How Long Does It Take To Read Homestuck?

Homestuck is among the most popular webcomics on the internet today. It has a devoted fan base and, since becoming an internet sensation, has been published in traditional format by manga publisher Viz Media. The series has concluded, and you can catch up on the whole story at once – but how long will reading all of Homestuck take you?

Assuming you have a reading speed of 250 words per minute (the average reading speed), it will take 2 days, 19 hours, and 14 minutes to read Homestuck. The series is 1,008,327 words long – 817,929 words in the main storyline and 190,398 in the Homestuck Epilogues.

If you’re looking for a better idea about the experience of reading Homestuck, keep reading. I’ll answer any questions you may have about this popular webcomic so you know what to expect when you start reading.

How Long It Actually Takes To Read Homestuck

As mentioned above, if you read the Homestuck books from cover to cover without any breaks and have an average reading speed, you’ll finish reading them in slightly under 3 days.

However, most people agree that reading Homestuck takes much longer – in fact, reading it the first time can take you anywhere from 15 days to several months. This is not because of the word count – rather, it is because of the plot.

The plot of Homestuck is complex and can be hard to follow due to its non-linear style. If you really want to grasp everything that is happening, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention and take numerous breaks to allow yourself the time to understand the events of the plot.

Some plot features include:

  • Time travel
  • Alternate timelines
  • Different realities
  • A vast cast of characters

And this complexity is without taking into account the fact that the basic plot of the webcomic can be confusing for many people. The comic is a story about teens who accidentally trigger the destruction of the Earth by playing a beta version of a to-be-released computer game. They must then play and beat the game to create a new universe to live in.

The story is heavily based on internet and gaming culture, and if you aren’t already familiar with these things, it can result in immense confusion and frustration.

Furthermore, the story begins slowly and can seem dull, enough that people either give up before the plot really comes into play or take longer to get past the introduction than simply the word count may suggest.

You will also likely have to go back to earlier chapters and re-read certain parts of the story. Even details that may seem unimportant or throwaway parts of the plot play important roles in the story as it develops, and if you missed a detail or forgot it, you will likely have to backtrack, re-read, and then continue from where you left off.

Finally, there’s the issue of Pesterlogs.

Pesterlogs are Homestuck’s version of chat logs and are, quite frankly, very annoying to read. There’s a reason these parts of the story have been called “pesterlogs,’ and it’s not because users enjoy reading them.

However, they’re also crucial to the plot. If you try to skim through them or skip them altogether, you’ll be even more confused than is normal for a newcomer to Homestuck, and there’s a good chance you’ll finish the story, only to discover that you don’t know what happened.

So, while the Pesterlogs are critical to your understanding of the story, they also add an inordinate amount of time to your read time of Homestuck.

Combined, the issues of a complex plot, non-linear style of writing, Pesterlogs, and initial dullness of the writing mean that, while the word count suggests you should be able to complete Homestuck in under 3 days of reading time, you’ll likely take significantly longer (at least the first time you read it).

However, if you decide to re-read it after reading it for the first time, you’ll likely find it easier to read through – you’ll just need to get through it once before you can get there.

Should You Read the Homestuck Books or Webcomics?

You should read the Homestuck webcomic. The webcomic isn’t a traditional representation of the style and features animated sequences, original music, and Flash games. Though the books try to bring the experience of these elements to the page, it isn’t the same.

The Flash games are vital to the plot and shouldn’t be skipped. While there are no major browsers that currently support flash, you can still enjoy the games via The Unofficial Homestuck Collection.

This is a customized browser dedicated to preserving Homestuck in its original form. While the rest of the comics are still accessible via a regular browser, The Unofficial Homestuck Collection collects the comics, games, and other elements of Homestuck in one place, so you aren’t toggling between tabs and browsers.

There’s also the question of your budget. Buying all seven Homestuck books may be out of the price range for many fans, and the complete webcomic is legally available to read for free online.

Reading the story online is definitely the better option given the better reading experience and the nonexistent price tag. However, if you’d like to own a physical copy of the story or are worried it may stop being available for free online at some point, you can also supplement your online reading with copies of the books.

How Many Homestuck Books Are There?

There are seven Homestuck books. The first six books are graphic novels that collect the main plot of Homestuck as it appeared in webcomic format. The seventh book is The Homestuck Epilogues.

Unlike the first six books, The Homestuck Epilogues is presented as a text-only book. It was released for free online, followed by a physical release. Unlike the webcomic, it was not written only by series creator Andrew Hussie – it was co-written with four fan creators.

The online version of The Homestuck Epilogues is formatted to resemble a fanfiction published on the website Archive of Our Own. This gives the final chapter in the series a fanfiction vibe in itself.

Like the original story blurred the lines between graphic novel and multimedia, The Homestuck Epilogues blurs the line between fanwork created for a fan community and official publication that is part of the story’s “canon.”

Additionally, a sequel has been launched, titled Homestuck^2: Beyond Canon. The story was outlined by Hussie and is being written by a team of writers. It is being published online and is currently on hiatus. The website says the team will release the rest of the story once it is entirely completed.

Final Thoughts

Based purely on word count, Homestuck should take you just under 3 days to read. However, several factors, such as the complex, non-linear plot, mean it will probably take you much longer to actually read it – at least the first time around.

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