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240 Pages by 2 Hours Equals a Book

I Couldn’t Read Them All Until Now

Outside of writing, I am happiest when I’m reading. My preference is non-fiction since I love learning and my writing genre is non-fiction. Every so often I pick up a fiction book to expose myself to colorful words and phrases. It helps my writing and I love a well-written mystery. I adore books, however; I can’t read enough of them. Then I discovered that 240 pages by 2 hours equal a book. I couldn’t read them all until now.

240 Pages by 2 Hours Equals a Book

I found an article by Jesse Wisnewski on “How to Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours.” Of course, I was intrigued. I couldn’t wait to read the 12-minute article which would take me 20 minutes.

Published in medium.com, a site I also write for, Jesse states; “Based on a speed-reading survey by Staples, the average reading speed is 300 words per minute.” A college student reads 450 wpm, high-level execs read 575 wpm, and speed readers crank out 1,500 wpm. Sounds interesting but how fast do I read.

Your Reading Speed

Wisnewski’s link above is where you test your speed. I took the test and found I read 180 words per minute, a score between a 3rd-grade student level and an 8th grader.  Wow, that’s bad. I type faster than that.

When I read, I sound out every word, thirsting to capture the meaning of the author. At that speed, I will never read all the books I desire. Currently, I have volumes staring at me, calling my name, I hear you, I want to read you!

240 Pages by 2 Hours Formula

Wisnewski’s article goes on to show the calculation of how long it will take to read certain books. It involves:

  1. Counting the number of words per line for 4 lines and divide by 4.
  2. Read for 1 minute then count the number of lines you read.
  3. Multiply the number of lines you read (#2) by the words per line (#1). That’s how many words you read per minute.

How Long Will it Take You?

Now that you know how fast you read you can calculate the time it will take you to read books. Wisnewski’s article provides a chart from NPR’s Fresh Air on how long it takes to read certain books. Based on an average of 300 words per minute, here are a few examples:

The Kite Runner                                                           5.95 hours                      107,052 words

Little Women                                                              10.21 hours                     183,833 words

The Hunger Games series                                         16.75 hours                     301,583 words

Twilight Saga                                                               31.98 hours                     575,710 words

The Bible                                                                      43.79 hours                     788,280 words

Harry Potter series                                                     60.23 hours                     1,084,170 words

Game of Thrones series                                            98.33 hours                     1,770,000 words

I Couldn’t Read Them All Before

With a reading score of 180, I decided to step up my game. Wisnewski’s article reveals how to increase reading speed. Consequently, I put into practice his technique and it works. I found that by reading faster I grasp the meaning clearer by reason of reading in bunches instead of crawling through like a snail.

I don’t read every book like this. There are some that I want to linger in and enjoy the ride. Usually, I read non-fiction where this method works well. However, if I read Yuval Noah Harari or Deepak Chopra I slow down to work through and mark the material.

Now It’s Possible to Read Them All

Jesse Wisnewski’s article, “How to Read a 240 Page Book in 2 Hours” makes it possible to experience all the books I have sitting on my shelves. Putting his principles to work I now read faster. I couldn’t read them all until now. My record before learning this technique was 69 books in a year. Let’s see if I can reach 100. It’s possible now that I know 240 pages by 2 hours equal a book. How many books would you like to read in a year?

Dana Pope
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