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Reading Challenge Calculator

Created by Julia Żuławińska and Maria Kluziak
Reviewed by Jack Bowater and Dominik Czernia, PhD
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

By three weeks into the New Year, most people give up on their resolutions. But, you know what they say - when something ends, it makes space for something new - so why not try a new challenge? If you are anything like us, your plans for the upcoming year are centered around books 📚. With all the other forms of entertainment available, we know that it might be hard to keep yourself motivated to stick to your reading goals. Luckily, there exists an easy and fun way to keep your resolve - reading challenges!

Each year, there are plenty of reading challenges to browse through - from the informal Goodreads edition, to more organized variations such as the Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge. And if none of the existing challenges suit your needs, you can always create your own! This calculator is designed to help you manage your reading habits, whether you’re participating in an external event with specific time constraints, or you’re just interested in setting up realistic literature goals based on the time you have and your reading speed. You can also use it to check how many books you can expect to read in a day, a month, a year, or even your estimated lifetime!

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of imagination and start planning out your literary adventures to come…

Challenge accepted!

How to use the reading challenge calculator?

The reading challenge is, at its core, very simple. You provide it with some numbers about yourself and it returns some calculations. For clarity’s sake, let’s go through its functionalities and explore how exactly they can be used.

The calculator has two main operating modes. It can answer either of the two questions:

  1. How many books will I read (in a given amount of time)?
  2. How fast and how often should I read to meet a certain goal?

Calculating how many books you'll read

If you choose to find the number of books you’ll be able to read 📚, you’ll first need to provide the calculator with:

  • The average time you spend reading daily; and
  • Your reading speed.

💡 Need help estimating your reading speed? Don’t worry, we have a tool for that! Head to our reading speed calculator to get your result.

What follows is a description of the reading challenge you’re taking on. You can pick from some existing challenges and pre-set time periods, or set up custom dates that will best suit your availability. What follows depends on your choice. For example, if you simply pick a month, you will get your estimations right away, but if you want to find out how many books you’ll be able to read for the rest of your life, you’ll need to give the calculator some extra information: your country, sex, and current age.

Calculating how fast you should read

If you want to use the calculator to estimate how fast you should read to meet a certain goal ⏲️, your experience will go a little differently. You will need to state:

  • How many books you’re planning to read;
  • How much time you want your challenge to last - you can declare any number of days, weeks, months and years, but you can even go as short as hours; and
  • Your reading speed.

Based on that information, the calculator will let you know how much time a day you should spend on reading to fulfill your challenge.

What to read? Let the calculator tell you!

So, you know how many books you should be able to go through this year, and how much time a day you should spend reading them. But, have you considered what to read in the first place? After all, there’s so much to choose from! With thousands and thousands of books available, it can be hard to commit to a certain title, or to even find one that catches your attention to begin with.

If you’re one of those people who become overwhelmed at the mere sight of a bookshelf full of opportunities, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! No matter which question you made the calculator answer, you will notice that at the bottom there’s an extra field - that’s where you’ll find our book recommendations!

To get a list of (slightly) personalized recommendations, the calculator will need:

  • The estimated number of books you’ll be able to read in the given amount of time (don’t worry, it’s already there from your previous inputs 😉); and
  • The genre you’re interested in. You have plenty to choose from - horror, romance, fantasy, and self-help, to name but a few. And, if you’re more of a dilettante with no particular genre preference, you can simply state that you’re interested in everything!

What you’ll see at the bottom of the calculator is a list of books adjusted to your personal reading capabilities and the time you have available. Not satisfied with the particular selection you got? Simply reload the calculator for a whole new range of choices!

Challenge yourself! Some reading challenges to consider for this year.

Few things excite notorious bookworks more than a good reading challenge. Combining your favorite hobby with an actual goal that can give you a sense of achievement? Yes, please!

