Doorstopper

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This one's more of an Edit War stopper. [1]
"The covers of this book are too far apart."

A common literary term that refers to a book so thick and heavy that it can be used as a doorstopper. Or a weapon. Or a method with which to give a chiropractor a job. While it is likely to be used in a spirit of derision, as it evokes the idea of Padding in spades, there are also many fine books that could technically stop a door or kill a man in a pinch.

Proper Doorstoppers (also known as Tree Killers) should be over 500 pages. If one book is over 1,000 pages, it is probably a Doorstopper. This goes double if the typeface is smaller than 10 point.

When talking about a "doorstopper series", the series in question is likely to involve great battles between good and evil, a Chosen One and mysterious jewelry. It is a doorstopper series if, and only if, every actual book in the series is a Doorstopper.

Oftentimes, publishers will turn an ordinary trilogy, tetralogy, or series into one huge book. This is not strictly a Doorstopper but an "Omnibus". These books, though, can invariably be used to stop doors, press flowers, act as fake gold in a bank robbery, or crush small children. These are sometimes for the convenience of fans of the series. Other times, with very long series or ones where the order almost doesn't matter, it's to sell volumes that don't sell anywhere near as well as the most popular books in the series.

Can and will cause massive muscle fatigue when reading while holding the book in your hands. Can also cause the text to disappear into the center fold or the book to rip apart halfway through reading.

When a character takes this trope a little too literally, see Useful Book. Extremely useful if one wishes to Throw the Book At Them.

And what's a doorstopper without Loads and Loads of Characters? Of both types.

Examples of Doorstopper include:

Comic Books[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Return of Superman, it doesn't help that the book contains all 21 issues of the arc. Paired with The Death of Superman and World without a Superman, another 7 and 9 issues respectively, is thicker than a phone book.
    • The collected volumes for Superman: Doomsday and Superman: Our Worlds at War are of comparable length.
  • Jeff Smith's Bone. Other Comic Books can—and have—run longer, but few of them are published as a single-volume, 1,300 page tome.
  • The Cerebus the Aardvark "phone book" collections; all but the thinnest four he has, indeed, seen stop doors. And they're trade paperbacks!
  • Publishers have recently released complete collections of the entire runs of certain newspaper comic strips, including Calvin and Hobbes as well as The Far Side. Though spread out into multiple volumes, each one is still pretty hefty.
  • The Far Side one is in two volumes, each being about as big as a double-size cereal box and the preface even calls it an "18-pound hernia giver".
  • Parodied in a Mad Magazine back cover; "The Super Thick Book Of The Month Club", which features books that really serve only one function; to impress people.
  • Given how long some comics like Blondie have been running...imagine how big a "Complete Blondie" collection would be.
  • The complete collected edition of From Hell.
  • The Complete Peanuts, begun by Fantagraphics in 2004: "50 years of art. 25 books. Two books per year for 12½ years."
  • The Marvel Omnibuses, massive collections of selections of various series, tend to be hefty. The Hulk omnibus, for example, weighs six pounds.
    • As of December 2011 the largest published is the collection of the complete run of Peter Milligan's and Mike Allred's X-Force/X-Statix series, as well as related spin-offs, at over 1200 pages.
    • A close second and third are the collection of Walt Simonson's complete run (as writer) on The Mighty Thor and related spin-offs (1,136 numbered pages of reprints plus about 50 of supplemental materials) and the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus (Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's entire 39 issue run plus two annuals: 1,088 pages long, three inches thick and a whopping eight pounds).
  • Comic Book Tattoo, a collection of short stories based on songs by Tori Amos, is both thick and wide, making it absolutely massive...and a great prop for using one's laptop on the bed.
  • The Flight Anthologies more often than not deserve this status, as do the Popgun anthologies.
  • The collected editions of Richard Starking's Elephantmen comics, they also usually come out in hardback first so they're quite heavy.
  • The collected edition Toda Mafalda, with practically all the strips starring the Argentinian girl.
  • The Judge Dredd complete case files. Each one contains a year's worth of storylines. And don't even get started on the upcoming Meltdown Man graphic novel.
  • Although not really a Doorstopper, Neil Gaiman's introduction to The Kindly Ones states that the hardcover version of the book is heavy enough to stun a burglar in the dark, which has always been his definition of true art.
  • The The Walking Dead Omnibus collects 24 issues, and is officially described as being "perfect for long time fans, new readers and anyone needing a heavy object with which to fend off The Walking Dead."
    • And then there's The Walking Dead compendium, which is 48 issues, collected in one volume.
  • The KISS Kompendium, a compilation of the Kiss Psycho Circus comic book series which comes in at a massive 1280 pages and 10+ pounds.
  • Not a comic book but a book about comics: the volume produced by DC to mark their 75th anniversary - called, naturally enough, 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking measures around 16 by 11.5 inches and is three inches thick. It weighs in at around 15 lb. Fortunately it comes in a sturdy cardboard carrying case.
  • The "Ultimate Collection" volumes for UDON's Street Fighter comics are roughly the size of an average text book. And cost $60 each, making them similar in price as well.
  • The aptly named Gold Brick collections of Antarctic Press's Gold Digger are 25 issues each.


Encyclopedias and Dictionaries[edit | hide]

  • The 1951 edition of the Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (Encyclopedic Edition) which is roughly 25 cm long, 20 cm wide, and at least 10 cm thick. Broke the bank at a whopping two dollars.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary, considered by many to be as close to an official dictionary of English as could be (since English, unlike French, has no official standards) is 23 volumes. The planned Third Edition is projected to cost about $55 million and the estimated date of completion is 2037.
    • The text in the compact edition of the first edition Oxford English Dictionary has been shrunk to the point that you essentially need a magnifying glass to make use of it, and it still takes up two volumes that are big and heavy enough to be dangerous. Each volume clocks in at about 4,000 pages, and some editions come with a helpful magnifying glass.
  • The Spanish Royal Academy dictionary is two tomes that amount to 3548 pages in font size 8.
  • At least one edition of the Large Chinese-Norwegian Dictionary clocks in at 1408 pages.
  • One Japanese-English kanji dictionary raises the bar to 1748. The severely abridged version still has 430.
    • The full version is here. Look at that list price!
  • There is an encyclopaedic dictionary of the Spanish language. It includes—aside from definitions—short biographies, maps, diagrams (including a full page schematic of a pocket watch); and the appendices include difficulties of the language, a preposition guide, and a compendium of Spanish conjugations (Spanish is a hard language). Everything in three volumes totalling 3200 pages.
  • The Merck Index is about 2198 pages.
  • A 130-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica is 25 volumes, with each one being eight to ten centimetres thick. And this was published in the late 1870s.
  • The German dictionary and encyclopaedia Grimm currently consists (it is still updated an added to) of about 35 books between five and ten cm thick. And this is the paperback edition.
  • During the Ming Dynasty at least 3,000 scholars spent 4 years, beginning in 1403, working on the Yongle Dadian, an encyclopedia with 11,095 volumes and 22,877 chapters. There are an estimated 370 million Chinese characters used.
  • The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of English grammar, clocks in at 1860 pages (and you thought your English class was hard).
  • The Physicians' Desk Reference, a pharmaceutical reference, is provided annually, for free, to practicing physicians (at least in the United States). Because this information is available electronically, the (enormous) books are frequently given away, or used as literal paperweights and doorstoppers.
  • The Oxford Classical Dictionary Third ed. is about 6 cm thick and has over 6000 entries on ancient Greek and Roman Civilizations if you ever needed a complete reference.
  • The Meyers Konversationslexikon: well over 30 volumes, 16 cm wide, 7 cm thick, 25 cm high, all around 1000 pages, 3 mm writing height in fracture, printed in 1906. It's an encyclopaedia on about everything know back then along with facsimiles, maps, tables and other pictures.
  • Somebody decided to print and bind part of the English Wikipedia. This was the result. (And this book contains only 2,500 articles, while the English Wikipedia has now (December 2009) a thousand times more.
  • The unabridged edition of William Vollman's "calculus of violence" Rising Up and Rising Down weighs in at 3,352 pages across seven volumes.
  • The printed version of Chemical Abstracts filled whole bookshelves (the company tossed in the towel as of Janurary 1, 2010 and is now only offering the publication electronically) considering the book provides overviews for over 50 million chemical substances, their invention, production, uses, patents, properties; the same for 60 million proteins and DNA sequences; along with a subsection devoted to summarising all major scholarly publications on chemistry from the past 103 years... and is all daily updated.
    • One of their sales agents managed to crash the CAS servers once with an demonstration. He explained how to do an complex search. And all ten people in the room pressed enter at the same time; cue general computational blackout at the CAS mainframe.
  • The Yellow Pages are books that contain every single phone number in a given area, as well as plenty of advertising. They usually contain several hundred pages even in a more sparsely-populated area. Anybody who uses the Yellow Pages will most likely remember having crushed a toe with one. Recently shrunk to paperback size, with the same number of pages.
  • The thirteenth edition of Svenska Akademiens ordlista (The Swedish Academy's Dictionary) has 1130 pages.
  • Pokonry's Indogermanisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch (a huge Indo European dictionary) clocks in at 1,648 pages, is often divided into 2 volumes... screw it, here's the Amazon link.
  • The legendary Capital. Three volumes of well over five hundred pages each, about 2500 in total... and he was working on a fourth when he died.
  • De Dikke Van Dale (the 'fat' Van Dale), the most well-known Dutch dictionary, is devided in three volumes and has a total of 4.464 pages.


Fanfic[edit | hide]

