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How Long Does It Take to Read 300 Pages of a Book?

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
3 MINUTE READ

Question: How long does it take to read 300 pages of a book?

Answer: It takes about 5 hours 31 minutes to read 300 pages of a book (assuming 275 words per page and an average reading speed of between 238 and 260 words per minute).

Why those assumptions?

Here’s the detail…

You Can Fit 500 Words On a Letter/A4 Page

You can fit just over 500 words on a single side of letter size (A4) paper.

That’s with 1-inch margins and single-spaced, 12pt, Times New Roman font.

Here’s 550 words of Lorem Ipsum as proof:

How Long Does It Take to Read 300 Pages: Words on a Page

Note: There are no subtitles or headings on this page so the actual average number of words you can fit on an letter/A4 size page will be slightly less.

The problem with that word count?

Book Pages Are Smaller (About Half That)

But book page sizes are smaller (about half as much).

Which means fewer words per page in a book.

And that word count even varies by book type.

In fact…

  • There are about 250 words per page in the average nonfiction book; and
  • There are about 300 words per page in the average fiction book.

So that’s word count covered.

Let’s talk about reading speed…

What’s The Average Reading Speed?

A recent (2019) review of 190 studies on reading speed found that for silent-reading:

  • The average nonfiction reading rate is 238 words per minute; and
  • The average fiction reading rate is 260 words per minute.

Reading rates are lower for children, old adults and non-first-language English speakers.

There’s also a big variation between individuals that isn’t well understood.

In fact…

  • For nonfiction, most adults read between 175 to 300 words per minute; and
  • For fiction, most adults read between 200 to 320 words per minute.

With that covered, let’s revisit our original question…

So, How Long Does It Take to Read 300 Pages of a Book?

For nonfiction, the average reading speed per page is 250 words divided by 238 words per minute.

So it takes 1 minute 3 seconds to read 1 page of a nonfiction book.

For fiction, the average reading speed per page is 300 words divides by 260 words per minute.

So it takes 1 minute 9 seconds to read one page of a fiction book.

Scale up the math to 300 pages and on average…

  • It takes 5 hours 15 minutes to read 300 pages of a nonfiction book; and
  • It takes 5 hours 46 minutes to read 300 pages of a fiction book.

Split the difference and bingo…

Question: How long does it take to read 300 pages of a book?

Answer: It takes about 5 hours 31 minutes to read 300 pages of a book (assuming 275 words per page and an average reading speed of between 238 and 260 words per minute).

What if I’m a Fast or Slow Reader? [Table]

Still curious?

Here’s a table that’ll help you work out how long it’ll take you to read 300 pages depending on whether you’re a slow, average or fast reader…

300 PagesSlow ReaderAverage ReaderFast Reader
Letter/A4 Page14 hours 17 minutes10 hours 30 minutes8 hours 20 minutes
Book: Nonfiction7 hours 8 minutes5 hours 15 minutes4 hours 10 minutes
Book: Fiction7 hours 30 minutes5 hours 46 minutes4 hours 41 minutes

Notes: Assumes 500 words per page and nonfiction reading speeds for letter size/A4.

For more, see these posts on how long it takes to read 100 pages, 200 pages and 400 pages.

Want to Read More, Faster?

Go check out this book summary of How to Read a Book.

Then read this post on 27 ways to read more books this year.

Or use the form below to get a free cheat-sheet of the exact same 10-step process I use to write TAoL‘s many book summaries

Want A FREE 10-Step Speed Reading Cheatsheet?

How to Read a Book, Mortimer J Adler

Get a FREE 10-step cheatsheet to help you read faster and remember more of what you read based on the classic guide, How to Read a Book.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

P.s., Don’t forget to also check out TAoL’s fiction and nonfiction book recommendations to make sure you’re reading the right books as well as reading them right.

Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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