Since the advent of Internet-based bibliophile communities, reading challenges have steadily grown in popularity. Events such as the rise of easily available e-readers (or, you know, that time we all stayed home for a few months and finally went through that neverending stack of books waiting on the nightstand) made the trend bigger than ever, with dozens of different challenges available for readers worldwide! Our calculator offers you a pre-set choice of two of the most popular examples - the Goodreads Reading Challenge, and the Story Graph Reading Challenge (which, to be fair, is more like 100 different challenges disguised as one!). But what if none of these particularly suit your fancy? Here’s a selection of less popular, but by no means less significant, reading challengers that you can busy yourself with.

  • The 52 Book Club challenge - Based on the premise of 52 unique prompts, this annual challenge dares you to go through a total of 52 books that match the provided guidelines. You have a year to complete it. Ready, set, go!

  • The Library Love Challenge - This little challenge’s aim is to bring some love to local libraries. The goal is to borrow and read at least 12 books from your local library branch!

  • Back to Classics - This one is designed for those of you who always wanted to go through the classics but never found the motivation to do so. In this challenge, the participants are “encouraged to finally read the classics they've always meant to read -- or just recently discovered”.

  • Read Around the World - This one’s perfect for those suffering from chronic wanderlust 🗺️ This year-long challenge has monthly prompts based on different geographic regions.

  • The Clock Reading Challenge - Why not add an extra element of fun to your reading challenge? In this one, your goal is to read through twelve books, each with a number from 1 to 12 in the title, in order - so that together, they form a clock 🕐

Challenges are not everything. How to cultivate reading habits?

So, we’ve already established that reading challenges are great. However, sometimes it’s hard to commit to a lengthy one, and achieving your reading goals might turn out to be very difficult due to a number of different external factors. Remember, it’s okay if you don’t manage to finish your reading challenge - what matters is that you enjoyed those books you did read!

And let’s not forget that not all of us are challenge-loving people. That’s totally fine as well. So, what to do if you’re not into challenges, but still want to find a way to read more? We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you improve your reading habits!

  • Schedule a time for reading - Decide on a particular time of a day (or a week, or a month, really - whichever suits your personal circumstances) and make it strictly your personal reading time. Before bed, after waking up, or during lunch - it doesn’t matter, as long as you stick to it!
  • Find a good place - More often than not, we don’t read as much as we’d like to simply because we don’t have the right space. Try to fit an armchair dedicated to reading into your living room if you can, or make the decision to read in your bed. If you have a garden, maybe a quiet spot under a tree? Whichever you pick, ideally it should be quiet and lack any immediate distractions (also, if possible, it should have a nice view for you to enjoy while you ponder what you’ve just read).
  • Give active reading a try - Try to get engaged in the book. Think about it, take short breaks to consider a particular sentence that you found interesting, take notes. If you’re using an e-reader, highlight parts that made an impression so that you can come back to them later. Make reading an activity as much as you can!
  • Always have something to read with you - While it might be annoying to carry around a 1000-page-long book, we’re blessed to live in the times of pocket-sized books, smartphones, and e-readers. Make sure to keep a book in your bag, on an e-reader app on your phone, or invest in a Kindle. This will allow you to fill those little breaks in your day with reading rather than scrolling through social media. If you visit the social media time alternatives calculator, you'll see how much reading time you can gain this way.

✅ E-paper readers are not only light and portable, but they can also be a more environmentally friendly choice. Check the books vs. ebooks calculator to see the potential CO2 emission reduction.

  • Join (or create) a book club. Even if it’s just a two-people thing, having a reading partner can do wonders. You’ll find yourself excited to talk about the book you’re currently going through and will feel more motivated to read and think about it.
Books illustration
Julia Żuławińska and Maria Kluziak
Related calculators
🔖📖Nothing motivates us book lovers as much as a good reading challenge. That's why we created this book challenge calculator - to help you set and achieve realistic reading goals.
I want to see
How many books will I read?
I read
/ day
My reading speed is...
which means I can read...
pgs / 
so about...
pgs / day
Decide, how long will your reading challenge be?
Time duration
The Goodreads Reading Challenge
Start date
Finish date
📚 How many books will I be able to read?
You will be able to read...
which is about...
average books
Not satisfied with your result? Consider finding some extra reading time. Check the social media alternatives calculator to see how much of the time you normally spend on your phone could be redelegated to reading.
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I want to read
🌏 everything!
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