  • Thanks to the lack of editors, Fan Fiction has a tendency to run into this, if you count works that are never or hardly ever printed and thus are unsuitable for doorstop use. For instance, Fanfiction.net, as of April 6, 2009, lists one Harry Potter story longer than the entire 1,084,000-word series. 582 stories are longer than the 255,000-word Order of the Phoenix, the longest in the series, many of these incomplete. At least seventeen FF.Net stories have over a million words, with the Ah! My Goddess fanfic Trial By Tenderness having recently broken the 2 million mark—at Harry Potter word-per-page rates, that's 6,800 pages, and over three times the length of Atlas Shrugged. The author doesn't seem to be planning on stopping anytime soon, either.
  • Another example of long Harry Potter fanfic is Hogwarts Exposed, a fanfic coming in at over 700,000 words. It would be much shorter if not for the rampant redundancy and Filler, of course.
  • Undocumented Features clocks in at (as of early November 2008) approximately 20 megabytes of pure ASCII text. That's 3.5 million words long. Which actually makes it longer than the Sacrifices Arc.
  • These Black Eyes in the Teen Titans section is over 2.5 million words, 272 chapters.
  • RockmanEXE: The College Years comes in at 942,893 words in 280 chapters. It's about three times longer than any other single fic in the Megaman category.
  • Shinji and Warhammer 40 K is 732,891 words long. It shows, too; each chapter is a veritable mountain of text. The prologue clocks in at about 54 pages in Word-format.
  • Pokémon Master is a door-stopper of a High Fantasy and a Dark Fic to boot.
  • Then there's Lightning on the Wave's Alternate Universe Harry Potter epic known as the Sacrifices Arc. It's posted as 7 separate stories (mirroring the 7-book format of the HP series), so the site doesn't record the full tale's word count. This is really too bad, since it clocks in at just over 3 million words. Surprisingly enough (for a fanfic), it's actually a complete story. The author wrote it between September '05 and Jan '07, posting an average of 6400 words per day.
  • The Firefly fanfic Forward is 458,608 words in length. Tiberium Wars, by the same author, looks like its going to run a risk of hitting this as well, as it is only seventeen chapters long at this point but is clocking in at over 150,000 words, and canonically, it hasn't even finished the first of the actual game's five acts.
  • While we're at it, one particularly high quality fanfic in the Swat Kats section is Endgame, which is now completed at 473,822 words and 70 chapters! (for those who beancount, that's 6768.8 words per chapter nearly) as of November 13, 2010. And the author has no intention of quitting now. Good thing it's an action fic rather than furporn. Now, the sequel, MegaKat Shield is underway!
  • Video game novelizations almost inevitably fall under this trope, by the nature of the format.
  • The Whisper of the Heart trilogy by Saddletank can almost fill a large sized binder when printed out using the default formatting.
  • Ri2 has at least 3 stories that are definitely doorstoppers:
    • Latias' Journey, weighing in at 1,186,409 words.
      • Originally, the author intended for a MASSIVE battle (even more than the last one where EVERYTHING was at stake) to occur, only to quit when he just got tired. That alone could've been a good (few) hundred thousand words.
    • Brave New World, surpassing it with 1,682,467 words.
    • A Match made in Hell, weighing in at 602,067 words.
  • ScytheRider's Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Silver Resistance weighing in at 443,889 words.
  • Thunderblade's Battle of the Sacred Essences is "only" 252,754 words but it still comes out in excess of 400 pages when printed.
  • This crossover between Inuyasha and Yu Yu Hakusho is 500,000+ words and seems nowhere near done.
  • tracefan's The Darkness Within, presently having over 650,000 words. It doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon.
  • The released chapters of Misfiled Dreams run 456 pages, including 2 blank pages in the first chapter and 5 pages of art. The unrealeased (and unedited) chapters run another 616 pages and counting.
  • Razor Knight's Cyber Moon, a Sailor Moon-based epic trilogy, parts one, two and three. Total length: over 600,000 words.
  • Mind, Body, and Soul A Kim Possible fanfiction that's NSFW, clocks in at 450,669 words, and has a sequel being written that's three chapters long and 70k+ words already.
  • The Kung Fu Panda fanfic A Different Lesson. As originally posted, over 1100 pages; a smaller font sized version runs around 550 pages. 45 chapters, 632,000 words. And amazingly, very little of it is filler; there's just that much going on.
  • The Unity Saga, a Star Wars/Star Trek crossover that runs a total of 250 chapters. Most of the chapters have a manageable size, but the final entries in each of the six parts suddenly balloon to a very intimidating length.
  • The Total Drama Comeback series is composed of the first saga, one of the only complete alternate-seasons at over 400,000 words, and the second fic Total Drama Battlegrounds is set to at least triple that amount with double the contestants. This is over a million words for a kids' show.
  • The Subspace Emissarys Worlds Conquest. Currently at 181 chapters with just over 3 million words. The author is aiming for 300 chapters by the way. And considering the chapters become actually longer as the story progresses...
  • Nobody Dies. 105 chapters and 626,466 words as of this writing, and will likely hit 150 chapters before it's run is up.
  • 174 Chapters, 548,269 words, presenting the Bratz fanfic Blast To The Past
  • Prince of the Dark Kingdom: At 117 chapters and 832,144 words certainly qualifies. A Harry Potter fic.
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero: We've just reached where the prologue left us off, and it took us nearly 500,000 words. 600+ A4 pages, if you plan on printing it.
  • The Dream Land Story. It's 87 (gradually-increasing-in-length) chapters, and 121,171 words, long, made even crazier by the fact that it's a Kirby fanfic. (And it works!)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Forever, which lives up to its name; it's a whopping 321 chapters, 937,873 words, long. It also has a sequel, Yu-Gi-Oh Eternal, which is 70 chapters, 451,622 words, long.
  • Vathara's controversial fanfic Embers currently boasts over 500,000 words.
  • Sabetha, The Walker of Fate, an EXTENSIVE Pokemon fanfic weighting in at a little over 520,000 words and 77 chapters.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy fanfiction Shards of Memory ended at 41 chapters and over 275,000 words. The epilogue itself almost hits 17,000 words, twice the length of even the longest chapters up until then.
  • Yet Again with a little extra help is currently over 900 thousand words long in will be breaking the million mark before it's end. This is all before the Time Skip in Naruto, incidentally, and the story will continue in a sequel for Post Time-Skip.
    • At Chapter 65 Third Fang has cleared over 1,000,000 words.
      • Oh, and the fic updates about once every 1–2 weeks. Third Fang is a machine.
        • Look at it this way. Third Fang has put up roughly 1,200,000 words in a period of 900, that is 1300 words per day, everyday. this time figure does not remove the time taken up buy revisions or time spent doing other tiresome things like sleeping and eating.
  • Tales of The Cosmic War is a story that has three parts with a total of around 200 chapters (parts as in stories) the first one has around 700,000 words with some new versions of the first few chapters, and it only gets longer. the third will be finished soon and has reached over 2 million words on it's own.
  • Superstarultra's You Got Haruhi Rolled. Over 300,000 words long and still not done. Even more amazing, it's currently 84 chapters long, but individual chapters were still pretty short until chapter 72. A very large percentage of its length is in the last few chapters.
  • HVK's Kingdom Crossovers, a retelling of Kingdom Hearts, with Zim taking the role of Sora, Calvin and Hobbes the role of Donald and Goofy and Garfield the role of King Mickey. Unlike most rewrites of Kingdom Hearts, this actually has lots of different things than you would expect from the actual series, really good points of adaptations, much more characters than the original (to the point of Up to Eleven), Garfield's kingdom being the distant future of Warhammer 40,000 (It Makes Sense in Context, hopefully) and Zim's journey to defeat The Heartless. The reason why it is a door stopper? It has over 500,000 words and it is still in Traverse Town, making an Arc Fatigue probably worse than the Namek Saga!
  • Dragon Age: The Crown of Thorns. At over 650,000 words, it is still only half done and no readers are complaining. Given the kind of main cast is used, this comes with the territory.
  • Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams comes in at some 62 chapters and 330,000 words as of August 2011. Ultimate Spider-Woman: Change With The Light, a companion series set in the same universe, isn't quite at Doorstopper status yet at "only" some 36 chapters and 215,000 words, but the author's working on it. Both series each get a new chapter every month, and combined they total over 530,000 words.
  • Constant Temptation, a Death Note fanfic has 102 chapters and is over 300,000 words. That's not counting the Sequel and the Deleted Scenes...
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic Skin recently passed the 1.5 million marker, and it's only half way.
  • Fallout Equestria. A crossover between the Fallout and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, now ended, it is 45 chapters (plus epilogue) and approximately 600,000 words long, making it one of the longest, if not the longest MLP:FiM fanfiction.
  • Land Before Time: Twilight Valley is a small doorstopper at 183,977 words.
  • Rhyme And Reason was not only the first fanfic based on Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and has always been considered one of the best, but with 158,492 words, it also used to be the longest and definitely considered a Doorstopper. But then, after seven years of on-and-off work, Gadget in Chains was completed. It stands at 402,670 words.
    • The Russian original of Offensive Care has 176,362 words. The author's own English translation grew slightly beyond 200,000 words.
  • A Growing Affection is over seven hundred thousand words long, and at the time of this post is only the fifth longest Naruto fanfic on fanfiction.net.
  • The shortest completed Poke Wars arc by Cornova is The Incipience at 55,073 words long. If all the completed arcs are added up, it comes out to a total of 340,186 words.
  • Teaching Darkness: Memories by Rae Logan, is over 206,000 words, and itself is PART 5 in a series, with the previous story at only a little over 52,000 (at least a quarter of it's sequel's size!) and the currently in progress part 6 at over 137,000 as of January 27, 2012. The fanfic series itself has sidestories (for ideas decidedly too short compared to the main stories to focus a multichapter story around, regarded as a different canon, except maybe the Twilight Zone-esque one), about seven posted scrapped unfinished stories (released as Deleted Scenes), and several fan written stories, which, if compiled into one volume would be considered a Doorstopper. Sometimes jokingly referred to THE Largest Fanfic Series Centered Around A Scrapped Character In A Game That Never Happened. Who? Mephiles the Dark from |Sonic Next Gen... VERY loosely.
  • At the time of this posting, the Code Geass fanfic Dauntless is at over 539,000 words in 77 chapters. It started in July 2010, this is being posted in January 2012. It usually updates at an average of once every 8–10 days. The author believes that she might finish sometime in 2012.
  • Thawing Permafrost is by no means a titan like the rest on this list, but it still qualifies as a door-stopper and the longest Mizore-centric fic in the Rosario + Vampire category (35 chapters across 518 pages, according to the author.)
    • Here in My Arms is at least two and a half times as long, in the same fandom.
  • Hitchups is 40 chapters long, with 329,533 words that make up the entirety of the fic. In the How to Train Your Dragon ff.net archive in the stories over 100,000 words, it is currently the second-longest story there, after The Truth is a Shard of Ice by Whitefang333.
  • Blood That Flows is, without a question, the longest Lyrical Nanoha fanfic on Fanfiction.net. Over 200 chapters alone and over 500,000 words. The only Nanoha fanfic that comes close is the Deva Series, where, if you add up all four parts, there are more words than Blood That Flows, but it still has less chapters.
  • The Neo Domino Purge is putting up a challenge for the longer Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfics - currently at 324,000 from 32 chapters. And still setting up the Dark Signer arc. The Remake is 83,000 words from 5 chapters. Altogether; 407,000 and counting
  • The Halo fanfiction The Life is currently over 100 chapters long and over 550,000 words in total. Word of God states that the story might end up being twice that length by the time it's finally finished. It is currently the longest story in the Halo fanfiction.net archive.


Government[edit | hide]

