Product Request: Word Count for books

Many of us have a goal for number of words read. It would be great if books on the site showed a word count (and how it was calculated). Even if it’s estimated by community members it would be helpful. Then if the site had an algorithm to automatically calculate ‘words read’ based on books in your ‘finished’ tab it would be very helpful.

Ah, I see you did make it to the forums @MurseJakey :smile:

There are a few ways we could do the ‘estimate’ - take the number of pages & the book type and have a fixed estimate for the number of words. That may be somewhat accurate on an aggregate basis, but it’d have a lot of warts.

When it’d come to community-edited word count, we could do that too, we’d just need a lot of members willing and able to do it. I’m honestly not sure how people would get the word count - does kindle have that information?

For Japanese, an equivalent would be character count.

The great thing about this would be that it’s cross platform. So you could compare videogames to books to movies, as they all could have word counts. I’m just not sure how exactly we’d get the data.


I want to say no. :thinking: At least, not that I’ve ever seen.


If you use Calibre, you can upload the ebook on the Calibre editor and then get the word count. Apparently Sigil also has the same function, but I’ve never tried it.
You need a compatible format to be able to upload it though, so that means either epub or pdf, nothing protected.

So, the best would be a mix of the two I think: a guesstimated word count, with a disclaimer saying that it’s just an estimate, inviting people to add a more accurate word count.


If implemented, would that apply to manga and comics too?

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I imagine it’d apply to all items yes :slight_smile:

However, it’d either be very approximate guesses or community-edited values. I couldn’t do anything automatically I don’t believe.

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I don’t think you can get a decent approximation of manga word/character count just from page count since text density in manga is so all over the place.


Detailed language evaluations could potentially help with this:


I prefer the idea of community-edited word count over multiplying the number of pages by a fixed number of words. Many of us are reading children’s books or graphic novels that have pictures that would make that wildly inaccurate. If it’s possible to allow community members to tell us what method they used to estimate number of words it would allow us to determine how much trust we should put in it. For example, some well-known prize-winning books that I’ve read have that information online that have been calculated already by teacher groups (who I assume have used software to calculate it b/c the counts are very specific). I assign a high confidence level to those. If someone uploaded a pdf of the book into software that calculates the word count I would be confident in those numbers being accurate. But when I don’t have access to that info I will count the words on an average page of that particular book and multiply it by the number of pages myself. This I have a low confidence level in the estimate, but it’s better than nothing.