How Many Pages Do You Read a Day?

Kit Steinkellner

Staff Writer

Kit Steinkellner is a playwright, screenwriter, and creative writing teacher. She also writes about books and reading  at Books Are My Boyfriends. Follow her onTwitter: @BooksAreMyBFs

NaNoWriMo is in full swing and have been hearing a lot of internet talk about how many words people are writing each day. Which got me thinking, “But how many words are you READING a day?”

I will go ahead and translate that into “How many pages are you READING a day?” because we all know that word counts are for writing and page counts are for reading. If you tell me the “number of words” you read every day I am going to assume you are Rosie, the Jetson’s Robot Maid. Or Skynet.

I guess I should go first and make an example of myself, but I’m afraid I’m a more inconsistent example than I would like to be. Here’s how it usually goes. When I’m reading a book I REALLY like, I’ll usually read twenty pages at lunch and fifty to a hundred pages at night before bed.

So that’s with a book I actually like. When I’m “Eh… I mean… it’s okay… you know…in a whatever sort of way…” about a book, I’m not reading that book at lunch, let’s be real, I’m reading Twitter and bride blogs. At night, sometimes I’ll read that “Eh” book for twenty, thirty pages. But more likely I’ll just get my butt on Hulu and watch an hour of TV. I know I will NEVER love an episode of a TV show the way I love a chapter of a great book. And still, a decent hour of TV is usually going to win over fifty pages of a slow book. For me. If this is NEVER you, congratulations, I’m really glad you never read boring books. Or I’m glad you do read boring books and just are never bored because you are a better person than I am. Also, do you have superpowers? Or are you part-God? Or, like, SOMETHING?

I really admire people who, rain or shine, hell or highwater, read a book a week. Or, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, two books a week. But I can only read a book a week if I’m infatuated-bordering-on-in-love-with that book. If I’m half-hearted about my reading material, I might start two or three books a week, tallying up an embarrassingly low nightly page count with each. I mean, low in the double digits. I still hit double digits! But if it’s a book that I’m more bored/annoyed with than engaged/excited by, those double digits are BARELY double.

I’m so curious about what other people’s reading habits are. Spill, please! Is your schedule regular or all over the place? And do you find yourself reading about the same amount or does it vary wildly depending on the book and where you are time and focus-wise in your life?

I’m hoping you’re a more regularly prolific reader than I am. At the same time, I wouldn’t mind some solidarity over here in Camp Inconsistent…