  • Title 26 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (also known as the Tax Code) weighs in at 13,458 pages, in 20 volumes. You can buy a copy from the US government printing office for about a grand.
    • All legislation generated by the US government is unnaturally large. The recent health care reform bill was over 1900 pages. The depressing part is that if they ever stuck to what the bill is actually about, they'd probably manage to get it under 50 pages every time. (Generally, these bills get to be so enormous because they contain several dozen completely unrelated laws that senators insist must be incorporated as a condition of supporting the law.)
    • Tom Clancy's Executive Orders features someone using this to break a table to prove a point.
  • While we're at it, the European Constitution (which would have theoretically turned the EU into an actual nation) was slowly but effectively killed off because of its doorstopper length. By combining every single treaty used to establish the EU rather than simply overriding them and writing a single, universal treaty (strike 1), as well as integrating a new code of law with the constitution (strike 2), as well as several unnecessary charters including the words to the national anthem (strike 3! out), they manage to obfuscate normal citizens by the sheer size of the damn thing, which ended up causing the "No" votes in France and Netherlands.
    • A multiple doorstop because there has/had to be a version of the text in every official language of the Union (23 at last count)
  • Speaking of constitutions, the Constitution of Alabama, the longest in-use constitution in the world, weighs in at over 350,000 words. It has 798 amendments, not including amendments 621 and 693, which do not exist. They cover everything from mosquito control taxes, to bingo, to protecting against "the evils arising from the use of intoxicating liquors at all elections," as well as the typical government operation stuff.
    • Quite a few Alabamians have been trying to have the state constitution re-written for years, for just this reason. However, the die-hard conservative sector refuses to just let the damned thing die already.
  • Hansard could very well count - it is a (near-) verbatim transcript of the deliberations and debates of the British Parliament, each individual hardback volume of which covers an entire year of debate within one House, although smaller, more frequent digests are available. To give people an idea of just how mammoth that is - each volume is around 12" by 6", and 2"-3" thick, and they go back over a century.
  • The Canada Flight Supplement is a civil/military publication by NavCanada. It contains about 800-900 pages detailing every single registered aerodrome and certified airport in Canada. It also contains some relatively easy access information about navigation laws, certain signals, and other procedures. It is considered a bible to many pilots. On cross-country trips or in unfamiliar areas, carrying a current CFS is mandatory, if not required by law. The kicker is that it's published every 56 days, with only marginally incremental changes occurring between editions. Imagine tens of thousands of these being printed every 56 days. Tree killer indeed.
    • No wonder one of the key markets for e-book readers is the aviation sector.
  • You can break a photocopier glass panel with one volume of the Acts of the Parliaments of Scotland, 1424-1707 in seven nineteenth century volumes, each two feet high.
  • A lawyer decided to make a compilation of ALL the Brazil's tributary laws. The result is a monster of 43215 pages of 2.20m x 1.40m and the compilation weighs 6.2 ton.
  • Most Forces With Firepower have Technical and Field Manuals that fit this trope. An Invoked Trope because the manual for a Cool Plane or other vehicle details maintenance, repair of damage and other topics. The same is true for field manuals, they cover your strategy and what the enemy's strategy may be. Most western militaries offer their TM's as digital copies because of the space and paper those manuals requite. However poor sods who had to carry those doorstoppers around now have to carry militarized laptops.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Ayn Rand is infamous for writing these, especially since her most famous novel, Atlas Shrugged fills up almost a full quarter of it (over fifty pages) with an impossibly dull, yawn-inducing monologue from the novel's hero. Atlas must have Shrugged because he was tired of carrying the Writer on Board.
    • Amusingly, the CD version of it is just as bad. Those wafer thin CDs stack pretty high when there's 45 of them. Similarly The Fountainhead audiobook clocks in at frankly absurd 32 hours.
  • Battle Royale is 619 pages long, and it's mostly about students killing each other.
  • Joked about in Men At Arms (not a doorstopper itself), when the Librarian responds to a dwarf digging into the library by reaching for a 3000 page book called How to Kille Insects (sic). The good news is the dwarf was wearing a helmet. The bad news is, said helmet is now stuck on his head.
  • The ultimate example is Henry Darger's In the Realms of the Unreal, includes The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinian War Storm Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion, continuing for 15,145 pages, about nine million words. This would make it longer than À la recherche du temps perdu, Clarissa, A Suitable Boy, Atlas Shrugged, War and Peace, all the Harry Potter novels, Les Misérables, Mission Earth, A Dance to the Music of Time, Le Vicomte de Bragelonne, ou Dix ans plus tard, Dream of the Red Chamber and Artamene put together. The average reader can get through 200 words a minute; if you read for two hours a day, In the Realms of the Unreal would take about a year to get through. Darger created thousands of illustrations for the novel, and also wrote a ten-year weather journal and a 5,084 page book about his life, simply called The History of My Life.
  • The complete adventures of Sherlock Holmes amounts to over 1200 very large pages of very small text.
  • More or less anything by Neal Stephenson after he gained any success.
    • Anathem is a thousand pages long, complete with a glossary, 3 appendices, and, in the promo copy sent to reviewers and book stores, honest to god Feelies.
    • Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. The fact that it's printed in a small typeface is a telling indication that you should be grateful that it's only 918 pages long. Some printings break the four-digit mark, coming in at 1054 pages. Latin America, thankfully, saw it released as three separate tomes.
    • Similarly, any volumes of his Baroque Cycle, which each top 900 pages (admittedly because Stephenson really wanted either one enormous book or 8 novels, and instead we get a trilogy with each book containing 2-3 of the 'novels'). And if you want to see a real Doorstopper, Stephenson's handwritten manuscript is probably taller than him.
      • You can see the handwritten manuscript on display at the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. It really is that big.
      • Somewhat Lampshaded in The Baroque Cycle where one character mentions using the in-universe Cryptonomicon (a text on cryptography) to hold a door open.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. Lengthy discussions on clothes, increasingly petty arguments between characters and such appear more and more frequently towards the end of the series. There's a joke that the entire series could have been a mere three books, but Jordan was getting paid by the word. So, being a connoisseur of eating regularly, he padded it out with descriptions of clothing, slap-fights and whatnot. The joke concludes by pointing out that if you only read every third paragraph you wouldn't miss a thing.
    • Before his death, Jordan promised the twelfth book would be the final in the series if his publishers had to invent a new method of binding and sell the book with its own library cart. After reviewing the notes Jordan left for the book, Brandon Sanderson's first act as the co-author of the final book was to split it into 3 books. The first of these was 766 pages, the second was 843 and the third can be expected to be equally weighty.
  • Brandon Sanderson gets more Doorstoppery with each book. His latest release, The Way Of Kings, weighs in at just over 1000 pages.
    • In fact, it weighs in at exactly 1001, a number which has relevance to the plot. His next work (discounting finishing the Wheel of Time) had a proposed title of The Book of Infinite Pages, which is now being reconsidered after the editor thought that would be to easy to mock.
  • George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. A Storm of Swords is so vast it was split into two volumes (subtitled Steel and Snow and Blood and Gold) in the UK, each of which is a Doorstopper in its own right.
    • In the Czech Republic, every single book is split into two.
    • In France, A Storm of Swords is split in four volumes and the other books in two or three.
    • Partway through writing the fourth book, it occurred to Martin that the book was becoming far, far longer than he'd planned. He split it up himself, into the fourth and fifth installments. Even with this, A Dance with Dragons is the longest book in the series.
    • The easiest way to get this across is to say that the trade paperback editions for each of the five books currently released dance around one thousand pages, while excluding the massive lists of Houses and the preview chapters.
      • Martin himself likes to point out that A Storm of Swords, currently the second longest part of the series, has about the same word count as the entirety of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert (though the second installment, Dune Messiah, is an exception). There's an omnibus edition of the first three novels, called "The Great Dune Trilogy". With appendices etc., it clocks in at a reasonable 912 pages.
    • The first book is often printed on bible-style thin paper, with a small font size. If you buy the rest of the books from the same publisher, more often than not, the first book doesn't stand out in size. Indeed, it is often at size parity with Dune Messiah and smaller than Children of Dune. Pick it up, however, and you'll be surprised at its weight.
    • The first book was originally conceived and serialized (in Analog magazine) as two separate novels, Dune World and The Prophet of Dune. The book seamlessly combines both texts and adds a whole wad of appendices.
  • Harry Potter: if you stack all seven books one on top of another, they form a pile over 30 cm tall - kids' books! The amazing thing is that kids still read them regardless. Though only the fourth or fifth book onwards could be considered individual doorstoppers. Lampshaded in Return of the Bunny Suicides, where a bunny orders Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix so that it can wait under the mail slot and be killed when the book drops on its head.

"...thick runs the plot, and the spine..."

