Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Knowledge Tuesday: Harry Potter Books Word Counts

No one can disagree that JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books have become a phenomenon. I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in summer 2001. Then I read it and the other three that same summer and had to wait for what felt like an eternity for books five, six, and seven. On Friday, the last part of the movies will arrive—and yes, I’m attending the midnight showing—and it’ll be the end of a series that means so much to me. Of course, that meaning will come on Thursday’s post. *grins*

Today, I want to talk the books in word counts:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – 76,944 words
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – 85,141 words
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – 107,253 words
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – 190,637 words
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – 257,045 words
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – 168,923 words
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 198,227 words

That’s a grand total of 1,084,170 words. Over a million words. Wow. I would’ve read a million more. *laughs* And, that’s not even including Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastical Beasts & Where to Find Them, or Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Of course, as writers, we should pay attention to how many words the first book was. That’s pretty normal for a children’s fantasy novel. Maybe bordering on high for a word count range for that age group—although, who are we kidding? Harry Potter is for all ages.

They say it takes 10,000 hours or 1,000,000 words to write anything worth reading. I wonder how many words JK Rowling wrote before Harry Potter. I would say she definitely has mastered her fantastic Harry Potter universe.


Terri Talley Venters said...

Wow, that's alot of words. I've read them all twice and now my sons read them. Can't wait to see the final movie on Friday (but not the midnight showing because it's past my bedtime).

M.J. Fifield said...

That certainly is an impressive word count. And I agree, I would've read a million more too.

I'm re-reading the seventh book now in preparation for the movie's release.

D. U. Okonkwo said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing. I've always wondered how many words were in the HP because they did get larger with each printing.

She did a fantastic job and deserves all her success. I think that HP was the first 'proper' book she wrote.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Seeing the wordcount for Sorcerer's Stone makes me feel much better about my 80K MG fantasy. I'm trying to cut it down - my goal is 70-75k - but that's going to be really hard to reach.

Christine Rains said...

Wow! That is a lot. I'm still in love with the HP universe. If I could live in one fictional place, it would be in the HP world as a witch.

Sheila Deeth said...

No midnight showing for me, but we'll be there as soon as we can and we're eagerly looking forward to it. I wonder how many kids have learned to look at reading as fun because of HP, and maybe even dare pick up "big books" sometimes. I remember my small son holding a HP book so big it looked like it would strain his arms. Now he's grown, and the arms are quite long--well-stretched perhaps.

Julie Flanders said...

I love Harry Potter and could have read a million more words, too. I was so sad when I finished the last book! Seeing the word count for each book is interesting, great post.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan, but I've watched every movie to date, and plan to watch the last, but not at midnight, lol.

Interesting post on word count. Thanks for sharing.

TL Conway said...

Thanks for posting the word count per book. It's interesting to see all the numbers laid out like this, especially since I've often wondered how many were in each book. I'm surprised to see the 1st one was under 80K. I guess in my head, I made it bigger/longer, like all the others.