How Quickly Do You Read?

How many days (on average) would it take you to read a 500-page novel?

  • 3 Days or Fewer

    Votes: 11 26.8%
  • 4-5 Days

    Votes: 5 12.2%
  • 6-7 Days

    Votes: 4 9.8%
  • 8-9 Days

    Votes: 3 7.3%
  • 10-11 Days

    Votes: 5 12.2%
  • 12-13 Days

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 14-15 Days

    Votes: 5 12.2%
  • 16 Days or More

    Votes: 7 17.1%
  • I don't read all that much, I have no idea.

    Votes: 1 2.4%


Limit Break Dancing
I'm collecting info for a summer reading project, and I'm curious: How many days would it take you to read a 500-page novel, on average? Suppose you picked up a novel right now, at this very moment: with your current schedule and commitments as they are, how many days would you expect to need to finish it?

For me, it would take me about a week to read a 500-page book. Of course it will vary by the amount of free time I have that week, and how engrossing the writing is, and my general mood, but that's about the average. And it's the average that I'm looking for. How about you?
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He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I went with 4-5 days as an average. Depending on the necessity of the read, such as for work, or the perceived enjoyment that average could go up or down.


Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
At least a month, if not a year.

I have a day job, a marriage, two small children, and existing friend and family commitments.


Unserious gamer
Tough to say. Depending on the size of the book, spacing, font, amount of dialogue (dialogue-heavy books tend to have less words per page), a 500 page book probably has a word count between 150K and a little over 200K. (Most of the books I get are e-books nowadays, so I tend to notice page count less and word count more.)

I generally average a little under 35K words per hour, so a 500 page book would probably be in the 5-6 hour range. So generally a day if work is fairly slow.

The last big book I read was Sanderson's Rhythm of War, which was 460K words, a little over 1,200 pages, and took me about 13 hours over 3 days.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
For fiction, I read 60-100 pages an hour, depending on how "crunchy" it is. Technical manuals I read a bit slower, say 30-45 pages an hour with a high retention rate, or even slower if I'm taking notes and/or annotating. Other falls somewhere between - a naval battle history isn't as fast as light fiction, but I don't care about retaining a lot of details ("what date was X") so it's faster than technical.

Depending on how riveting the book is, I could probably read it in about nine days. I used to be able to read a book that long faster, but lacking a commute to and from work, I miss out on that reading time (I still make the time before I start work and during my lunch).


Last time I really read novels was on vacation. I picked up one of the Drizzt books and read it over vacation. Then I bought the other 2 books in the series and read them over the next couple weeks. I guess, when I like the story I can read rather fast and find time. That was a few years ago and now I mostly read magazines when I's sitting for a few minutes at a time.


Solitary Role Playing
I read novels mostly when going to bed until I fall asleep. I voted 14-15 days. If the book is really good I'll binge read it to finish it during the weekend. That would give a result of 4-5 days.


I get through about 60 books a year, with 500 pages being about average, so 6 days on average. It's worth noting that I read more in the summer than the winter months. I'm not sure why that is.


14-15 days reading a chapter a night, give or take, is probably a good guess. I used to be able to read alot quicker but with needing glasses 6-7 years ago I get too tired really quick. My attention span is pretty non-existent anymore, I get distracted easily and find I need to read things 2-3 times for it to sink in. I think increasingly reading a phone or computer screen more often than the printed page has effected my speed and reading comprehension when I pick up a book/novel.



Novel? Easily a month or three.
Rule book? A few hours to a 'day' (say, 7 hours).

Why? With rules, I'm reading them and absorbing the info. I'm reading it as myself, trying to keep things in my brain and extrapolating likely scenarios using said rules.

With novels though...I read them "in real time", with voices from the characters, inflections, and I let my imagination fill in the scene and nuances.

Rule: "Dwarves get +1 to hit against Giants". A 3 second read, tops. Easy. Simple. Got it. That's how I read it; I picture a dwarf fighting a hill giant and picture the dwarf getting up close to the giant so that the giant has to look straight down at his feet, and the dwarf can move to the side or try and get behind the giant. Easy peasy.

Novel: "Dwarves? I once saw a dwarven Hammerer single handedly take down a giant from Stony Hills!". I read it as I picture the character speaking it...with pauses and inflections. So about 10 seconds to read, maybe 11 or 12. I pause and picture the speaker sitting at the table at the inn, leaning back in his chair with a wry smile after mentioning Dwarves, as the barmaid carefully makes her way past him carrying a tray of beverages. The crackle of the hearth fire in the background. The speaker reaches for a pipe on the table before continuing with the "I once saw..." part of the line. Sparking up the pipe between "Hammerer" and "single", taking a couple puffs before finishing.

So, yeah. I read novels... "oddly", I've been told. I find the novels my friends read different from the novels I read.... even if we read the exact same novel. ;)


Paul L. Ming


Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
If I put everything aside, a 500-page novel is an evening's reading. That natural reading pace did not work well when I was working as an audio engineer, recording audiobooks.


I go in spurts. If I'm into it, a day or two. If I get a bunch of books I'm interested in (say, as gifts), I'll burn through them in a week or two. If I'm reading because reading is what I do when I'm not doing something else, like right now...probably a week. I put 4-5 days as an average.

I grew up in a rural household without tv or a computer (because...the '70s). If I'm free to relax into it, I'll burn through a book in an evening, but those occasions are rare right now.

Also depends on the book. A more complex book takes more time.


I get through about 60 books a year, with 500 pages being about average, so 6 days on average. It's worth noting that I read more in the summer than the winter months. I'm not sure why that is.
That is a little odd. I'm compelled to be outside more in the summer; so I read less.

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