It's been two months and I haven't completed one book, and this OP has read 700 pages in one day. So how can I increase my reading habits? Compared to this person, I did nothing but just wasted 2 months.

  • 2
    Be careful what you wish for. Since I've picked up the habit of speed reading, I hardly ever read for enjoyment anymore. Also, if you haven't completed anything in 2 months, it doesn't sound like slow reading speed is your problem, but more that you don't find the time to read (or prioritize other things higher).
    – Llewellyn
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 18:43
  • 3
    I’m voting to close this question because it has nothing to do with writing.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 21, 2020 at 21:52

5 Answers 5


People who naturally read fast read in a different way than most people. They don't phonetically sound out the words, or hear them spoken in their head, and they don't read word by word. Instead, they read a large chunk of text at once, taking much of the details from contextual clues. This is sometimes called "whole language reading." It is a learnable skill --there are plenty of courses, books and programs designed to teach it. Don't be fooled by people who just say "read more." It is the natural way some people read, but it takes conscious effort to master for others.

However there are trade-offs. A slower reader may enjoy the language more, become more immersed in the reading, and take in more of the details. With that said --don't confuse this with skimming! It is entirely possible to increase speed without lowering comprehension.

As both a natural and a trained speed-reader, I can attest that there are many advantages to being able to speed read at will. However, there are still times I force myself to slow down, or even to read the words out loud to fully appreciate them. Slower reading can even be an asset to a writer --many great authors have struggled as readers. It forces them to engage with individual word choice at a deeper level.


I average around 100 average paperback pages an hour, so I could do 700 pages in 7 hours, which could strictly speaking count as one night. There are probably people that can read faster, but it will always take a few hours for a proper reading. If you don't have other things taking up your time, it's easy to read that many pages in one session. The linked OP mentions that he's young, which probably means he's going to school, which then means he can spend 6-8 hours a day doing whatever he likes, e.g. reading.

There is also speed reading, though for 700 pages it's not necessary and it often works by skipping parts, which is not something you'd do if you read for entertainment.


I read at a very high speed. Like, 400 page novel between supper and bedtime. I learned to read fast because I read books and stories I liked when I was a kid.

Read good books instead of boring "best seller" crap. Find something you like and that pulls you into the story.

  • Go to the library into the fiction section.
  • Pick books at random based on nothing more than the title or the cover picture.
  • Read a few pages at the beginning.
  • Read a few pages randomly in the middle.
  • Read the last chapter.
  • Does it all interest you? Check it out and read the whole thing.
  • Does it not interest you? Put it back and look for a different one.
  • If you find a checked out book isn't interesting after all, take it back and try something else.

Libararians and card catalogs can help you find a particular book (or type of book) if you know what you are looking for. If you don't know what you are looking for then you just have to try things and see.

You may also find that you'd rather read about things and knowledge than about fictional people. I read a lot of things that were supposedly over a little kid's head - a history of the atomic bomb, biographies of inventors (Edison, Tesla, Frederick McKinley Jones), and others.

If you like cars, then read about Henry Ford and how he built his first gasoline engine in the kitchen of his house.

If you like electronics, then read up on the invention of the transistor.

Whatever it is, it needs to be something that interests you. Not your teacher, not the librarian, not your parents, not your friends. Certainly not some random stranger on the internet.

It must interest you.

Ignore the people who tell you not to look at the end of the book before reading the whole thing. If a "spoiler" ruins the book then it wouldn't have been any fun to read anyway.

A well written story will still be fun to read when you know the end.

A poorly written story will still be poorly written, whether you know the end or not.

Best sellers and other popular books get to be so well known because they don't chase off readers. They aren't necessarily good, but they aren't so bad as to make people throw them away. That's about all you can guarantee about a best seller - it won't be so bad you'll want to throw it in the trash immediately.

What you like is what matters, not what other people like.

Find things that interest you, and read them.

When you read fun things that make you like to read, then your reading speed will improve. That improvement will still be there when you read things you don't want to read but have to read - like school books.

If you want to, start with comic books (often called graphic novels these days.)

They have lots of text, despite the pictures. Even that will help improve your reading speed.