  • Moby Dick attempted to be a lot of things about whales, including a food blog, a bestiary, a travelogue, history and oh, a story with a plot.
    • It goes beyond that. It also delves into geography, philosophy, religion, race relations, the nature of civilization versus savagery...
    • There are some scholars who think Melville intended the book to be an encyclopedia of everything he knew.
  • JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (internally divided into Book I-VI and Appendices) has about a thousand pages. Its size, conjoined with the post-war paper shortages, was one of the factors contributing to it being Divided for Publication (split into three volumes, two "books" to each) to reduce the financial risk for the publisher.
    • Technically it is six books and an appendix volume. The hardcover anniversary set, which is divided into seven volumes, can actually stop a door, as can the new 1178 page single-volume edition.
  • Anything written by the author Tad Williams end up like this.
    • To Green Angel Tower was so big, it had to be split into two parts when printed as a mass-market paperback.
    • The Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy was released as twelve volumes in Finland.
    • The Otherland series of which there are four volumes.
  • Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, famously so. In fact, the adjective "tolstoy"[2] has become the Russian language's word for a Doorstopper-y book. Late 19th century Russian authors like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were paid by the page, hence the length of their works. It's also worth noting that many of these books were published in serial installments, so the authors were not thinking in terms of one collected volume when the stories were written.
    • One edition of The Brothers Karamazov is 720 pages long.
    • Penguin Classics's edition of the Brothers K is (with around 12 pages of notes at the end) 1,013 pages long due to its more detailed, faithful translation.
    • This is the subject of a joke from the Black Dog Games Factory game Human Occupied Landfill. The Dickens Boys (killer librarians) wear "War and Peace armour" because "nothing can get through War and Peace".
  • Crime and Punishment is well over 500 pages.
  • Konstantin Simonov's The Living and The Dead and Mikhail Sholokhov's Quiet Don are even more doorstopperrific.
  • The Gulag Archipelago (by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn), on the other hand, clocks in at 1,930 pages split across three volumes, the latter two of which appear to be out of print, while the first volume and an abridged one-volume edition remain in print. (Has this happened for any other books?)
    • Speaking of Solzhenitsyn: The Red Wheel, a multi-volume epic. It is sixteen volumes long, which count 6600 pages in total. And he was going to write four more volumes.
  • Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. Eleven of the buggers, though the last three are a lot shorter than the others. The second one takes the cake; it can clock in at just shy of 1,000 pages, and some editions go well over.
  • The later books of Stephen King's epic The Dark Tower. The last two books are 800 and 1,100 pages, respectively. A lot of King's other books could fit this as well, especially the uncut version of The Stand, which is 1,153 pages with 400 extra pages added back in.
    • In Holland, a woman pressed charges against a mail company because a copy of King's IT killed her chihuahua when it dropped through the mail chute. The hardcover copy of IT is 1,135 pages long.
    • Under the Dome is a Doorstopper.
    • Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers fell on the floor. Made a hole where there wasn't one before.
    • Insomnia could practically serve as a cure for that particular malady, being thick enough to knock the sufferer unconscious.
  • The Canterbury Tales. Notably, it's still a Doorstopper even though Chaucer was a long way from completing it when he died. Each pilgrim was supposed to tell four stories: not all of them got to tell one, and none of them got past their first.
    • However, it's only a Doorstopper when it's kept in verse. A prose edition is about 370 pages.
  • A Suitable Boy
  • Battlefield Earth.
  • Mission Earth, a dekalogy[3] by L. Ron Hubbard, who also wrote Battlefield Earth.
  • Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton, each clocking in at around 1,200 pages (in paperback). One wonders why he didn't just make it a trilogy.
    • The Dreaming Void will be a trilogy. Yes, 2 books of 1200+ pages each, and he's still not done. Really, though, the first two are more like one book. Trust the voice of experience.
      • Hamilton seems incapable of finishing his books properly (good books tho'). His only "ends" are the ends of series. Only 'The Evolutionary Void' seems to avoid this.
    • The Night's Dawn Trilogy in the states had to be broken up into 6 volumes (though still billed as a trilogy). Three books of 1200+ pages each; buy the complete trilogy and you'll need a truck to get it home.
  • All four books in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance series, with the final book, Inheritance, reaching the upper extremes of the 800 page-range. This was after it was broken off from its first half, Brisingr, which was over 700 pages long. Stitching them back together results in the true "Book Three" of the "Inheritance Trilogy" being 1500 pages long.
  • Four of the six books of James Clavell's "Asian Saga" are over 1000 pages long, including Shogun. The other two (as it happens, the first two to be written) are over 500.
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. 1,079 pages, including 96 pages of footnotes.
    • And woe betide you if you skip the footnotes; important plot points occur there, so if you don't read them and read them carefully, you'll be hopelessly lost.
  • Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon mixes Doorstopper (760 pages) with Mind Screw for a tome you will not be able to finish. (Which is why it didn't win the Pulitzer Prize—half the committee wanted it to win, the other half couldn't finish it.)
    • Pynchon's later novels Mason & Dixon and Against the Day are 784 and 1104 pages, respectively.
    • His first, V., is a bit more concise at 533 pages.
  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo—which its fans have (affectionately!) dubbed "The Brick."
    • In one section, Hugo describes, in lavish detail (well, lavish might not fit) a crack in the wall, through which a character looks. This description takes up at least a page and a half. In the condensed version
    • The unabridged version contains a 50-page essay on the battle of Waterloo. The reveal that is important to the plot appears on the last page.
    • Another essay is about Parisian Sewers, including history and network. Again, it becomes relevant later in the plot.
    • Hugo spends at least 50 pages near the beginning describing a picnic with Fantine and her friends that has no bearing on the rest of the plot.
  • Anything by James A. Michener, notably Centennial. Twelve hundred pages. Mr. Michener's writing is entertaining, but it's true that his later books should be under the by-line "James Michener and his Research Team".
    • His books also tend to span a large number of characters and/or time periods, so there are some nicely isolated sections, even if you lose some of the recurring themes from doing so. You might not be able to take a small part out of Space too easily, but some chapters of The Source can be taken out to (say) get a class full of high school students to get a feel for David's Israel and just how much sleuth work archaeologists have done on it.
  • Anything Tom Clancy has ever written. Partially excused because they are ALL a combination of slow burning political thriller and hawkish military fantasy. It would only take minor re-writes to split almost every book into two separate books.
    • Ben from My Family is seen reading The Bear and The Dragon at bedtime for two entire seasons, though it doesn't help that he's always being badgered by his Control Freak wife Susan. It's eventually lampshaded when he chooses it as his book when Susan decides to start a book club, much to her disapproval. Whether this was a comment on the enormous size of the book, the fact he never gets a chance to read it or both is unknown.
    • Clancy's Debt of Honor and Executive Orders are one story, split over two volumes, not unlike LOTR.
    • It seems that that after The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy's editor just up and died, and publishers now just print his first drafts. Especially noticeable in The Bear and The Dragon, when he repeats five different phrases ten times each, within five hundred pages. The book itself is thirteen hundred pages long. Eventually, the repetition just makes you want to eat your own head.
    • It actually gets slightly worse if you read (or attempt to read) a lot of his books. While there is a continuing plot in terms of Jack Ryan and a few revisitied characters, the plots are at best interchangeable and at worse painfully rehashed.
  • Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series: The smallest of the books so far clocking in at around 600 pages. Depending on the the format it gets up to 1,400 pages. And the finished series will have ten books. However, the incredibly comprehensive and high-quality World Building makes it worth it.
  • At 1.5 million words, Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time, earlier translated as Remembrance of Things Past, holds the Guinness Book of Records title as Longest Novel. Getting back to Proust: Monty Python's Flying Circus did a sketch on summarizing the whole thing in 15 seconds.
  • The Shelters of Stone could be at least 200 pages shorter by the judicious use of the sentence, "And Ayla introduced herself again." Every time she meets someone she has to tell her whole backstory. Another few hundred, if you'd leave out the sex scenes. But then, the books wouldn't have become the best sellers they were. You could chop a good 50 pages off of the series just by omitting all descriptions of genitals.
    • The Land of Painted Caves, the sixth and final novel in the book, would be half as long if Ayla hadn't introduced herself, explained her backstory, and explained how she got Wolf every time she met someone new, and if every cave wasn't described in minute detail despite them all being fairly similar.
  • The Sword of Shannara was a painfully long ripoff homage of The Lord of the Rings. The later books in the series were thankfully shorter and more original. This is because Sword of Shannara is the entire Lord of the Rings as one book with a sword instead of a ring as the Plot Device.
  • Ditto for the Iron Tower Trilogy, which is an even more blatant ripoff homage of Lord of the Rings than the above, when packaged as one book.
  • Imajica, by Clive Barker, also had to be split into two volumes when released as a paperback.
    • ...on the second printing. The first printing that was in one single book fairly quickly split itself into two volumes.
  • Eiji Yoshikawa's Musashi, a fictionalized version of the life of Miyamoto Musashi, is over 900 pages, typically printed on unusually thin paper. It was originally a multi-year newspaper serial.
  • Several of Charles Dickens' novels are massive due to their origin as serials. Dave Barry once gave a joke etymology about "hurting like the dickens" being representative of the pain of having the entirety of the writings of Charles Dickens (consisting of voluminous volumes, considering how prolific the guy was) dropped on someone from a window.
  • The Black Library, the publisher for Warhammer 40,000 fiction, tends to produce "omnibuses", which are collections of novels gathered into large, and, fittingly for the franchise, lethally heavy volumes. These include the Space Wolves Omnibus, the SoulDrinkers Omnibus, Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain omnibuses Hero of the Imperium and Defender of the Imperium, three Gaunt's Ghosts omnibuses (by Dan Abnett) titled The Founding, The Saint and The Lost, and a whole lot more.
    • The Black Library also has Warhammer Fantasy fiction and has several omnibuses there too, among others is Gotrek and Felix, and Malus Darkblade.
  • The Dragonlance Trilogy has been combined into a single doorstopper. The Annotated Dragonlance is even worse because of all the, y'know, annotations and stuff.
  • Not exactly one book, but one of the Collected Works of Sherlock Holmes clocks in at 1300 pages.
  • The Collected Works of Shakespeare clocks in at 1448 pages. Very thin pages, everything double-columned. This is why in many times any "complete works" of his get separated into multiple volumes.
  • The unpublished Stephen Colbert's Alpha Squad 7: Lady Nocturne: A Tek Jansen Adventure is an extremely hefty paperback in the style of men's adventure pulp novels. Thankfully, the book exists only within the warped reality of The Colbert Report.
  • Grady Tripp's long-delayed novel (3000+ pages and nowhere near finished) in Wonder Boys.
  • The original novel of The Princess Bride is stated in character to be William Goldman's "good bits" abridgment of a 1000 page novel.
  • The novel . . .And the Ladies of the Club is over 1,000 pages long, supposedly took the author over 50 years to write, and is about, well, the founding members of a ladies book club in Ohio from post-Civil War to the 1930's. It's much more readable than it sounds.
  • Philip K. Dick's unfinished Exegesis was said to be around 8,000 pages long before he died. Eight thousand.[4]
  • The Count of Monte Cristo. The longest adaptation is 8 hours, and they still had to cut out a lot of the details. And then you have the anime version, which is 26 half-hour episodes long. Accounting for commercial breaks, that's almost 11 hours. The original, unabridged novel, printed on flimsy paper and in small type, produces an over-sized paperback volume a good four inches thick. Alexandre Dumas was originally paid by the word for the original serial novel (published by chapter in the newspaper) and he made the most of it.
  • Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels are available in omnibus form, which is in the neighbourhood of 1000 pages of novel and 150-odd of critical essays. He had planned to write seven volumes, but couldn't finish them.
  • Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur is over 900 pages, divided into 507 chapters, admittedly short ones by modern standards.
  • The Complete Works of Plato, in an incredibly small type-face, clock at just under two thousand pages on a page size just under A4. This is without any Footnotes or annotations.
  • The Honor Harrington books by David Weber. They start at 300 pages of character development, climax, cleanup (and lots of death), and spiral into 900+ page space soap operas filled with dating troubles, feudal succession, poker games and political intrigue.
    • And that's abridged versions! War of Honor, ticking at 800+ pages as it is, had the whole subplot about Esther McQueen's rebellion cut out from the draft. It was later published as a separate novella.
    • It Got Worse - the series has split into three branches now, each one dealing with various sub plots happening at roughly the same time. Each one a doorstopper in its own right, and the only way to know everything is to read them all.
  • The Twilight series, especially the later books. Breaking Dawn takes the cake at 752 pages.
    • See also Stephenie Meyer's The Host for adults.
  • Sir Richard Francis Burton's translation of the Arabian Nights—sixteen massive volumes. The Project Gutenberg .txt files together weigh in at nearly 14mb. of text!
  • Don Quixote (The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha) by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is quite long, since it was originally two volumes which are now usually printed together.
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is just over 1000 pages.
  • The Handbook of Robotics, as described in Isaac Asimov's Elijah Bailey novels, has undergone so many revisions, additions, and emendations in the several millenia it's been in print, that a hard-copy of it would be impossible for an ordinary person to carry unassisted. Fortunately, in the 47th century, most books are printed on microfilm.
  • James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential is just barely short of 500 pages, but is still pretty fast paced with its Loads and Loads of Characters all ending up with some important role in the story. His next book, White Jazz, was originally around 700 pages. When the publisher asked Ellroy to trim it down, he responded by removing every single word that could even remotely be considered extraneous, resulting in a 350-something page book which is insanely dense and has to be read incredibly carefully. There's even a few conversations where it takes quite a while to get any hints outside of the dialogue itself about who's talking.
  • James Joyce's Ulysses - nearly 1000 pages with notes, and you'd better believe you need them.
  • Miyuki Miyabe's Brave Story is, at least in it's English translation, 816 pages. Sadly, it takes until page 222 to really get into the story proper. And, like the Harry Potter books, this is also a kid's book (more or less).
  • In the first episode of Man to Man with Dean Learner, they unveil Garth Marenghi's The Oeuvre, containing all 436 horror novels he's written in a reinforced spine made from genuine cat bone. It looks less like one giant book and more like a tower of books fused together.
  • Any one book of Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series is quite an intimidating sight, and the series is now seven books and counting. They're not quite as bad as they look due to the sizeable introductions, afterwards, and glossaries, but each story is still 950-1050 pages.
  • Any book by Edward Rutherfurd, an author who likes, in all his books, to start at day one and move up through the millennia of whatever area he is currently writing about. Historical fiction, very heavy on the details and that in turn makes very heavy doorstoppers. The paperback edition of his novel The Forest is 883 pages long and the paperback edition of London is a whopping 1299 pages!
  • Any Norton Anthology of... well, of anything. The print is microscopic, and yet they could still be used as bludgeons. The Norton Anthology of English Literature (Volume 1) in paperback runs to 2518 pages of thin paper, not counting indexes and appendices.
    • In France, the immensely prestigious critical editions of the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade should be this... However, the print is tiny, and the pages are Bible paper, which means that although you do get a huge amount of text, they probably wouldn't make very good door-stoppers...
  • Most of Melanie Rawn's works. She just doesn't do less than 800 pages in paperback with 8 point type, which just might be why you've never heard of her. Both Dragon Prince and Dragon Star are triliogies of incredible length, with a frustrating number of similarly-named characters. Not works for the faint of heart, or sound of mind.
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
  • Many classic Chinese novels are in the 2000-page range, though most editions are split into volumes:
  • Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. The longest published novel written in English.
  • The Tale of Genji. Its length varies by language and translator, but one copy is a set of 2 doorstoppers in small print. The Other Wiki gives a good example of length: the cast list has over 400 characters.
    • One copy is 1090 pages long, with thin paper, small type and the occasional illustration.
  • Vikram Chandra's very good crime thriller epic Sacred Games is the novel equivalent of a Bollywood movie. (Over 1080 pages.)
  • Most of Wayne Johnston's novels are doorstoppers - The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is over 600 pages... in trade paperback, and they look much longer than that in hardcover. And they are very heavy to lift.
  • Sharon Penman's The Sunne in Splendour', which is at least a thousand pages long and de-villainises King Richard III, turning him into a sympathetic protagonist who adores his wife Anne Neville. It also gives readers an inside look at the shifting loyalties and political intrigue of the Wars of the Roses.
  • The Great Book of Amber, by Roger Zelazny, is actually ten fairly small books making up the entirety of the Amber series. However, unless you're prepared to search, this is the only version actually available and has been the only one in print for years. Clocks in at somewhere around 1200 pages if I'm not mistaken.
  • If you'd print out the web-published Alternate History Decades of Darkness, you'd need more than 1800 sheets of paper (using an average-sized font and paper).
  • The Chung Kuo series of science fiction novels by David Wingrove. First published as eight hefty volumes of six or seven hundred pages each, it is due to be re-released in 2010 as eighteen books of presumably more reasonable size. It is eighteen because the original series was supposed to be nine books, but Wingrove's publisher refused to publish the ninth, forcing him to combine the last two books. The new release will include the complete nine books at two volumes per book...
  • The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser; over 1000 pages of verse poetry. And, like Chaucer, he didn't get close to finishing it before Author Existence Failure; he planned 24 'books', and finished only 6 of them.
  • Timothy Zahn's "Vision of the Future" clocks in at 720 pages in one paperback version, though other versions and the hardcover aren't quite as pagy. Shorter than most of these, but that's the longest novel of the Star Wars Expanded Universe to date. The German version was split into two separate books.
  • The Trouble's Tales series is probably the closest thing the Furry Fandom has to an original literary epic, with the individual chapters alone being at long has most novels, and with good reason! One of the advertising taglines for it accuratly states that the series has everything, and by "everything" we do mean everything. (Mostly every kind of sex ever conceived by mankind, and several conceuved by wombats, but also a fair dose of action and sci-fi.) Luckily, every single story is available to read for free online, and can only be bought in physical form via an online retailer who makes them one at a time—because, well, it's huge!
  • The collected Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson could stop bullets.
  • Possibly the ultimate single-volume Doorstopper: Someone has published Agatha Christie's The Complete Miss Marple in one volume of 4,032 pages massing 8 kg!
    • To visualize that, the book is over a foot thick.
  • Samuel Delany's Dhalgren runs to about 800 pages.
  • Initially published as three separate books, the most readily available incarnation of Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry is a single-volume printing of 792 pages. He wrote a legitimate Doorstopper later on with Tigana (688 pages).
  • The Mahabharata and the Ramayana fall under this. Mahabharata itself has a total of 1.8 million words, one hundred thousand proses, and long long prose passages. Ramayana, in comparison, only has 24,000 verses.
  • Ferdowsi's The Shahnameh. The abriged English prose translation by Dick Davis still manages to run close to 1,000 pages and according to the introduction the current full english verse translation is nine volumes long. Even if they're slim volumes with reasonable font sizes, that's still pretty impressive
  • The complete printed text of Varney the Vampire, compiling a 220-chapter "penny dreadful" serial from the early 1800s, runs on (and on and on) for some 868 double-column pages.
    • A recent, three-volume paperback release of it consists of a total of 1440 very large pages.
  • The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek is over 700 pages long, and it's not even finished, due to Hašek's death.
  • Swan Song, by Robert McCammon. The paperback edition is 956 pages.
    • He's no slouch at this, as "The Queen of Bedlam" is 656 pages in paperback. Its prequel, "Speaks the Nightbird" is 816 pages and was originally released in two volumes.
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is 533 pages. An homage to silent movies, the novel seamlessly alternates between prose and illustrations to the point where if you skip the pictures you will not know what is going on. As a result it is the longest book to win the Caldecott Medal (best illustrations), an award that normally goes to picture books.
  • House of Leaves is over 700 pages in paperback, all of them containing copious amounts of Mind Screw. But some of those pages have one word on them, so it's more a Doorstopper in execution than in theory.
  • 'Shantaram' by Gregory David Roberts clocks in at 944 pages.
  • Duncton Wood chronicles the entire life story of a pair of moles, from their birth to their death, so it's no wonder it's around 800 pages.
  • Perry Rhodan has to be the ultimate example. An on-going German science-fiction EPIC that calls itself the biggest science-fiction series for a reason. Since 1961 there's been over 2500 weekly novella-sized, pulp booklets released. These issues have been collected in books of about 400 pages long each. There's been over one hundred of these books released and that still only covers about a third of the whole series.
  • Mary Gentle's Ash: A Secret History is one volume of over 1100 pages, although it was split into four for its US paperback printing.
  • Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath are 534, 635, and 683 pages respectively. Dragonrider, which was written by the same author, is 536 pages. Individually, none of these books could actually stop a door, but two or three piled on top of each other probably could.
  • The Stone Dance of the Chameleon: three books, the shortest of which is just over 700 pages.
  • Although average in length by themselves, the collection of all of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books is over 800 pages long.
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities at just over 700 pages usually, and another example here that was originally published serially (though it was revised for its release as a novel).
  • Ripped from a Dream: A Nightmare on Elm Street Omnibus collects the first three of Black Flame's Nightmare on Elm Street novels (Suffer the Children, Dreamspawn and Protégé). Each individual book is a little over four-hundred pages long, so that's a lot of Freddy (or not, in the case of Dreamspawn).
  • John Ringo's novels tend to be somewhat long but not long enough to qualify, in general; however, the last two books of the original set for the Posleen War Series, Hell's Faire and When the Devil Dances, were originally to be one novel. The events of 9/11 threw off Ringo's muse, according to him in the afterword for HF, and the work was broken up to get a book to the printers before it got ridiculously late (instead of the actual somewhat late).
  • Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans clocks in at a solid 925 pages, and also has the benefit of being written in abstract prose that's completely incomprehensible.
  • William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is about 1,143 pages long, with the index and footnotes adding 102 more pages.
  • Michelle West's epic fantasy series The Sun Sword definitely counts. The shortest book in it is 687 pages, the other five range from 737-957 pages. To top it off, the longest book in the series (The Sun Sword, the sixth and final book) also has smaller font than the other five books (which didn't exactly have large font before. I'd guess it to be 8-point font.). Slightly averted in that they're only available as mass-market paperbacks so one wouldn't be much of a weapon. All six together though? Be afraid, be very afraid.
  • Richard Bausch's Hello to the Cannibals is 840 pages long.
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman is 629 pages.
  • Both of the King Killer Chronicle books thus far have been extremely long. The hardcover version of The Wise Man's Fear is 994 pages long.
  • Altogether, the Hyperion Cantos clocks in at over 1700 pages. It weighs 2.3 kilograms in paperback.
  • Every book in The Wars Of Light And Shadow qualifies, but special honor has to go to the second book, Ships of Merior. That one had to be divided into two volumes when released in paperback format, entitled Ships of Merior and Warhosts of Vastmark.
  • While most of the books in the Riftwar Cycle do not qualify, the first book, Magician, had to be divided into two books, Magician: Apprentice, and Magician: Master in paperback format due to it's length. And that was after the editor told the author to shorten the story by 50,000 words. The Author's Preferred Edition, which has the 50,000 words of various minor scenes put back in, definitely qualifies.
  • The Khaavren Romances are one big Homage to Alexandre Dumas, so they are naturally very long. The Viscount of Adrilankha in particular is technically a trilogy, but the chapter numbering continues between them, so that by the end you have a 3-volume, 102[5]-chapter epic where each third of it is at least 500 or 600 pages.
  • Both The Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End easily hit 900+ pages each.
  • The Pale King itself doesn't qualify, but the in-universe mandatory reading materials for the IRS employment applicants certainly do.
  • While not as hefty as some other entries on the list, The Dream Merchant still manages to clock in a respectable 640 pages.
  • Tyra Banks' novel Modelland is 576 pages.
  • Aidan Chambers' novel This Is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn tops out at 808 pages, a colossus of a young adult novel.
  • Judy Jones and William Wilson's An Incomplete Education contains 638 pages worth of everything you need to know to fake being "well-rounded."
  • 101 Years' Entertainment (edited by Ellery Queen) contains 995 pages of detective stories of varying quality.
  • The Ultimate edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (containing all five books) honestly isn't too bad at just over 800 pages. But the in-universe reference guide from which the series takes its name is so long that if it weren't electronic it would allegedly take up several large buildings. And there are even longer books about life, the universe, and everything.
  • ...And Ladies of the Club (1982) by Helen Hooven Santmyer, which spans the years 1868 to 1932. It took Santmyer 50 years to finish the 1344 page book.
  • The Endymion Omnibus by Dan Simmons, which contains Endymion and its sequel The Rise of Endymion, is a few pages shy of the 1000-page mark, and definitely of doorstopper thickness.
  • Many of Clive Cussler's novels are this. From Treasure onward, they're routinely over 500 pages long.
  • The novels in Julian May's Saga of the Exiles and Galactic Milieu (four in the former and three in the latter) are all rather long (over 400 pages each); the two books set between them, Surveillance and Metaconcert are also lengthy...and in the UK they were combined into one shockingly long volume...
  • Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor isn't quite as long a historical romance as Gone With the Wind, but still runs to over 900 pages.
  • The first two books in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series are under 400 pages, but the third book and the fourth book were originally one massive novel that would have been about 962 pages in paperback. Even with this division, the third book was still the longest in the main series at nearly 600 pages.


