How Long Does That Book Take to Read? This Site Tells You

Akshata Shanbhag 10-12-2015

Daunted by the size of that book you have been meaning to read? It might take you less time than you think. If you want an accurate calculation of the time you’ll need to finish that book, head over to How Long to Read.


The site lists more than 12 million books in its database. Use the site search to look up the name of any book on your reading list and select it from the search results. A dedicated page for that book should pop up. Look to the sample text on the side, click on the Start Speed Reading Timer button, then read it.

Once you finish, click on the button again to stop the timer. This displays an estimate of the time you’ll need to read the entire book.


The site calculates the approximate reading time based on the time you took to read the book’s sample, so do not speed read. Put A Brake On Speed Reading: 5 Tips To Be A More Engaged Online Reader The idea of speed reading has been around for decades, but there's been an explosion of speed-reading apps lately that promise to get your reading speed up. But is it worth it? Read More

Do you know of any other websites like How Long to Read? How accurate are they? Tell us about them in the comments!


Image Credit: Hipster girl reading at sunset by Rasstock via Shutterstock

Related topics: Ebooks, eReader, Reading.

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  1. Gene
    December 10, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    It assumes the same reading rate regardless of type of book. At least for the 3 books I entered of very different difficulties.

  2. Maryon Jeane
    December 10, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Why would you want to know how much time something would take you to read? One of the default settings on the Kindle is to show 'Time left in chapter' or whatever, and when you start reading a book an panel pops up giving various bits of information about the book you are just starting (or trying to...), amongst which is how long it's going to take you to read it.

    It's all inaccurate, of course. Sometimes you read slowly, savouring the words, the thoughts, the descriptions or whatever; sometimes you race through a book so as to get to grips with the information you need, or to finish the it before you need to leave the house.

    When I'm considering whether or not to read a book there are lots of things I take into account: am I interested, or likely to be interested, in the subject? Is this author any good? Is the writing good, or at least readable? What's the outline of the plot or the thesis? And so on. I have never, in all my years of reading, thought: "How long is this book?" and/or "How long will it take me to read this book?" Does anyone think like this? If so, why?

    I have, with a physical book, often flicked through the last few pages to see how much I have left to read and therefore decide whether I should continue reading or go and do all the things which are waiting to be done, or get going and leave the house to catch a train or suchlike. So I suppose, in theory, having the 'Time left in chapter' or whatever turned on might then be of use. However as it drives me to distraction (if it's turned on I find myself trying to beat the estimate, and so ruining the reading experience) so it's never on and turning it on would take the time I need, in that situation, to finish the book so it would be self-deafeating. Instead I use the Kindle feature which ehables you to flick backwards and forwards through a book while keeping open the page you're reading at the time - this is much more useful and intuitive than using someone else's estimation of how long you will take to read something.

    Mind you, I've never understood why booksellers give the number of pages in a book in the book's description - is this part of the same mindset? Or do some people value books by pages to the pound? It's all most odd...