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Bye-bye July and bye-bye keeping track of my reading time. As some of you may remember I have been keeping track of how much time I spend reading in the month of July with a free iPad app called READometer. It’s a spiffy little app and easy to use. I came across it in one of my library-related listserv/emails/newsletters and curious just how much time I really do spend reading I embarked on a month-long experiment to find out.

I chose to just track how much time I spent reading books. I did not keep track of time spent reading blogs or other online media nor did I keep track of magazine reading. I decided to only track book reading because I get asked a lot by people who know me how much time I spend reading books. I also think of myself as a slow reader so I assumed I spent a lot of time reading.

Well the results are in. In the month of July the total time I spent reading books comes out to 2 days one hour and 7 minutes. Part of me says, wow two solid days a month are spent reading. Another part of me says, that’s all? The most I read in day was 3 and half hours. The shortest amount of time I spent reading in one day was an hour. I did not go a single day without reading.

Both my high and low numbers surprised me. I expected that there would be at least a couple weekend days that went over four or five hours. I also didn’t think I read as much as I do on weekdays. Weekday reading tends to be broken up into small chunks of time but obviously those small chunks add up.

I also learned that I don’t sit still for hours on end while reading. I get up and down quite a lot. It seems like thirty to forty-five minutes is an ideal length of time and then I need to get up and stretch, get a drink of water, or just change my focus at least for a few minutes. And when it comes to time spent reading, I noticed that I can really read quite a few pages in thirty minutes. I guess I read faster than I thought I did. But even as the timer proved me mistaken, I still felt like I was reading slowly. I wonder if Einstein’s theory of relativity can also be applied to reading?

Keeping track of time was pretty easy with the app but it was also really annoying to have to remember to set the timer every time I opened a book. I had thought I might do the experiment again in December or January to see if there is a big difference between the amount of time I spend reading in summer and winter, but I am not going to. Keeping track sort of gets in the way of just reading. Still, I am glad I did the experiment for July. It wasn’t fun but it was interesting.

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