Poll: How Fast Can You Read A 300-Page Book?

I know many of you want to reply with “it depends.” But let’s pretend you’re reading a book that’s engaging yet moderately challenging. This book is full of new information you have to take in and process — a complex plot, a large cast of characters, dense subject matter, etc. I’m sure you’ve read this kind of book before.

So how long does it take you to finish if it’s 300 pages long?

For me it’s 10-15 hours. Usually closer to 15 than 10. 

I have never been ashamed to admit I’m a slow reader. On a good day, I can read approximately 20-30 pages an hour. That feels pretty slow, so I’m writing this post to get a sense of other people’s reading speeds. 

The only thing I can attribute my slowness to is that English is my second language, and even though I speak it very well, I will never reach the perfect fluency of an native speaker. I have tried to improve my speed but never really succeeded. I’m OK with that because life is long and reading is wonderful, so I will continue to enjoy myself at my own pace.

Also, I have managed to compensate for my slowness by prioritizing reading over other activities and hobbies. For example, I spend more time reading than I would playing video games or watching television or movies, all of which I love. This prioritizing allows me to read far more than the average person. But I still fall woefully behind other bibliophiles and bloggers!

I’d love to read your thoughts on your personal reading speed or what you would generally consider slow or fast.

Please vote and comment below.

How Fast Can You Read A 300-Page Book?

41 thoughts on “Poll: How Fast Can You Read A 300-Page Book?

    1. D: You must be blessed! I have NEVER in my life read 100 pages in one hour. I could perhaps do 50-60 if it’s a light YA, but never 100.
      I assume you read it with decent retention and comprehension too? That’s amazing. 🙂

    2. Exactly my reading speed for a novel of medium complexity. If it’s a very light romance maybe a mite quicker and harrowing or complicated stuff a bit longer. It’s a useful rule of thumb when calculating how long it will take to read a books.

      Ans yea, I read and understand all the words !

  1. It really does depend, but on a good day, I could read about 80 pages an hour. I don’t think that reading speed should matter, but if that’s something you would like to change/be faster, there’s definitely ways to make that happen. 🙂

    1. Oh, I’ve tried..perhaps I haven’t tried the right methods?

      Anyway, you’re right that reading speed doesn’t matter because I’m perfectly happy with my reading life. I was mostly curious about other people’s experiences. It seems I am the slowest reader around here. lol

  2. I read quickly when I want or need to but it truly does depend 🙂 For example I’m relatively new to fantasy and so if there is very complex world-building, it takes me ages to read the book. I think I’m somewhere in the middle ground when it comes to reading speed, but that’s fine with me. I’m also not a native speaker though I sometimes think that I read more slowly in German because I’m less used to it. But as to finishing books, ha I don’t have your restrained, I spend lots of time doing other things, bingewatching tv shows etc 😀 And I’ve been blogging for so long, I’ve seen reading machines and the slowest readers, read at your own speed for max enjoyment!

    1. I read far more slowly in Spanish too. It’s such a strange thing to admit because Spanish is my native tongue but all my education has been in English. So I feel I will never be perfectly fluent in either language.
      🙁 There are wonderful benefits to being bilingual so I don’t worry about it too much.

  3. I’m with you – about 10-15 hours, or 3-4 days. It also has to be quiet around me or I can’t concentrate. I’m also the kind of reader who can’t stand to miss something, and will re-read sentences and paragraphs if I feel like I missed something. I’ve been reading my whole life, and I just can’t seem to get any faster! So, you’re not alone. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I really needed to read this.

      I also need silence around me to read effectively and enjoy the experience. I’ve always been this way and it has generally slowed me down. But it seems there’s nothing I can do about it. I need time and silence to read and it’ll always be that way.

          1. Unfortunately, I’m not at all fluent in French. I can read it very slowly and understand it if the speaker is speaking slowly, but can’t speak it well at all. However, my husband can speak it and all my kids go to the French school, so they are almost fully bilingual already. But no matter how much a ask, none of them want to speak French at home so that I can get better at it. Unless they’re in the mood for a laugh! 🙂

  4. It really does depend though!!! Most of the time I read about 100 pages an hour (English is my first language and I’m an exceptionally fast reader by most standards). That being said, if a books especially complex (Conrad or Fitzgerald standard) or incredibly boring, it will slow me down :/

    1. Perhaps I was a bit unfair. Sometimes our reading speed does depend :p

      Boring books take the LONGEST to read. Or when you’re in a reading slump? There’s basically no point in reading then because I will have read for an hour and realize that I remember nothing or barely read 15 pages, at which point I rage-quit reading and return when I’m in a better mood.

  5. A medium-level fiction novel – probably 40-50 pages an hour, standard crime/sci-fi faster (maybe 60-ish) and factual or ‘heavy’ fiction much slower – 20/30 max. I only look like a fast reader because I read for 3 or 4 hours or sometimes even more nearly every day. But I never had that amount of time to spend on it when I was younger and working. But I prefer not to pressure myself to try to read quicker – it’s just a hobby and even if I grew another head I’d never get through all the books I’d like to, so I try to just enjoy the one I’m actually reading.

