The Great Gatsby is one of those ‘great classic’ books most teachers force high school students to read in English class. Because of that, people often lump it in with works by Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Geoffrey Chaucer. Gatsby, however, was written years, decades, and even centuries after those works and is a much shorter and easier book to read.
The copy most people purchase today, The Great Gatsby: The Only Authorized Edition, has 208 pages. The Great Gatsby: The Original 1925 Edition in paperback has just 110 pages. The original first edition hardback of the book, now out of print and available only from rare bookstores, has 218 pages.
In other words, the number of pages in The Great Gatsby depends entirely on which version of the book you’re reading. Typically, though, most editions range from between 160 to about 240 pages. Either way, it’s a quick book to read for most people.
How Long Does It Take to Read The Great Gatsby?
According to Barnes and Noble, The Great Gatsby has 47,094 words, making it significantly shorter than most novels.
It would take about three hours and eight minutes to read The Great Gatsby, assuming an average reading speed of 250 words per minute (WPM). The typical adult reads at least this fast or faster, making the book a quick read.
Most audiobook versions of the book range from four and a half hours to approximately six hours. However, you should remember that audiobooks are recorded quite a bit slower than most adults’ average reading speed.
Audiobook narrators purposely keep their reading speeds between 150 and 160 WPM. Doing so ensures listeners don’t miss anything and have plenty of time to absorb what they’re hearing. It’s also why most audiobook platforms, such as Audible and Audiobooks.com, come with a feature that allows listeners to speed books up to 1.25x, 1.5x, or even 2.0x their normal speed.
That’s something to keep in mind when you’re on a deadline for reading a book. In terms of gross reading/listening time, audiobooks (at normal speed) typically aren’t faster for most people to read.
The trade-off, though, comes in convenience. Most people have to sit down and completely dedicate themselves to physically reading a book. However, those same people can listen to audiobooks while cooking dinner, doing chores, or even driving down the road.
How Long Is The Great Gatsby Movie?
There are actually five Gatsby films available for you to watch today, though only two of them are relatively well-known.
Most teenagers and young adults are familiar with the 2013 version starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire.
However, there was an equally popular version of the movie released in 1974 starring then-Hollywood A-listers, Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. There have also been three other film adaptations of the book over the years, including:
- A 1926 silent film (Lois Wilson and Warner Baxter starring)
- The 1949 movie version (Betty Field and Alan Land starring)
- A 2000 made-for-TV movie (Paul Rudd, Mira Sorvino, and Toby Stephens starring)
All five movies featured the same name as the book, though the 2013 version is often called Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
The 2013 Gatsby film is two hours and 23 minutes long. The 1974 version is one minute longer, clocking in at two hours and 24 minutes. 2000’s made-for-TV film is one and a half hours long, and the 1949 and 1926 versions are one hour and 31 minutes and one hour and 20 minutes long, respectively.
*Note: I took all the above run times directly from each movie’s entry on IMDB.com.
In What Grade Do You Usually Read The Great Gatsby?
Every high school and every English teacher is different, so some students make it to graduation without ever having to crack open Fitzgerald’s famous book. However, those high schools that keep it in rotation usually introduce it to students in the same grade.
Most students are usually required to read The Great Gatsby in the 12th grade during their senior English classes. The book’s overall Lexile measure is 1070, with various chapters ranging in difficulty from 800 to 1200 on the Lexile scale.
A book’s Lexile measure represents how easy or difficult it is to read based solely on word choice, word frequency, and sentence length. The simplest and least challenging books have Lexile scores of 200 or less. The most difficult books have Lexile scores of 1700 or higher.
However, it’s important to note that a book’s Lexile measure has absolutely nothing to do with plot or themes. It’s solely a measure of how difficult the words and sentences in a book are to read. Therefore, not all books’ Lexile scores adequately represent how challenging they really are to students.
So, even though The Great Gatsby’s Lexile score is only 1070, putting it firmly below the benchmark for college- and career-ready students, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for all high school students to read.
The book’s themes include some pretty advanced concepts, such as:
- The hierarchical structure of a classist society
- The American dream and how it can be as damaging as it is inspiring
- Hollowness and dissatisfaction
- Love and marriage
These themes, and at times the book’s plot, can be difficult for many high school students to follow. Therefore, it may take them quite a bit longer than the standard three hours and eight minutes to get through it all.
Is The Great Gatsby Worth Reading?
The Great Gatsby is absolutely worth reading, even if you were never required to do so while in school. It’s a classic that showcases what life in upper-class America was like in the 1920s. Plus, it’s a relatively quick read that’s actually enjoyable and thought-provoking.
Unfortunately, I feel like people automatically dismiss ‘required reading’ books as not worth their time. Usually, it’s because they had a bad experience with forced reading in school and so automatically assume anything a school requires is going to be dull and a waste of time.
If that sounds like you, I urge you to give ‘the classics’ another chance. Some of them, like The Great Gatsby, might just blow you away.
Though there isn’t a single answer to how many pages there are in The Great Gatsby, the range for various editions is usually between 160 to 250 pages. It’s a quick and relatively easy ready that you could knock out in a day. So why not give it a try?