Magazines[edit | hide]

  • The New York Times and The Washington Post were Doorstoppers until quite recently (the last two serious newspapers in the U.S., and 25¢ in the case of the Post) when a combination of the ad-killing recession, Franchise Decay (the Post laid off half its reporters the minute it no longer had a serious newspaper competior) and the foolish decision to split up its content into multiple formats (half the articles are now available for free in subway editions, and the front page actually tells you to go online to read an article accompanying a photo for a paper you just bought!) the result, needless to say has been a precipitous decline in volume and content from over 100 pages an issue to something like 25.
  • At the height of its popularity around 1994-1995, Electronic Gaming Monthly would crank out issues that totalled about 400+ pages in length (although half the pages were just ads.) This caused EGM 2, a spinoff magazine which focussed more on tips and tricks launched in July 1994. For comparison's sake, the magazine could barely fill 100 pages by the time it "died" in early 2009.
    • The British computer magazine Personal Computer World[6] also often resembled a small (ad filled) phone book during its heydays. Although it hadn't shrunk as much as EGM, it was still a shadow of its former self when it was cancelled.
  • Japanese Shonen Jump volumes are phone-book thick, weighing in at about 500 pages each. And this is a weekly series. Hope you're big into recycling.
    • The monthly American version is no slouch either. A few years ago, it covered 7 series, and had about 400 pages per issue. Unfortunately, that's been going down recently, with the most recent issue having 4 series and 250 pages.
  • Vogue is generally on the thick side, but its annual Spring and Fall fashion issues are always the magazine's 800-lb gorillas. Or should it be, 500-page gorillas. Most of it is ads, which you can't even call padding because it's an essential part of the magazine. But still, the table of contents doesn't even start until page 100 or so!
  • While Playboy usually goes over a 100 pages, sometimes it reaches the 250-300 mark (most are advertising to maintain such a number of articles/pictorials, but still!).