    1. To be honest, sometimes I pressure myself to read quicker because I have a blog now and I feel like I should be posting more reviews. But I can barely manage 2 a week, sometimes just 1 when I have other obligations. I’m slowly learning to place less pressure on myself. It started with blogging every other day as opposed to every day, which has been wonderful!

      One of the things I look forward to when I retire is having as much time to invest in my hobbies as I want. 🙂 Read, sleep, repeat? Well, I might get tired of that eventually, but I’m going to romanticize the idea until then.

  6. Hey Naz there is nothing with the pace at which you read your books. Perhaps that’s the reason you write such brilliant reviews? I am a fairly quick reader and at times read trilogies in 3 days but that’s mostly because I am hooked and I get obsessive and the world around me ceases to exist. I can read slow sometime when the book is too good.I go back and reread some scenes I loved. I read in eBook so I also don’t really know the real length of the books I read but what I start in the morning I finish by evening.

    1. Thanks for the kind words!
      Over the the years I have come to accept my slow reading speed. That’s just part of who I am. Lol

      There have a been a few books that I was able to finish in one day but they were very short, very light reads. I usually gravitate towards shorter books, meaning under 300 pages, especially if I need to post a review up for my blog. But I think it’s time to read longer book.

  7. I usually read 100 pages per hour. So if I have 3 hours straight I can finish a book of 300 pages. But that happenend only once a month LOl #lifehappens my boyfriend can read as quickly too 🙂 I think he can read about 50 pages an hour ! -Trang

    1. That explains why you’re blog is so lively and active. Even with your busy lives and school.
      I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to finish a 300 page book in 3 hours. How is that even possible!!?? lol 🙂

      1. HAHA Yeah it goes wayy back in my childhood though but now I rarely have 3 hours straight to read any more so it last more like a week T_T WEll youre doing a mega impressive job yourself !! :O Always active and passing by with your kind words it’s always appreciated 😀 – Trang

    1. I was glad to see a few people vote for the 15-FOREVER option, so I’m not the slowest reader, at least. lol

      I can read about 50 pages an hour for a really fun, YA novel, which is good for me. But I don’t usually read that kind of book, so I tend to average around 25-30 pages for a moderately challenging book and 40 if I’m really into it. But never 100. That sounds like a superpower. 🙂

  8. Is it bad that I have NO IDEA what my reading speed is?!? With a job and kid, I have to read in whatever time I can carve out – work breaks and before bed, mostly. If things are going okay in my life, I read 1.5-2 books a week, depending on length/complexity. Don’t stress too much about your speed (unsolicited advice!) 🙂

    1. I’m sure most people don’t even think about their reading speed! It’s usually the slower ones who are self-conscious about it and keep track of it.
      Yes, I have recorded my reading speed. lol

  9. Hmmm. Honestly it depends on what I’m reading. I can read novels that are engaging and from a genre I like (usually fantasy) very quickly. But there are books, the more literary ones that require me to parse through and think a lot, that I will linger over for weeks and months. But really, as others have said. Don’t stress about reading pace. Just read at the speed you do and like what you read. It’s a fun activity (unless you’re an English Lit major and they force you to read books you don’t want to *weeps*).

    1. I’m learning to to stress about it to much anymore. I was a little intimidated by the speed other bloggers read when I first started blogging, but I’m OK now. It was too stressful at first, trying to read fast so I could have more content up. Eventually, I decided that, duh, I should read for fun, so I scaled back how much I post and my blog seems to have benefit it from it. 🙂

  10. If it’s a smooth reading fiction, then it’s about a hundred pages an hour. I was a Philosophy major in undergrad though, so theological and philosophical books take me 3 times as long to read. Honestly, any book with a conscience– you know, books that want me to write in the margins and read quotes twice– take me 50 pages an hour or more.

    And for someone who is reading their second language, you’re doing amazingly. I couldn’t IMAGINE reading this quickly in French. Ever. Kudos to the book bloggers who are reading in their second and third languages.

  11. For me it depends on the “reading level” of book. I could probably finish a young adult 300 page novel in 3 hours, but an adult/literary 300 page novel would take me closer to 6 or 7.

    1. I know most people don’t time themselves when they read (except me…Umm lol)
      But would you happen to know what the fastest time that you’ve read a book? Like, have you ever read a short book in about as long it takes to watch a movie — 1:30 -2 hours?

  12. Whoa, I think it’s really amazing that you can read a book so quickly with a second language! I usually take 2-3 hours for 300 pages (I’m a super fast reader, and that speed is amplified when it’s a book that I’m truly enjoying), but I could NOT imagine reading a book that fast in Chinese (which was the language I grew up with, but it slowly deteriorated as I went to school in America haha). I think that as long as you understand what’s going on, and you read the book at YOUR preferred time to get the full enjoyment out of it, then the timing doesn’t matter. Great post!

    1. I think that’s average for a BOOK BLOGGER or avid reader. Most people probably read much slower and I bet even my speed is better than people who aren’t book lovers like myself. You have good speed for a nonnative speaker. Did you learn English very early in life?

  13. I’m actually not sure how long it will take me. I want to say 5-10 hrs. If I’m moderately interested and have to read according to the free time I usually have.
    I’m always surprised when someone finishes 5 or more books in a week. Actually, I find it damn near impossible to believe. I often wonder if I’d be able to do the same if I cut out a lot of things I usually spend time on.

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