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When you read about so many billionaires in the world who say that reading is one of the key tasks they perform daily, it makes you wonder how much do they read a day and how much does this contributes to their success!
The question arises whether the famous saying “today a reader, tomorrow a leader” is inspiring successful people to read a book a day. It also makes you wonder if it is even possible to read a book a day?
It is good to read on a daily basis. However, it is not important to read a book a day. Frequent reading is good as it activates your brain, expands your knowledge, and enhances different skills. But, reading a book a day doesn’t have a more significant impact than reading for a few hours daily.
In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of reading a book a day. Plus, we’ll also try and understand how much should you read every day. And, if you are dead set on finishing a book a day, I’ll share some tips on how to achieve this goal!
So, let’s get started!
Is it Possible to Read a Book a Day?
It is possible to read a book in a single day. Frequent readers with a reading speed of 300 words per minute will be able to read a novel of average length within about 5 hours.
However, to achieve this you’ll have to read whenever you have time during the day. The secret is to have your book always with you or near you so that you can read whenever the opportunity arises. It can for example be between meetings, during lunch, or when waiting for your bus.
Advantages of Reading a Book Every Day
To read a book every day has many advantages. We’ve found the following three to be of the most important ones:
1. It Teaches You Determination and Strengthens Willpower
Determination and strong willpower is a prerequisite to reading a book a day. To achieve this goal you have to make a decision and stick to it. This characteristic will rub off on everything else you do.
2. It Stimulates Your Brain
Studies have shown that like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy. Reading stimulates different areas in the brain and keeps these areas “fit.” By reading every day you exercise your brain regularly.
If you read a new book every day the stimuli are so much more intense. You stimulate your brain for about 5 hours a day and provide it with a lot of new content every day.
3. It Enhanced Your Knowledge and Expands Your Vocabulary
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and the more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face. If you read a new book every day the information input is huge.
And the more you read, the more words you are exposed to, and these words inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary. By reading a book every day there is a daily expansion of vocabulary.
Drawbacks of Reading a Book Every Day
Unfortunately, there are drawbacks as well to the habit of reading a book every day.
1. It Consumes Time
When you use most of your “free” time to read your book every day, there will not be much time left for something else. You will most probably never engage in DIY jobs at home and even your family activities and social life will be scaled down.
2. It Might Become Expensive
Although reading is considered one of the cheapest hobbies, it can get expensive if you are reading 365 books in a year.
You will be able to use your library to obtain some of the books and you can borrow some books from friends and family, but to ensure that you are always reading books you are interested in, you’ll have to buy most of the books.
3. It takes up a Lot of Storage Space
When you’ve finished a book you really enjoyed reading you probably want to keep the book. And by reading 365 books per year there could be quite a lot of books you have to store. All the storage space in your home can quickly get filled with books.
4. It can Weaken Your Eyesight
When you read a lot you fix your eyes on letters close to you. Over time, 5 hours of reading every day can put a big strain on your eyes and cause short-sightedness. When you are short-sighted, you can lose the ability to see far objects clearly.
5. It Can Affect Your Health
Most of the time you are sitting when reading, and sitting for long hours can cause many health problems. Many people develop back strain problems when sitting for hours without a break. In extreme cases, it can lead to diabetes or obesity.
You can, however, overcome this issue if you choose to read while walking!
How Long to Read to Finish a Book a Day?
It will take you about 5 hours of reading to finish an average novel a day. Let’s look at it from a mathematical angle:
- The average adult reader reads 200 to 400 words per minute.
- An average novel has between 60,000 and 100,000 words.
- For the calculation, let’s assume your reading speed is 300 words per minute and you are reading a novel with 80,000 words.
- It will take you 80,000/300 = 267 minutes/60 = 4.45 hours to read the entire book.
These 5 hours are normally divided into smaller reading sessions during the day. As an example your reading schedule for reading 5 hours a day can look as follows:
- 30 minutes when you wake in the morning before you get out of bed
- 30 minutes while commuting to work
- 1 hour during lunch
- 30 minutes commuting back to your home
- 30 minutes before dinner
- 2 hours before going to bed.
Studies have shown that you finish your book faster when you are intrigued by the story or reading about a topic you’re really interested in.
So, don’t just read any book to keep up with your intended one-book-a-day schedule – choose books that you want to read!
Tips to Read a Book a Day
People who read a new book every day give the following tips:
1. Listen to white noise while reading
It has been proven that if you listen to white noise or instrumental music on headphones while reading you can read faster as it eliminates distractions.
This can help you focus better and this can result in potentially finishing a book faster than usual especially when you are targeting finishing a book in a day!
2. Alternate Between Genres
One of the easiest ways to keep yourself interested in what you read every day is to alternate between fiction and non-fiction books. You can also alternate between fiction genres.
3. Always Have Your Book with You
The book you are reading the day must always be near you enabling you to read whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.
4. Have Your Next Book Ready
Get your books ready for at least the next 5 days. When you’re finished with one, the next one should already be chosen and waiting to be read!
How Many Hours Should a Person Read a Day? (Ideally)
I’ve covered this topic in great detail in another article. If you are only reading for leisure it doesn’t matter how long you read every day, as long as you enjoy the times you sit down with your book.
However, to keep into the habit of reading every day – not to read a book a day, but only to relax with the book you are reading – it is recommended that you read at least 30 minutes to one hour per day.
In practice, you will most probably only read 30 minutes on some days, while on other days you may read a few hours, depending on the time available and how intrigued you are with the content of the book.
If, however, you’ve set yourself a target of reading one book a day, you’ll need around 5 hours of reading a day.
It is always good to schedule your reading time, whatever the number of hours involved. By keeping to a schedule – even if it is very simple like reading for 30 minutes before going to bed every night – you are establishing a life-long habit.
It is interesting to calculate how many books you can read in one year if you only read 30 minutes a day. Thirty minutes a day adds up to an impressive 180 hours a year. Thus, even if you are a relatively slow reader you can read at least 12 books within a year.
About the Author
Akansha is a former business journalist and a seasoned communications professional. She is the founder of TheBookBuff, an avid storyteller, and a lifelong biblophile! Check out her profile page to know more about Akansha.