Manga[edit | hide]

  • Katsuhiro Otomo's Cyberpunk/Biopunk magnum opus of manga, Akira, weighs in with six small-phonebook-sized volumes totaling 2182 pages.
  • It Takes A Wizard was called this, mostly because it's notably longer than most manga.
  • Azumanga Daioh doesn't seem very long once you've finished it, but the 4-volumes-in-one omnibus is a somewhat surprising 686 pages. The lightning-fast presentation, however (think "newspaper comic"), belies the length.
  • The new omnibus release of Chobits is also a door stopper.
    • While the Chobits omnibuses deserve special mention at 720 pages each, EVERY CLAMP omnibus being released by Dark Horse Comics qualifies at more than 500 pages each.
  • Aim for The Ace has accumulated over 3,000 pages during it's run from 1972 to 1975 and then 1977 to 1981.
  • Battle Royale is almost 3,000 pages, and feels like a small fraction of that.
  • Every single volume of Keiko Tobe's With the Light qualifies. Seriously.
  • Omnibus release of Fruits Basket - in two halves but they're huge seperately.
  • The collected editions of the manga Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo (say that three times fast), aka Kochikame, run to ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY VOLUMES. And the series is still ongoing.
  • Hajime no Ippo has whopping 94 volumes to date and updates weekly. The average volume has over 170 pages , if you stacked them all on top of each other, they'd be TALLER THAN THE DOOR ITSELF. Almost every volume has over 170 pages. Total it has 16,000+ pages. For comparison, War and Peace is only 1,475 pages long and was broken into two volumes and is constantly referred to as a LONG book. That isn't even 1/10th of the whole series.
  • Technicaly, they're magazines, not books, but the One Piece Logs average 30 chapters and 700 pages. There's 16 so far and it's not gonna stop so soon.
  • Akira is 2182 pages long, although the size of the panels and the pacing work to keep it from becoming tedious.


Religion and Mythology[edit | hide]

  • The Bible tends to be printed on special thin paper to allow it to be read without divine intervention.
    • Inverted with a few books in the Bible. With chapters less than a page long, and some of the epistles are one chapter long.
  • Try the LDS "quad" (a single volume containing The Bible, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price - all these collectively known as the "Standard Works"). What with footnote helps, the Bible clocks in at 1590 pages, the Book of Mormon at 531, the D&C at 294, and the PGP at 61. Add in the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Index, maps, Joseph Smith translation, title pages for each contained work, prefatory material, etc., and you're now up to 3820 pages total in one volume on thin paper.
  • The "family Bibles", massive volumes that are lavishly illustrated, bound, annotated, supplemented and printed on thick vellum paper. They are intended as coffee table show pieces, and can probably serve as the table in a pinch.
    • Played for laughs in My Name Is Earl, where one of Earl's victims forgives him for getting him sent to prison because he found religion while in there, but the victim's mother refuses to forgive, and knocks Earl out with a whack on the back of his head from a Large Print edition family Bible (really large print—about three words per page) that is thicker than it is wide.
  • While on the topic of The Bible: Commentaries. Some are fairly reasonable, but the true exegetical commentaries (read: the ones that won't get you laughed at by a theologian) will usually be many times longer than whatever it is that they're commenting on. For example, a commentary on say, Ephesians, which is maybe 5-7 pages long depending on the printing, can easily consist of multiple volumes, each hundreds of pages long in tiny font with no text breaks.
  • The Codex Gigas ("Giant Book") is a compilation of the Vulgate Bible, an encyclopaedia, several history books, and a lot of other manuscripts, hand-written in the 13th century by a single scribe over a period of 20 years. It's over a yard tall and eight inches thick, and weighs 166 lbs. Doorstopper? This thing could be the door.
  • The Talmud uses quite a few meters of space in your library, especially in its now-standard "Babylonian" version. Well, it's essentially a commentary on every commandment in the Bible (all 613 of them), and including the arguments that many, many sages had over them. The Vilna edition of the Talmud weighs in at 5,894 folio pages.
    • So no wonder that a complete set is usually accumulated volume by volume, or given to a man as a wedding present. There was an advertisement promoting the entire Babylonian Talmud at a bargain price: almost three thousand dollars!
    • There's a reason that it takes, at the rate of a leaf a day, seven and a half years to finish. (For those who consider that random, it is an actual system of learning called Daf Yomi ['a page a day'], and is done by Jews worldwide.)
      • Now they're translating the Jerusalem one...
    • Translations can reach up to several times the size, due in part to the need for many, many footnotes and charts in order to make it comprehensible to someone who isn't a scholar of Judaism.
      • Or cannot deal with the apparent attention deficit disorder of the sages...
  • A Yom Kippur prayerbook.
  • A lot of epics - by definition - are doorstoppers. (But not all of them.) The Mahabharata and the Ramayana for instance. The Ramayana is roughly 24,000 stanzas long. Or Spenser's Faerie Queene or Milton's Paradise Lost.
    • The one that takes the cake - and is THE longest piece of literature in the world- has never been definitively compiled. This is because the work, The Epic of King Gesar, is some 20 million words long and would take an estimate of 120 volumes to complete.
  • The Granth, the holy book of Sikhism, by tradition, is printed in lavishly decorated volumes that are about the size of a coffee table.
  • The Pali canon, which forms the doctrinal core of Theravada Buddhism, runs anywhere between 40 and 60 volumes, depending on translation and how much commentary is included. As if that weren't enough, it was only first written down centuries after Buddhism began - before that, it was transmitted orally by chanting monks.
  • Arcana Coelestia, which is essentially Emmanuel Swedenborg putting together a new religion on top of Christianity, covers the books of Genesis and Exodus. Alone. It's eight Door Stoppers long.
  • It is said that no one cannot read all Tales Of A Thousand And One Nights in one siting because the reader will go insane from the sheet majesty of it. What more likely happened is that the person goes insane from the extreme sleep deprivation from reading the massive series.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle rulebook is 5 cm thick and 28 wide; as well as being full colour and 512 pages long. There is a reason it's known as the Really Big Red Book.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting Ptolus by Monte Cook is a monstrosity of almost seven hundred pages—over if you include the CD of extra material—that describes a single city in meticulous detail. And if anyone wants to leave the city, the book makes for a handy bludgeoning weapon, too.
  • Similarly "The World's Largest Dungeon", an 800-page Dungeons and Dragons adventure which details a very large dungeon apparently containing enough content to level up the characters from 1 to 20—in other words, an adventurer's career, from birth to death. Parodied in Knights of the Dinner Table as Biggest Damn Dungeon Ever, which was just a huge listing of monster encounters. The map of the dungeon takes up 16 full sized posters; when put in their 4x4 layout, the resulting mega-map is about 10 feet tall. Most normal D&D dungeons can be fit on a few sheets of standard 8x10 paper.
  • The Hero System 5th edition rulebook is about 600 pages long. It could stop several bullets when it was shot by HERO games staffers, as seen here. Though, possibly in response to concerns that the massive Doorstopper book was intimidating and physically suggestive of the tabletop equivalent of a Continuity Lock Out, HERO Games put out a smaller version called "Sidekick". It's the HERO rulebook in bare-bones format, marketed for something like a quarter of the price of its big brother. This can be summed up by a quote from the comments:

"New headline: Gamer survives shooting by using two tabletop gaming rulebooks as shield."

    • The new sixth edition of HERO is out, it's 2/3rds bigger than the previous version and is split across two volumes.
  • The two most infamous boardgame "rulebooks suitable for scaring people" (or beating them upside the head) would probably be Advanced Squad Leader and Star Fleet Battles. Both are capable of filling a large 3-ring binder to bursting. The SFB most recent edition caries the barely unofficial nickname of "Doomsday". When a new edition was mooted one former champion wrote a satirical ode to it after Poe's "Raven". Several stanzas described the proposed rulebook as resting on (and breaking) a forklift pallet. It hit very close to the truth. Advanced Squad Leader fills two 3-ring binders.
    • In the case of Star Fleet Battles at least, the length of the latest edition is due entirely to the designers exploring every possible interaction. It's quite possible to play using less than half the rules (even less if you cut out fighters and carriers.)
  • One commentator on RPG.net made a remark to the effect that the learning curve of the RPG Burning Empires takes a sharp upward turn around page 400. Another poster pointed out that this sums up quite succinctly why he doesn't play the game.
  • While not as monstrous as some, the Pathfinder Role Playing Game: Core Rulebook, clocking in at 575 pages, excluding end papers and promotional blurbs, makes good defensive weapon in time of need. This is because it covers what equals to D&D 3.5 Players Handbook AND Dungeon Masters Guide (each sitting at 300 some pages) AND how to convert stuff from those and Monster Manuals.
  • FATAL, in addition to being generally considered the worst roleplaying game ever written checks in at over 900 pages. 900 pages of unplayable rules designed to "realistically" simulate rape as a combat action and tables to randomly determine a character's anal circumference.
  • The 4th edition GURPS: Basic Set consists of 580 pages split between two volumes. GURPS doesn't have a setting so that's nothing but game stats. As a joke SJGames managed to reduce the system down to a single page. To be fair, like some of the other entries here, the Basic Set covers every interaction the authors could conceive of; rules and modifiers for mounted combat, magic of all sorts, pressure/temperature changes, poisons and diseases, drowning, and grappling and fatigue. You could probably cut out a healthy number of pages by simply not using <insert rules here>, and GURPS Lite is 32 pages of the core rules.
  • The comprehensive errata to Magic: The Gathering, since it has to cover every interaction, loophole, and so forth. For thousands of cards. It has to be huge, for keeping up with the devious minds of tournament gamers.
    • The rules for banding and bands with other have this in spades.
    • A lot of individual cards could qualify, in their original rulings. Some early ones, such as Oubliette and Goblin Artificers, had to be printed in a smaller font. More recently, the necessary text is smaller, but they add reminder text, text anyone who has even taken a cursory look at the rules, knows what it means.
  • Cubicle 7's Starblazer Adventures clocks in at 629 pages (plus a few extra for ads at the back). The forthcoming second edition will be split into two books.
  • EN World's War of the Burning Sky campaign path (Edition 3.5) is 708 pages and is heavy enough to use as a weapon.
  • The Dark Eye in the newest 4.1 edition has several books for the rules, 4 to be precise with each over 300 pages. That's just the rules, admittedly with much of the setting in them. Stuff like bestiary, spells, rituals, weapons and armor have 4 other books with each over 300 pages. The sourcebooks for the setting (all the regions on the continent, with geography, cultures, religions, races, food, clothing, ...) have at least 250 pages, each of the 13. Then there are some others, for things like gamemastering, dungeons, oceans, organisations, buildings, trade, city life and so on, 8 more books with at least 250 pages. Add to that the 186 "normal" adventures, the 50 or so other adventures (beginners, promotion and such), over 150 issues of the periodical since 1985, the other continent with around 9 books for rules and setting, 13 adventures, the 136 novells and the new continent they'll be releasing in the future.


