included in The 10 Longest Novels Ever and List of longest novels. 

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett is 401905 words long and I enjoyed reading every one of them.

And, of course, there’s War and Peace with 587287 words but the less said about them, the better!

There’s an interesting article on the Indefeasible Blog which lists Great Novels and Word Count. Some of the most highly regarded classics are rather short!

For example, Lord of the Flies by William Golding – 59900 words

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – 49459 words. Not much more than a novella!

If, like me, you enjoy a big read you can try the free sample of Leefdale on the Amazon website if you click the Look Inside feature on the book cover image.  The special launch price of 99c/99p continues for another couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also enjoy

Why give a book five stars?


The New Romantics @newromantics4 perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Book Promotion

Leefdale by Michael Murray http://amzn.eu/dhYOHmW



I wish I’d stumbled upon this word counter years ago.

writing and word count

Recently I signed up for a StumbleUpon account

and the site has served  up all sorts of fascinating webpages, blogs and images including Word Counter – Every Word Counts.

I wish I’d found Word Counter years ago.

It is SO useful.

Not only does Word Counter count the words in your text it counts the characters too. This is most helpful when trying to write headlines and tweets that have a strict character limit. Word Counter provides other information such as the amount of time it takes to read your article or blogpost.

I’ve put Word Counter

at the top of my bookmarked Most Useful Sites list and it’s available as a Google Chrome extension too.

If you haven’t already sorted out a word counter for yourself, I hope you find this helpful too.

Have a good day! 🙂



How many words in a blogpost? And after extensive research, the jury’s still out!


As you may have noticed some of my blogposts are not very long.

Some might even call them short.

But is that a problem?

Well, it is for some experts. I’ve been reading several blogs recently which offer advice on the best word count for blogposts.

There seems to be general agreement that a blogpost should have at least 300 words and after that opinions are mixed.

This helpful blogpost from Joe Bunting offers the pros and cons for writing blogposts of various lengths ranging from a couple of hundred words to a word count of more than two thousand.

Another interesting piece is Why 3000+ word blogposts get more traffic  which is stuffed with reasons to write long (very long!!) blogposts and advice how to set about doing it.

Although written a couple of years ago, I particularly like this blogpost from Hubspot.com. In a nutshell the advice is to write what you need to say what you want. The writer references a college professor’s response to  a student question about the length of a coursework paper. “As long as it needs to be”. That was the advice given decades ago when I was studying and I think it remains good to this day.

Of course, there’s a huge difference between those who are blogging commercially and hobby bloggers like myself. Sometimes people read my blogposts and quite often they don’t. (Well, if Google Analytics is correct, they don’t!) Obviously I’d prefer someone to read my efforts but I don’t have to meet any readership targets as presumably is expected of professional bloggers. I don’t have any advertisers seeking multiple hits on their websites and an increase in their products’ sales as a consequence of appearing on my blog.

When I started writing this blog I hadn’t realised that lifestyle bloggers actually give up their day jobs because they can make so much cash from their blogging. Hmmm. Nice work!

So, to answer my own question: how many words in a blogpost?

  1. My priority will continue to be to write as many words as are needed to say what I want to say.
  2. I’m going to try and write a long-form blogpost occasionally to see if I can.
  3. My target when I started this blog was to write a post everyday. So far, I’ve more or less managed to stick with this. But some days I’m really pushed for time so, of necessity, my blogposts will have to be short (very short) on those days. My frequency of posting target is more important to me than conforming to the best practice norms of professional bloggers.
  4. I write because I love writing and now I have time to do just that. And that’s that!

I found out something very interesting the other day.

Being ranked 9,783,626th is an achievement!

If you install a Google extension called Alexa Traffic Rank you can find out the ranking of a blog / website compared with all the others.

The top ranked are sites like Facebook, Amazon, etc and the rankings gradually go down to about 9,783,626th. And that is an achievement because after that come all the blogs / websites that don’t get a ranking at all.

I’ve been amazed at how many blogs I follow written by people I “know” on Twitter which don’t get a ranking. This was very heartening because my blogs / websites don’t get a ranking either. As I said, my Google Analytics only shows on average about 10 visitors daily to each blog so I wasn’t surprised that Alexa didn’t recognise me.

The websites I referred to earlier in this piece all received good rankings as you would expect as they’re clearly in the business of offering serious advice to the professional blogging community.

If you want to get the Alexa Traffic Rank extension go into the Manager part of your Google Chrome browser > Extensions and look for Alexa. It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to download. I expect it harvests loads of personal data whenever you use it but it’s very informative and interesting.

Well, if you’re still here you’ve read almost 700 words. So thank you for being interested and hope you find something else you’d like to read here on my 3sixtyfive lifestyle blog!

Hope you had a great weekend.

Here’s a book promo to finish with:


Julia’s Room, a novella, is still only 99p.