There are a few things to keep in mind when pondering something like “how long does it take to read 400 pages?”. First, reading speed matters but also changes throughout a book. Secondly, what is your average reading speed? Are you an average reader, clocking in at about 300 words per minute? A fast reader, clocking in at about 450 words per minute, or a slow reader? Knowing your average reading speed will help you determine how long it would take you to read 400 pages.
How Long Does it Take To Read 400 Pages?
If you came to this article to see how long it takes for someone to read roughly one book that consists of 400 pages, here is where you will find your answers. If, however, you are interested in knowing why these numbers are not ironclad and why they are simply an idea, keep reading. You will see that there is much more to measuring this data than simple math.
The amount of time it would take the middle-of-the-road reader when it comes to speed to read 400 pages is 10 hours and 55 minutes. In basically 11 hours, most people can read the typical single-spaced novel. If you were to break this up and read for just one hour a day, you would finish your reading in less than two weeks.
Reading speed pertains to how many words a reader can read in one minute. The average reader reads about 300 words per minute, while a fast reader has a reading rate of about 450 words per minute. When you consider those numbers and factor in that the typical single-spaced page consists of approximately 500 words, it becomes evident that even a quick reader cannot quite get through one page of typical documents at high reading speeds in under a minute.
When Do We Read Faster?
Interestingly, the longer the document, the longer the average reading time becomes, with every additional one hundred words. So, for example, if it takes one minute to read one page, you cannot answer the question of how long does it take to read 400 pages, simply by saying it would take about 400 minutes. This may sound like simple math, but it is not. The following reasons would explain it all.
Fiction vs Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction reading time for 400 pages is typically less than reading time for fiction. This is because most of us do not read every single word of every single page of nonfiction. Often, we only skim the typical nonfiction documents. We look for more extensive and more significant bits of information. So we read much faster.
When the 400 pages we are reading is fiction, especially a story that we are interested in, it may take much longer. While we certainly do skim the more boring parts of the book, some scenes really draw us in, and we read more slowly so we can truly absorb the story and the scene.
Pacing of an Author
Books take time to read, but have you ever noticed that you have been able to fly through some books while other books of the same length take far more time? It is because we tend to focus more on each word of the 400-page book if the author employs good pacing tactics and skills. If something interesting happens, we decide to slow down and pace ourselves. When the author slows the pace, we start to skim, looking for points of interest.
One example is the novel Gerald’s Game by bestselling author Stephen King. At nearly 400 pages, it has taken more time for many King fans to finish that book than some of the books he has written that are well over 1000 pages. Why? Pacing.
There is only really one setting in the book. A woman is handcuffed to a bed, and her husband has died of a heart attack. They are in a cabin in rural Maine, and there is no one around, and no one knows where they are. While there are plenty of parts fraught with tension and suspense, there is also a part that spans nearly all chapters in which the protagonist is trying to reach a glass of water on the bed’s headboard.
Most readers, save the most die-hard fans, skimmed this part, only to realize that the internal monologue during this scene was important. So it had to be read thoroughly. The reading for that book, at one point, is a chore.
Enjoy Your Reading Time
You came here looking for an answer, and it is not an easy one to arrive at. Knowing how many hours it would take you or the average consumer of books to read 400 pages is not infallible data. The fact, though, is that authors, especially fiction authors, write their stories to be enjoyed, and you should strive to meet that goal, whether a book takes you a week to finish or a year.
There are a lot of resources, websites, and books that will promise you that you can start to read faster if you follow their tips, and many of the tips do work. Some go so far as to promise that you will be able to read a full-length novel in just two hours. But do you really want to? Unless it has required reading that you do not find interesting, you must read and savor each page of the book. Books take a long time to write. Take your time when it comes to reading them.