Infographic: How Long Should It Take You to Read Famous Works of Literature?

By Jordan Teicher October 15th, 2014

We’re constantly told our attention spans are decreasing as we consume short bursts of content coming at us from all over the Internet. And it’s true, when we spend all day tweeting and reading brief blog posts, our brains just don’t have as much patience as they used to. Between 2000 and 2013, the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds, according to Statistic Brain.

As a result of this obsession with time, we’ve started calculating how long it takes to read. Medium labels every post with an estimated reading time. There’s even a Read-o-Meter tool that estimates reading time for anything you paste into a text box. Fittingly, the site’s slogan is “so many posts, so little time.”

What if we took that concept and applied it to major literary works?

Well, Personal Creations has done just that, creating a fascinating infographic that shows how long it will take the average reader—at 300 words per minute—to finish 64 books, including everything from The Great Gatsby (2.62 hours) to Anna Karenina (19.43 hours) to the Harry Potter series (60.23 hours). The infographic doesn’t account for different difficulty levels, but you can check out the whole list below. And in case you were curious, reading all 1,770,000 words in the Game of Thrones series will only take you 98.33 hours, or just over four days if you never stop to sleep.


Image by Sakchai Lalit
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