Can You Read a Book in a Day?

A recent poll found that 81% of their respondents wished they read more books. With the goal of reading more books, some might try to read an entire book in just one day. Additionally, someone may have procrastinated on a book club read or a book they need to read for school and just have one day to complete it. 

It is possible to read a book in a day. However, the amount of time it takes to read a book depends on one’s reading speed, the book’s length, and how much time someone has available to dedicate to reading. 

In the rest of this article, I’ll explain how it is possible to read a book in one day and offer suggestions for accomplishing this feat. If you have a book that you need to read fast, or if you just want to get ahead on your reading goals, keep reading! 

Is It Possible To Read a Book in a Day?

It is possible to read a book in a day. To do so, you must have enough time to dedicate to the task, read quickly enough, and pick a book that is a reasonable length. 

Reading a book in a day may seem like an overwhelming—and even impossible—goal, but it is quite possible. The average adult can read 200-400 words per minute, and the average novel is between 60,000 and 100,000 words. This means that an adult with an average reading speed can read a book that is 80,000 words in less than five hours. 

However, many people don’t have five hours in a single day to dedicate to reading. Furthermore, if someone reads at a slower pace, it will take even longer. Finally, if you’re trying to read a lengthier novel, you’re unlikely to be able to finish it in a day. For example, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is 587,287 words, which would take the average adult approximately 32 hours to finish. 

Even though it may be a challenge, if you select a book of reasonable length, read at an average or faster pace, and have a few uninterrupted hours to dedicate to reading, it is possible to finish a book in a day.    

How To Read a Book in a Day

Reading a book in a day is no small feat. Here are some of my recommendations for how to accomplish this goal: 

  • Increase your reading speed. There are several techniques you can employ to increase your reading speed, including stopping subvocalization, not allowing yourself to regress, reading words in chunks instead of one at a time, and improving your vocabulary.   
  • Choose a book you’ll enjoy and be motivated to finish. If you’re trying to read a book in a day, you will have to want to keep reading it for hours. Therefore, you must select a book you think you’ll like and want to keep reading throughout the day.
  • Set smaller goals. Your overall goal is to finish the book, but you’ll stay motivated for longer if you set smaller goals that you’ll reach throughout the day. For example, you can set a goal of reaching one hundred pages and reward yourself with a snack or a small break once you reach this checkpoint. 
  • Tell people that you plan on reading the book in one day. You’re more likely to complete the book if other people hold you accountable, so share your intention with loved ones to increase your motivation to finish. 
  • Take notes as you read. Taking notes may seem like it’ll slow you down, but it can help eliminate regression and maintain focus. If you own the book, you can jot down brief notes in the margins.  
  • Don’t stop at unfamiliar words. If you stop every time you don’t recognize a word to look up the meaning, it’ll take you a lot longer to finish the book. In most cases, one word won’t impact your general understanding of the text, so you can probably skip over it and determine an approximate meaning using context clues. 
  • Take short breaks. Once you reach a certain milestone or if you get too tired, give yourself a brief break to refresh. You can splash some water on your face, restock your water and snacks, take a short walk, use the bathroom, or talk to a loved one. Taking breaks helps prevent distraction and burnout. 

Read in a Distraction-Free Environment

If you’re hoping to read a book in a single day, you’ll need to stay as focused as possible. Here are a few tips to keep you focused on reading:

  • Find a comfortable reading area. It’s easier to read if you’re not distracted by feelings of discomfort or irritation, so find a place that is comfortable and conducive to focus and concentration. 
  • Eliminate distractions before they occur. If you’re someone who can’t help but check your phone when you receive a notification, it’s probably a good idea to turn your phone off or leave it in another room while you’re trying to read. For the best chances of success, you’ll need to eliminate all distractions. 
  • Ask your family and/or roommates not to interrupt you. One interruption from someone you live with can seriously disrupt your reading flow, so kindly ask those you live with to avoid distracting you while you’re reading.
  • Have a snack and some water nearby. If you have a snack on hand, you’ll be less likely to put your book down to prepare a meal when you get hungry. Try to select a snack you can eat with one hand, such as carrots or popcorn, so you can continue reading as you eat. Additionally, if you have water close to you, you’ll avoid the distraction of having to get up over and over again to relieve your thirst. 

If you follow these tips and select a realistic book, you will most likely be able to read the book in one day.  


Reading a book in one day is possible, but it requires time, concentration, and persistence. However, there are some things you can do to read faster and more effectively and therefore give yourself the best chance of completing a book in a day.  

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