Skip to navigationSkip to content

A typical Briton will write more than Charles Dickens—in text messages alone

Everyone has a novel (or hundred) in them.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Everyone has a novel (or hundred) in them.
UKPublished This article is more than 2 years old.

The average mobile phone user in the UK will text as many as 7.3 million words in his or her lifetime, according to a study by With novels typically clocking in at about 80,000 words, that makes more than 90 literary tomes for each texting Brit. (The 15 novels of Charles Dickens clock in at a relatively concise 4 million words.) The study polled 2,717 people over the age of 18 from around the country, and found that most of them texted “regularly”—on average, 14 messages a day—from age 14 through 55. That makes more than 200,000 messages total during prime texting years. And at an estimated 35 words a pop, your emoticons and reminders to buy milk could fill a bookshelf.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.