Blogging

Reading 200 books a year is easy, or is it?

October 20, 2019

After reading the article on Medium called The simple truth behind reading 200 books a year, I sad with a feeling of that was a very good point, but the math was way of.

First of all it stats that :

  • The average American reads 200-400 words per minute
  • A typical non-fiction book has ~50,000 words

So the post claimes

    200 books * 50,000 words / book = 10 million words
    10 million words / 400 wpm = 25,000 minutes
    25,000 minutes / 60 = 417 hours

AKA 417 hours / 356 days in a year = 1.17 hours a day, so there you have it.

So with just ONE HOUR a day you could read 200 books a year!

First of all going with the 400wpm as the speed in this math is wrong you can’t calculate with all people being the best, the algorithm should have used 200 as a bear minimum, or 300 as a lame average (knowing that the actual weighted average might be in another place).

According to execuread.com the average reading speed is 200 - 250wpm.

And according to wikipedia it’s about ~200-230wpm.

As a side note I took a reading “test”, I read the first article on the Danish Broadcasting companies site dr.dk and read for 3 minutes, after that I counted the words I managed to read in the time and divided by 3, my number was 166, I’m reading half as fast as the original post suggested.

I struggled to find any clear evidence towards what a clear average word count fo a non-fiction book would be. So lets let that fact stained

so the math should have been:

    200 books * 50,000 words / book = 10 million words
    10 million words / 200 wpm = 50,000 minutes
    50,000 minutes / 60 = 833.3 hours
    833.3 hours / 356 days = 2.3 hours a day

At still under 2.5 hours a day, so even if your average or slight under average, it’s still manageable to read 200 books a year!

Agreed, it will require some dedication, but with having done any research, all knowledge suggests that reading 200 within a year, will make you a faster reader for the next year, unless your already an elite speed reader 😄

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