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How Long Does It Take to Read?

  • Posted by Amanda
  • November 05, 2020
How Long Does It Take to Read?

Here’s one question that you don’t come across very often: how long does it take for you to read various types of pages? Let’s say that you need to read a 500 pages book until next week; will you have the time? Are there any things that might affect the way you read a certain book? Do all people read at the same pace, or does it depend on the kind of reader that you are?

Two people will not finish 30 pages at the same time – but the average could still be very close. Certain factors will determine exactly how much it will take to read various types of pages, but overall, this article will tell you exactly how long you should expect.

Factors that Determine the Reading Speed

Depending on certain circumstances, people may have different reading speeds. So if you are trying to read 100,000 words of a book, your speed of reading may be determined by the following factors:

  • The style of the book
  • The reader’s immersion in the book
  • The place where you are reading
  • The mood that you are in when you are reading. 

Let’s say that you are reading The Power. The book is great, and while it has a little over 250 pages, readers tend to read it slowly so that they can “digest” what’s happening there. This kind of book took certain people over a month to read simply because they wanted to read slowly – to use its principles and make the most out of the page.

However, let’s say that you are a Harry Potter enthusiast and get your hands on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You get so immersed in the book that chances are, you’ll read it in one day or two days tops (according to what people reported). You won’t even notice when you finished reading 1200 words from that book.

Where you are will also determine how fast you finish reading. For example, if you are in a quiet, isolated room with no distractions, one page double spaced will take you two or three minutes at most. However, if you are in a very noisy place and find it difficult to keep your concentration, it will take you much longer.

The same thing applies if you are not in the mood for reading. If the subject bores you or you simply don’t feel like reading at that very moment, you may just end up staring at a page double spaced for as long as half an hour.

Average Word-Reading Time

Typically, a page from a book, essay, dissertation page, or computer document has around 500 words per page – and to read that page, the average person would need approximately 1.7 minutes. This means that a classic 4–page piece of content with a 2000 words length should take you a little under 7 minutes to read.

As an adult, you need to determine exactly what kind of content you are reading. For example, if you are reading for your own joy, you can read a double spaced page per minute. Obviously, it will take a few moments longer if you are dealing with a single-spaced page. However, if you are reading on more complicated topics, your reading speed goes down – and you typically read about 125 words per minute.

This is where things tend to get tricky for college students. In order to quickly consume their textbooks, they would have to read something between 400 and 500 words per minute. If they already studied the matter beforehand, they should be able to read on the topic. However, if the topic is completely new to them, it might take them twice the time to get everything done.

Examples of How Long It Takes Certain Page Lengths


500 words 3.8 minutes
750 words 5.8 minutes
1000 words 7.7 minutes
1200 words 9.2 minutes
1500 words 11.5 minutes
1800 words 13.8 minutes
2000 words 15.4 minutes
3000 words 23.1 minutes


Different pieces of content may take a different to read, depending on how many pages you have at hand. Circa 1000 words will take less to read compared to 3000 words. Here are some examples of how long it should take to read pieces of content, novels, or books of different page lengths:

  • How Long Does It Take the Average Person to Read 5 Pages?

For a person to read 5 pages, it means that they would have to go through a content of 2500 words. The average person gets this done in about 8.3 minutes – or around 20 minutes if you are a slow reader.

  • How Long Does It Take the Average Person to Read 10 Pages?

For the average person to read 10 pages from a book or piece of content, they would have to go through around 5000 words. Depending on the piece of content and its difficulty, they should be able to get through that content in 16.7 minutes.

  • How Long Does It Take the Average Person to Read 20 Pages?

20 pages mean that the book you are reading will likely have to read about 10,000 words. It should take about 33.3 minutes for you to get through that content.

  • How Long Does It Take the Average Person to Read 40 Pages?

Considering that the average page has about 500 words per page, 40 pages would mean that you would have to read 20000 words. For the average person to read 40 pages, based on the averages mentioned above, it would take you around 1.1 to finish the task if you read continuously.

  • How Long Does It Take the Average Person to Read 100 Pages?

The average person reads 100 pages in about 2.8 hours. This means that you will be reading around 30 words per minute from a total content of 50000 words on average.

The Bottom Line

How long it will take you to read a piece of content will depend on the type of page – but mostly, it will depend on how many words you have to deal with. Be it single-spaced or double-spaced, it will take you the same amount of time for you to read 1500 words. Find out how many words a particular book has, and you should be able to come up with an average time.

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