Textbooks[edit | hide]

  • Financial Accounting by Warren et al., 888 pages. Intermediate Accounting by Kieso et al., 800 pages. Cost Accounting by Horngren et al., 896 pages. Advanced Accounting by Beams et al., 864 pages.
  • FORTRAN manuals, one assumes, should simply be left atop the VAX while the forklift moves it.
  • Any college textbook about computers is a Doorstopper. According to Amazon.com Deitel & Deitel's How to program in C/C++ and Java is 1,504 and 1,500 pages respectively. The C# version is 1600 pages.
  • The ISO C++ language specification - not how to use C++, just defining what it is - weighs in at over 1300 pages. ANSI Common Lisp's specification is even longer.[7]
  • Not just computing, but natural sciences as well. Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler is the definitive textbook on general relativity, which means it's over 1200 pages and heavy enough to itself generate one of the black holes discussed in chapter 33.
    • Molecular Biology of the Cell by Horton et al is a non-definitive textbook of biochemistry and cell physiology, which clocks in at well over 1400 pages—and that's without counting the lengthy table of contents and appendix. Gray's Anatomy (that's Gray's, not Grey's) is apparently even longer...
      • Molecular Biology of the Cell, Third Edition by Alberts et al (degree-level biology textbooks aren't renowned for their title originality, it seems) clocks in at 1294 numbered pages, plus 64 pages of glossaries and indexes.[8]
      • Biochemistry, Fifth Edition by Berg, Tymoczko and Stryer deserves an honourable mention for its 900+ numbered pages, not counting the glossary and preface (which contains no less than 6 versions of the contents), consisting almost entirely of waffle like "phosphorylase kinase phosphorylates phosphorylase", and being recommended to freshman biochemistry students.
      • Gray's Anatomy: 40th edition goes for 1576 pages
    • Biology 2nd Edition by Knox, Ladiges, Evans and Saint.
    • Biology, 8th Edition by Neil Campbell and Jane Reece, which is a definitive textbook of sorts, has 1393 numbered pages and is a pain to lug around. Humorously, a diagram explaining Western Blotting uses the textbook itself as an example of a heavy weight that would be needed for the process.
    • The Calculus: Early Transcendentals collection by James Stewart clocks in at a whopping one thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight pages, PLUS over two hundred pages of appendixes. Yeah. Damn thing almost broke my back lugging it to three years of calc classes.
    • Table of Integrals, Series and Products by Gradshteyn and Rhyzik. Not so much of a textbook, but an excellent reference. Over 1200 pages of integration tables. Seems that one can buy it as a CD-ROM those days, but where's the beauty in that?
    • Theoretical Physics by Lev Landau, Evgeny Lifshitz et al is (despite its several flaws) the definitive textbook outlining all areas of modern physics and unsurprisingly clocks itself at whopping TEN VOLUMES, 500+ pages each of pure undiluted humanities student's horror. The authors supposed that the readers know enough math to drop some rather nontrivial derivations as "obvious",[9] or its page count could've easily topped 10000 (it's 5581 pages in the most recent version). Though just as it is, even one volume would be enough to kill a man, and there were apocryphal reports of a student chasing off muggers with a bag of three volumes.
    • The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Even split into three volumes (plus an additional fourth commentary volume) it's a hefty beast. Each book is over 12 inches tall and collectively they are three inches thick.
    • The published output of Roger Penrose, the English physicist and mathematician, is notable in this regard. The Emperor's New Mind is 602 pages; Shadows of the Mind, on broadly the same subject as TENM but written after he'd changed his opinion, is a relatively lightweight 457 pages. These are popular science books and not textbooks! His chef-d'oeuvre though is the massive The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide To The Laws of the Universe, straddling the middle ground between popular science and legitimate textbook, weighing in at a meaty 1094 pages.
    • Physics for Scientists and Engineers by Jewett and Serway is required literature at some universities' Physics studies. First-year students thinking they were finally free from carrying around heavy bags full of bookwork like in high school generally end up disappointed.
  • Law school casebooks are wonderfully heavy. For example, Cohen, Varat and Amar's Constitutional Law, Cases & Materials, 13th Edition, weighs in at a hearty 2076 pages. And people think that the US Constitution is simple...
    • And law school text books are as nothing when compared to practitioner handbooks. For example, the Butterworths (English) Company Law Handbook (24th edition 2010) weighs in at 3,733 pages in a single volume. There is also the, possibly apocryphal, story about a tax partner at one of the major City law firms who concussed a junior who was irritating him by speaking on the phone with a well aimed copy of Simon's Tax Intelligence.
  • The Control Handbook, a book on control theory/systems engineering, has 1566 pages (according to Amazon). Now THAT's a handbook!
    • For that record, many engineering books. Go to the library of any nearby university and see it for yourself.
  • The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth. You can actually stop two doors with it, because it comes in three volumes and naturally you can only read one at a time. And it's not done yet! Knuth plotted out seven volumes, of which Volume 4 had to be divided in three (and is only available in five very preliminary "fascicles"). It would be nothing short of a miracle if Knuth lived to finish it (though, he has sketched out what he hasn't covered yet).
    • Covers of the third edition of Volume 1 quote Bill Gates as saying, "If you think you're a really good programmer . . . read (Knuth's) Art of Computer Programming... You should definitely send me a resume if you can read the whole thing." (a quote from The Other Wiki). Lore has it that Steve Jobs claimed to have done just this in 1983 when Knuth was invited to give a lecture to the Mac team; Knuth's response was something like "I seriously doubt that."
  • Philosophy texts vary, but one thing you can be sure of is that if it's Kant, it's going to take some slogging. The Critique of Pure Reason sticks out in particular, mostly because several years after the first edition was published, Kant decided it needed to be rewritten and spent the next decade doing so. (Fortunately he died shortly thereafter or he might have redone it again.) Since there's enormous controversy over which version is better/clearer, some thoughtful publishers have put both the A and B versions in one volume, though some German philosophers claim it is much clearer to read the English translation. Fortunately, not all Kant's books were long. The Prolegomena, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and Critique of Practical Reason run under 200 pages each. Doesn't mean you can finish them on a plane ride, though (except the Groundwork, where you'd have a shot).
  • Scott Mueller's Upgrading and Repairing PCs, currently in its 20th edition, and weighing in at 1104 pages. Not quite a textbook, but a damn fine reference. The 18th edition was even bigger at 1584 pages.
    • The DVD including video and back editions. Someone, somewhere, is going to need a Baby AT system fixed. And looking up some details of the mindboggling prehistoric evil buried deep within even the newest chipsets...
  • There are two ways to get Jansen's History of Art: as one large volume or two smaller ones. The singular one weighs twelve pounds.
  • The Game Breaker is Flight Attendant Manuals. One airline had a manual that spanned SIX of those massive binders that are about four inches across the spine. The airline considered it one book, and did possess in the company library multiple copies that were bound like your more traditional book. This airline flew Fokker F-100s and F-50s - a small, 100-seat jet and Prop plane, respectively. Manuals for companies flying larger jets, and more than one model of jet? You don't even want to know.
  • Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a seminal work on the entire science of comestibles, from garlic to creme brulee. Its goal is to teach people things they didn't know about food. It manages... and manages to be damned heavy at that.
  • Reclaiming History by Vincent Bugliosi. This painstakingly comprehensive 1,600+ page book on all aspects of the JFK assassination contains a detailed account of the events of those four days, a biography of Lee Harvey Oswald, and 1,000 more pages analyzing every angle and debunking every possible conspiracy theory. There's even an included CD with 1,000 pages worth of endnotes.
  • The single-volume abridged edition of Sir James George Frazier's anthropological work The Golden Bough is over 800 pages. The first edition was two volumes and the third edition was 12 volumes.
  • The Culinary Institute of America's The Professional Chef, 8th edition clocks in at 1215 pages. And it's not the shape of a regular book, either. It's aprox. 9" by 11". It has been described by friends as "Epic."
  • This is hardly unusual for cookbooks—Escoffier's Le guide culinaire clocks in at 940 pages in the original French only because of Escoffier's highly concise and modular recipe-writing style, and most editions of The Joy of Cooking vaguely resemble bibles in their thin paper and dense layout. And Phaidon, an art publisher with a successful sideline in cookbooks, has a habit of publishing doorstop cookbooks as well—as an example, the book 1080 recetas de cocina in the original Spanish is almost pocket-sized, but the English edition, embellished with much photography and some awesome crayon art, is a thundering doorstop with three bookmark ribbons bound into the spine. (And let's not even get into Julia Child's monsterpiece The Way To Cook—not especially thick, no, but printed on very heavy paper and enough to break a table.)
  • The History of the Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon is an intimidating 3000 pages. The Penguin Classics paperback edition is three doorstop size volumes. (Legend has it that when Gibbon presented a copy to King George III, the monarch groaned "Another damn, thick, square book! Always scribble, scribble, scribble, eh, Mr. Gibbon?")
  • Windows Server 2008 Unleashed! is over 1600 pages long.
  • "The New Penguin History of the World" is over 1200 pages long.
  • The source code for most software would qualify as Doorstoppers. It's not uncommon for the source code to take up several Megabytes (a typical paperback novel 3 cm thick takes up around 300-400KB). For something really complex, such as Linux, you're looking at several hundred megabytes for the source code.
    • The Linux kernel, the engine which drives a Linux operating system, is only 58MB zipped up, and roughly 11 million lines of code. Extrapolation would put it, then, at somewhere around 200-220 thousand pages, and equivalent to a paperback 4.5-5.8 meters thick.
      • Source code is text, and text tends to compress quite well. That 58MB of compressed source code could easily expand out to half a gigabyte.
      • And, indeed. Linux kernel 2.6.34 (the latest version as of June 2, 2010) is a 64MB compressed file which expands to a 435MB source tree.
  • A comprehensive manual for MS-DOS 5 was about two inches thick and printed in fine text. While not as impressive as some of the above examples, it's sufficient to do some serious damage.
  • Not exactly a textbook, but the Examination Regulations at Oxbridge, which at both Oxford and Cambridge are provided to all students, run to around 800 pages. As each subject has a much shorter handbook with only the relevant information, and it's all online anyway, the only use for the single volume is that it's the perfect size for jamming in a door-hinge to hold the door wide open. At some colleges its Bible-thin paper is also useful for lighting gas stoves. Some particularly stingy students have been known to try rolling cigarettes with it, to not much effect. Before a serious pruning in the early Nineties the Oxford University statutes were said to be so long and so heavily amended (over 800 years) that nobody had ever read the lot, largely because much of the corpus referred to long-lost earlier bits.
  • Alfred Whitehead and Bernard Russell set out in their Principia Mathematica to reinvent the entirety of mathematics from the most basic theorems and first principles. 4 years, 3 volumes, 2000+ pages of the densest symbolic logic notation ever put to paper, and a revised edition later, the authors ended the project prematurely due to "mental exhaustion".
  • Chemistry textbooks in general. The "Bible" of inorganic chemistry in German from Holleman + Wieberg is ~1500pages in 10pt text with even smaller footnotes, that are sometimes over half a page long. Impossible to hold and read.
  • The third edition of Mark Lutz's Programming Python is 1552 pages long. Somewhat excused because it covers many applications of Python (system tools, guis, client-side internet applications, server-side internet applications, databases, data structures, language processing, integrating into C), but still. Tape it shut, put a handle on it and it becomes a sledgehammer.
  • The definitive work on quality assurance/quality control, Juran's Quality Handbook (5th ed.) is 1699 pages long. The eBook edition (PDF format) is around 20 MB. All editions are similarly-sized. A handbook for Sasquatch, perhaps...
  • The eighth edition of A History of World Societies has 1089 pages.
  • Machinery's Handbook is a one-stop volume for all things mechanical. Extremely common for almost any tradesman to have around, it will even show you how to estimate the volume of a pile of dirt. The 27th Edition clocks in at 2587 pages, with another 100 pages of index. The "Pocket Version" is a 4 inch thick monster that is sometimes sold with an attached magnifier to read the text.
  • The 1941 Edition "Machinist's and Tool Maker's Handy Book" runs to about 1700 pages, including a 350 page primer on mathematics (from basic arithmetic to moderately-advanced calculus), physics, and engineering design principles. It's technical school in a book, and a thorough one to boot.
  • While not traditionally used as a textbook, "America" by Tindal and Shi (the sixth edition) is a narrative history of America that starts at the landing of the first colonists and continues until the beginning of Bush's presidency and the Second Gulf War. Excluding index, glossary, etc., the book clocks in at over 1500 pages.
  • The Systems Reference Library for the IBM 67 mainframe is taller than it is wide. (From here)
  • When Boeing entered the 747 into the competition for Heavy Logistics System (better known as the C-5 Galaxy), they provided 150 cardboard boxes full of documentation. The engineering summary alone was thicker than a New York City phonebook. And they didn't even win.
  • German philosopher Oswald Spengler's book about philosophy, history and many other topics The Decline of the West has more than 1000 pages, in small print.
  • The complete revised ICD-10 comes to 1400 pages in length, including two hundred pages of instructions. For quick look up you might want to buy the index, which comes as a separate nine hundred page volume.
  • Studying Shakespeare? You'll probably use the sixth edition of The Complete Shakespeare or the second edition of The Riverside Shakespeare, both of which cover over 2000 pages.
  • United States History by Pearson Education is 1264 pages long, not including the Table of Contents (31 pages) and the weird-ass "Skills Handbook" (32 pages). So in actuality, the textbook is 1327 pages long.
  • Will Durant's series, The Story of Civilization. 11 books, each of them a doorstopper in their own right, with a couple of them being more than 1000 pages. The series as a whole is 10 000 pages, and four million words. Durant wanted to cover up to the early 20th century, but he and his wife were only able to finish up to the Age of Napoleon.