As you get better at reading, the comics and graphic novels will eventually not be enough - too little goes on because most of the space is taken up by pictures.

You can switch to novels then. You'll also have a better idea of what you like to read and will know better what to look for in books in the library.

To get better at reading, you have to read. No way around it.

  • Speaking as an author who puts a lot of thought into endings, I find your habit of reading the last chapter disappointing and your insistence that everyone should do it just awful. Otherwise, I like your advice.
    – insectean
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 20:30
  • If your story is worth reading, it'll still be as good when I know the ending. If a surprise twist is all you've got, I don't want to waste my time.
    – JRE
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 20:34
  • My "bad habit" is born of buying hundreds of novels. It's my money I'm spending, and my time that'll be wasted on crummy books.
    – JRE
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 20:36
  • @insectean: Pinging just in case the software doesn't automatically do it.
    – JRE
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 20:38
  • It will be "as good" except for the added suspense of not knowing the ending—that's not as good. And if the ending is all I've got, wouldn't you lose interest by the first few pages? How does the ending tell you anything about the rest of the book?
    – insectean
    Commented Oct 26, 2020 at 20:59

Seeing as I am the OP you referred to, I feel obligated to offer you some tips.

  1. Practice Practice Practice.

This seems pretty simple, but most people think that because it is a simple rule, they already have it down. Nope. If you simply want to up your WPM when reading, practice. Read everything you can. I can’t even remember how many chapter books, series, and novels I’ve read over the years. Slowly my reading started to get faster. At first it took me maybe three weeks to finish a two hundred page book. Then one week. Then a few days. So I kept reading longer and longer titles, which repeated a similar pattern.

  1. Read what you WANT to read.

Don’t read something just because someone tells you to. If you think it’s crap, put it down. When a teacher or parent or grandparent makes me read a book, even if it’s only two hundred pages, it takes me about three months to finish. Reading something you don’t enjoy is not only mental torture, but it draws your attention away from the books you could be reading. (That doesn’t mean you should tell your teacher, if you have one, that you're not going to read an assignment because it’s boring. Still do it if it’s from your teacher.)

  1. If you have trouble finding what books you like.

First, everyone has a favorite genre. This is the way of the reading/writing universe. If you struggle with reading, first think, “what’s my favorite genre?” If you don’t know, then find out! Get a book for each of the genres and read, read, read until you decide your favorite. Then you know what sort of books you like, making it easier to find ones you enjoy.

  1. Even if you hate the book....

As I said earlier, sometimes you have to read books that you don’t like. That’s okay. I came up with a way to enjoy it anyway! Whenever I’m reading a dumb, crappy book, I make fun of the things I don’t like. It's mean to the author, but at least you're getting some enjoyment out of their work.

I don’t really have any more tips, but I hope these help you!

  • Note to an aspiring author: "You are" = "you're." A book that belongs to you is "your" book.
    – JRE
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 14:43
  • People don't instinctively know what a "genre" is, or which they will like. You can't pick which flavor of ice cream you want if you don't know which ones are available.
    – JRE
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 14:45
  • Oh! Thank you! I didn’t thoroughly edit this (because I don’t really care) but thank you for noticing the typo.
    – Leila
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 14:45
  • If they don’t know what a genre is then they can research it.
    – Leila
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 14:46
  • I notice the typo because this is a writing site. As an author, you should take care when writing. It always matters. Practice writing correctly all the time. It'll make it easier to get things right in the stories and novels you write. It cheeses me off to read "I wanna be a righter," and that kind of thing happens way too often.
    – JRE
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 14:50

Get a job as a reader where you get paid by the script you finish and do a report on. Amazing how that motivates people to read more in a day.

On the other hand, why would you want to read 700 pages a day? For 400-500 words per page in a book, and at a typical reader's speed, you would need over two full days with no time to eat or sleep to read 700 pages.

You can speed skim that many pages to get a vague idea of what was talked about, but you won't be able to pass a test on the subject if you try.

Read for fun, no matter what the page count is.

  • I don't want to read a 700 pages a day but i event cannot read 50 pages daily
    – Shahid
    Commented Oct 24, 2020 at 4:37

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