Monday Musings | How I Read an 850-page Book in Under a Week

Ebooks Ereader Read Faster One More Page Blog

Before I get into why I was able to read an 850-page book in under a week, I have to preface this post by saying I’m generally a pretty fast reader, especially when I’m determined to get through something. However, over the past few days I found myself finishing a long, long book in what seemed like no time at all. So how was I able to do it? I think the number 1 reason was this: I read it on my e-reader and had no idea how long it was.

Here’s the thing – going into the book I knew that it was going to be long (I believe I opened a PDF of it a few days prior and promptly forgot about it). But, when I decided to give the book a shot, I didn’t remember just how long it would be. I decided to read it anyway.

As I was reading, the only way I could track my progress was by the percentage at the corner of my e-reader. With no real way to gauge how many pages lay before me, I was able to focus and just enjoy the book instead of worrying about the page count. I loved it! I normally avoid “chunksters” because of sheer intimidation, but reading on a flat screen took that all away. It also helps that the book was engaging and totally surprised me by how much I enjoyed it. 😉

So, here’s what I’m wondering today: Do you get intimidated by long books? Do you find that reading on an e-reader helps take the pressure off? Do you have any strategies for reading longer books?

(Pssst: Have you entered this giveaway yet??)

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28 thoughts on “Monday Musings | How I Read an 850-page Book in Under a Week

    • Karen says:

      Yes, during busy times I agree that “bite-sized” reading helps a lot. Around 300 pages is my comfort zone, too. I wonder if this is the average comfort zone?

  1. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy says:

    I do feel very intimidated by a long book! I think I just don’t feel like committing myself to such a long read, but I have noticed that it is easier on an ereader. I totally agree that you don’t concern yourself as much with how much is left if you are just looking at random numbers. And if I get distracted by the number, I can just turn it off. Not to mention, it’s much easier to hold a kindle than a chunky book! 😀

  2. A.M.B. says:

    Wow! You definitely are a fast reader. I prefer shorter books. I find it so disheartening when the percentage (of pages read) doesn’t move on my e-reader!

  3. Jamie (@GreySkySaturday) says:

    I sometimes get intimated with reading longer books. Sometimes I think reading on an e-reader helps because it feels as if you are reading faster. Although if I know that I’m on a certain deadline for a book I try to read a bunk in chunks or stopping when I get totally distracted.
    That’s pretty amazing that you read a 800 page book in a week.

    • Karen says:

      I definitely feel like I read faster on an e-reader. Maybe it’s because the font size is bigger than a printed page? It’s definitely nice to take breaks when you feel your mind wandering.

  4. majoringinliterature says:

    I must admit, I always get a kick out of finishing a book, so starting on a really big one is always a little tough for me. I recently had to read quite a few chunksters for class, so I also managed to read about 800 pages in a week, but I did it by forcing myself to read around 150 pages a day. Your way definitely sounds more enjoyable!

    • Karen says:

      Oh man, I remember taking a Victorian literature class and having to read long books! It’s definitely intimidating, especially combined with other courses! Your method sounds very disciplined and smart – good on you!

  5. Sarah's Book Shelves says:

    Congrats! I’m all about the e-reader (I read all of my books on my Kindle) and agree that not seeing the inches of pages you have left helps you just forget about the length. Also – it enables you to carry it with you everywhere and read little snippets whenever you get a free minute. All those little snippets add up to something! I’m curious…what book was it?

  6. Naomi says:

    I also want to know what the book was!
    I don’t often read really long books, mostly because I like to be good and sure I’m going to like it if it’s going to take up a big chunk of my time. You don’t have to worry about that so much with shorter books. But, sometimes I really feel like getting myself deep into a long story – it just depends on my mood. It wouldn’t be on an e-reader, though. I love the feel of a big, heavy book – that’s half the fun. 🙂

  7. The Paperback Princess says:

    You’re going to have to tell everyone what the book was because we’re all dying to know.
    I would never have thought of reading a big book on a e-reader but I can see how this would make it faster. You do tend to get caught up on how many pages are left when you’re reading a physical book. Just being able to focus on the story, one manageable page at a time, would be wonderful.
    But no, still not on board with the e-reader for myself (my neck and shoulders may disagree).
    I’m not scared of big books, I do still read them occasionally. But at certain points of the year I get so caught up on reading stats that I don’t allow myself the time for a big one.

    • Karen says:

      Hahaha! It was The Fireman by Joe Hill (out next year). I’m surprising myself this year by how nonchalant I am about my reading stats. I’m pretty sure I’ve read fewer books than I did last year, and normally that would freak me out, but I’m happy to just go with the flow. How’s your reading year going?

      • The Paperback Princess says:

        You’re going to have to tell the rest of us how you managed to be so go-with-the-flow about reading!
        I can’t complain though. Numbers-wise this has been a really good year. I’m about to finish up #135. But at different points in the year I’ve been really dissatisfied with WHAT I’ve been reading. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been super excited about that many books. Something to ponder for next year, think about how I can maybe change that.

  8. MyBelovedLittleBooks says:

    I wrote a post about this recently! I bought a copy of 1Q84 and was so intimidated by the size I put it on the back burner. I have read The Game of Thrones books, but for some reason this book has get me dreading it. I think if I was unable to see how thick it was I would be able to get through it much better, but seeing its size has left it on my night stand collecting dust.

  9. Erika Chung says:

    I do get intimated by big books, but it’s a rewarding feeling when I finish reading one. Never thought about reading a massive book in an ebook format though! I’m in front of screens so often, reading is the one time I really let myself be away from screens so I’ve never been into ebooks =P. When it comes to reading big books, I just let myself take as much time as I need. It’s not the most efficient way of going about it, but setting page goals just adds too much pressure.

    • Karen says:

      What you said about screen time is totally fair! After reading a few ebooks, I definitely crave paper books. Hey, your method sounds awesome. Reading shouldn’t be about pages/quantity anyway, so I admire that you’re able to just give yourself the time that you need! (I tend to get antsy for the next one…)

      • Erika Chung says:

        I get antsy about them too! I always think giving myself a month’s time is enough to read a big book, but more often than not, it makes me much longer. I get antsy, and then I’m like, “Okay, lets just focus on finishing the book”. I should try to get a big book I own in ebook formate through the library and see if it helps me =) Thanks for the idea Karen!

  10. mylifeasilead says:

    I actually prefer reading big books in the physical format because I like knowing exactly how big the book is and I feel so accomplished and proud of myself when I finish it. I love knowing I finished this massive book! That probably sounds really weird hahaha

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