Toys[edit | hide]

  • The Ultimate Millenium Falcon set by Lego featured a 500-page ring-bound instruction manual that weighed four pounds.
    • The set itself contained 5219 pieces and retailed for 500 US dollars.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The strategy guide for Morrowind: Game of the Year Edition. is practically the size of a family bible, and can easily be used as a weapon. This is because it contains every single one of the hundreds of misc. quests as well as numerous areas that have nothing to do with any quests but are aesthetically interesting or just plain weird, in detail.
    • Morrowind itself features over 1500 pages of text in its readable books. Arguably also applies to Oblivion and Skyrim, which recycled most of this material while adding a (comparatively) small amount.
  • The first Xbox console was met with derision for its size.
  • The Instruction Manual for Sid Meier's Civilization IV gets an honourable mention for being thicker than most normal game boxes. Hence the reason it's kept as a file on the game disc.
  • Consider the sheer amount of text that goes into something like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. Then consider how much of a typical novel is dialogue and how much is description. Given the amount of Scenery Porn in such places as the Collector base and the Deep Roads, both of those games qualify.
    • And when you take into account both these games have VERY extensive codexes...
    • And the information entries for EVERY single planet in both Mass Effect games...
  • BioWare is largely known for having script-heavy games, but their MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic is stated to have more written (and voiced) dialog than the entire run of The Sopranos. That's one huge script.
  • Even Civilization II: Multiplayer Gold Edition had an instruction manual at least as long as Hamlet - comprehensively covering how to install the game, play the tutorial, play the game without the tutorial, play multiplayer, and sub-guides to all of the scenarios.
  • Falcon 4.0's 350-page three ring binder of a manual.
    • Common in other study sims of the era. Sadly averted with Falcon 4.0: Allied Force and many other modern simulations like DCS: Black Shark, as the manuals are in PDF form...but those PDF manuals are AT LEAST 700 pages each! Black Shark 's manual can be ordered in print form for an extra $30, which is roughly what the sim itself costs in many places!
  • Bizarrely, the official guide to Disgaea II is, well, the size of a small phone book. A game guide. Goes to show just how much is packed in that game.
  • This fate also befalls most of the other game guides produced by publisher Doublejump Books, possibly because they have a habit of making guides for games with tons of data. After thoroughly "mining" the games for every formula and bit of data therein. They actually call the stats-bearing sections of their guides "The Data Mines". Doublejump books are also a smaller form factor than normal, sized to fit on top of the game's DVD case without any spillover to the sides, which adds to the page count immensely.
  • The hardbacked Fallout 3 game-guide is an absurdity in terms of size. Seriously, the game, even with all optional missions just isn't that long, even if it can be very varied. Even so over 300 pages for any game is a lot.
    • The gameguide for the 'game of the year edition' of the game (that is, containing all the add-ons produced for the game), clocks in at 752 pages.
      • and by the same developer, we now have the Skyrim Strategy guide, hitting precisely 100 less then Fallouts game of the year version, Skyrim has two planned expansions however...
  • The manual for The Witcher is described by Yahtzee as "Thick enough to beat goats to death with." It is roughly a cm thick, mostly due to a partial walkthough.
  • The old Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego game shipped with a full desk encyclopaedia which served double duty as the lynchpin of the game's Copy Protection.
  • The manual for Baldur's Gate II, a 300+-page comb-bound affair, is essentially a reprint of the 2nd Edition AD&D Player's Handbook.
  • Planescape: Torment contains 800,000 words. Not the guide. The game itself. You might not be able to stop a door with only 4 CDs, but damnit; the game's longer than Atlas Shrugged and reads like a Choose Your Own Adventure book; it deserves an honourable mention at least.
  • The guide to Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne is advertised as "a 400 page monster."
  • Pokémon Platinum's official strategy guide is 650+ pages.
    • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Sky's strategy guide is about as thick as an average phone book.
    • Even older than this, a complete first generation guide book in Japan dubbed The Pokémon Encyclopedia, is about 700 pages long. 300 is for the Pokédex alone.
  • There's a PSX Gamer's Guide which is a generally not-very-detailed walkthrough for a plethora of different PS 1 games. The guide has 688 pages and 270 games covered, though, so you can't say it doesn't have that going for it.
  • The manual for Master of Magic was 154 pages, complete with 40 pages of appendices, and took up most of a large box. The official strategy guide was another 478 pages of detailed tables and descriptions of every spell, race, unit, building, status, combat action, and their interactions, plus an errata listing (some of which were fixed in later patches).
  • It could be assumed that higher-level magic tomes (particularly Dark/Elder magic ones) in the Fire Emblem games could be an ingame example, since the weight of an equipped weapon (be it sword, axe, lance, bow or tome) may impact on the wielder's speed stat, which affects factors such as their dodge rate and whether or not they can attack twice (all depending on the character's constitution, or physical size). For instance, Canas, your only allied dark magic wielder in Fire Emblem 7, has a base constitution stat of 8, and the strongest tome he can equip (Gespenst) has a weight stat of 20, meaning that, if equipped, his speed stat will be reduced by 12 in battle, which is nearly half of his theoretical maximum speed. To put it this way, the BFS Durandal has a weight of 16 and the massive axe Armads has 18. Gespent beats them both. And know what? In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, there are two bigger tomes, at 23 and 25 each. The wielders would probably deal more damage throwing them to the enemies!
  • Square Enix's Ultimania for the Final Fantasy series (as well their other RPGs like Dragon Quest) are known for having a BOATLOAD of details that range from interviews, concept art, game stats, and strategies.
    • Sometimes, they'll include incredibly important plot/world/character details that settle huge fandom debates or explain major plot holes. And they're never released outside of Japan. Everyone else has to rely on translators and scans.
  • In an in-universe example, Lezard Valeth refers to the Philosopher's Stone as "a ten billion page codex". That is a pretty massive book.


Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • The play time for Fate/stay night is usually put at about three full days, so at least seventy hours of straight play time. And that's skipping scenes that occur in the multiple routes.
    • The sequel, Fate/hollow ataraxia, is also notoriously long. While the main story is straightforward enough, there are an awful lot of bonus scenes and similar things.
  • Which is outdone by Clannad which can take several hundred hours to complete fully.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni clocks at around a 6 MB text file for all Episodes—compare War and Peace which is around 3.2 MB worth of text. On the upside, the novel is pretty linear until the eighth Episode.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in Darths and Droids with the rulebook for grappling being (apparently) so large they actually comment on the size.
  • Homestuck packs this trope on several different levels.
    • First off, if Homestuck itself were turned into a book (which it actually is) it would make the fair Colonel's treaty look like a children's book. To wit: as of January 2012, it weighted in at around 370,000 words long; as a point of comparison, War and Peace is around 450,000-600,000 depending on the translation.
      • And, War and Peace isn't illustrated on each page...
      • To be precise, Homestuck Book One is 162 book-pages, and encompasses Act 1 (which is 247 web-pages). If all of Homestuck, which is approx. 4200 web-pages and still ongoing, was converted into a book, it would be ca. 2800 book-pages.
    • Secondly, John's unabridged copy of "Colonel Sassacre's Daunting Text of Magical Frivolty and Practical Japery" is described as being big enough to kill a cat if dropped on it. His Nanna died in an incident involving an unabridged version of said book, a ladder, and a meteor. The book also kills a Shale Imp when it's accidentally dropped at one point. And it does kill a cat eventually (in another universe... thing...)
    • Another Doorstopper is seen later, this time a guide for the "~ATH" programming language. It has an ability to break through a floor after being dropped for two times. And since on Alternia most trolls and their animal guardians own houses several stories high, you don't want to mess with the book on the top floor.
    • More doorstoppers appear in a Show Within a Show Within A Show Complacency of the Learned. Complacency itself is a doorstopper series, and a stack of six books is half the height of Roxy's sprite, or roughly half a meter. While in those books, Frigglish is cursed to write out his knowledge by Calmasis, which becomes quite incomprehensible, and Calmasis ends up killing Frigglish with his own books. For added bit of irony, the cat that ended up being killed by Colonel Sassacre's (see above) is named after Frigglish.
  • Scale's armor has a rather heavy manual.
  • Mentioned in a Nodwick comic where Artax uses a Robert Jordan novel as a bludgeon.
  • The Gunnerkrigg Court books aren't that long with less than 300 pages each. But the paper quality is so good that they're freakin' heavy.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The Phase stories of the Whateley Universe. "Ayla and the Tests" is longer than six out of seven Harry Potter books.
  • If the entirety of the Darwin's Soldiers RPs were to be printed out, it would take 400 pages to print out the second one and over 900 pages to print the final one.
  • The Half World MSTs were counted to be at ca. 200,000 words only after one year, which means it's updating faster than Homestuck.
  • The mother of all examples is Koukon Bridge, which would have been completely ordinary FictionPress material were it not the fact that it's nearly two million words long as still unfinished. At the rate it's going, it could very well break the record for longest continuous novel.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in one episode of The Simpsons in which an "Angelica Button" book leaves an indent in asphalt when thrown out a car window.
    • Another time Bart throws the Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie: The Book in a full trash can. The book promptly crushes all the trash beneath it until it's lying almost at the bottom.
  1. Yes, this is a real book. No, it's not long enough to contain one thousandth of the actual content - just the featured articles.
  2. Which, as it happens, is related to the Russian word tolstyj, meaning 'big' or 'fat'
  3. "Dekalogy: A novel in ten volumes"
  4. It would have been an Olympic Record but he failed the drugs test.
  5. 6 times 17
  6. which is abbreviated to PCW, not PC World, which is either a different US magazine, or a British PC retailer
  7. Amusingly, the other popular flavour of Lisp, "Scheme", is specified in only 50 pages, much of which is repetition.
  8. The textbook (6th ed.) is now 1601 pages, not counting the indexes and glossaries
  9. There is an anecdote where Landau, having lost the 20-pages long draft of one particularly tricky derivation, didn't want to do it again, so he just offered to other co-authors to drop it at all as "obvious". They accepted. On a more serious note, the math level required from the reader of the more advanced chapters is extremely high.